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This is a Guide on how to Import a Vehicle Duty Free into Kenya Returning Kenyans are exempted from paying taxes on their personal effects part B paragraph 5 of the 5th Schedule of the East Africa Community Customs Management Act 2004. The paragraph provides for the conditions and limitations. Among them,
- If you are intending to change residence to come back to Kenya, you must be over 18 years old. KRA shall verify your supporting documents which may include your passport, Alien ID, work permits etc.
- Original Valid passport used for the last 2 years or any previous passport other than the current passport. (The entry and exit stamps are used by customs to check the compliance of the regulation).
- Must have proof of living abroad for two years and have their effects imported within 3 months of arrival.
Under the Same Schedule, returning residents are also allowed, one motor vehicle (excluding buses and mini buses) into the country duty free subject to the following conditions:
- The importer must be changing residence and not just been out of the country merely on temporary nonresidential visit.
- The Importer must be over 18 years old.
- The individual must have personally owned and personally used the motor vehicle outside Kenya for at least twelve months (excluding the period of the voyage in the case of shipment) prior to importing the motor vehicle. As an importer, we shall verify this when you furnish us with your original passport.
Left Hand Drive Vehicles for Returning Residents
A Kenyan Resident returning from a country that operates Left Hand Drive (LHD) motor vehicles shall be allowed to import a replacement Right Hand Drive (RHD) vehicle from any other source subject to the following conditions:
- The person must be bona fide changing residence (Permanently) from a place outside Kenya and not merely making temporary visits back home.
- The person must fulfill all the requirements for importation of personal and household effects by a returning resident as outlined under paragraph 5 of part B of the 5th schedule to the east African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.
- The returning resident must proof that he/she owned and personally used a LHD vehicle in the country of former residence for a period of at least one year, prior to his/her return.
- The returning resident must provide proof of disposal (Transfer of ownership) of the previous owned LHD vehicle before changing residence from the former country of residence.
- The current retail selling price (CRSP) of the RHD replacement vehicle shall not exceed that of previously owned LHD vehicle.
- Both the previously owned LHD vehicle and the RHD replacement vehicle shall not be of any of the following categories: –
- Bus or Minibuses of a seating capacity of more than 13 passengers
- Load carrying vehicles of load carrying capacity exceeding two tones
- The replacement vehicle must comply with the Kenya Bureau of Standards requirements of Legal Notice No. 78 of 15th July 2005 (Verification of Conformity to Kenya Standards Imports Order, 2005) and KS1515:2000 Kenya Standard Code of Practice for Inspection of Road Vehicles.
These guidelines shall only apply to residents returning from countries that operate LHD motor vehicles who had previously owned and used a LHD vehicle in the country of former residence.
Stages involved in registering a Duty free Vehicle in Kenya are not far different from importing a new private vehicle, the only difference is in the payment of government tax,in that the Duty free vehicle is not required to pay government taxes whereas the private new vehicle pays for taxes.Registration forms to be completed
Upon satisfaction with the documents , the registration officer issues registration forms to be completed by applicant from the government which includes:(a)Allocation of Registration Number of New Vehicle Form(b)Auto vehicle License Form.(c)Form B(d)Federal Road Safety Form,(e)Tax Form.Police Confirmation and Endorsement
After the completion of the Forms listed above, the registration officer will forward them to the Police Officer attached to the Licensing office to append his/her signature on the Allocation form after verifying and satisfied with the documents along with the vehicle brought for registration.
This is to ensure that the vehicle under registration satisfies all the existing laws binding motor vehicle registration and that the vehicle to be registered is risk free not a stolen vehicle.Issuance of Number Plate
Upon receipt of the police endorsed document, the registration officer then process for payment based on the type and capacity of vehicle;
Collection of issued Number Plate
The following are the steps required to obtain a new Number plate.
- Applicants desired number is sent for VERIFICATION.
- Documents submitted for registration of vehicle are confirmed with the above stated requirements.
- Filling of special number request form by applicant after which payments are made to appropriate banks.
- Applicant returns duly completed form and proof of payments
- Produced special plates are documented and handed to the owner alongside other documents.
The issued number plate will then be handed over to the applicant,The number plate for duty free vehicles differs from the other vehiclesNote
Not all vehicles that are manufactured for sale in the Foreign countries can be imported into Kenya. As a general rule, if the vehicle you plan to import was manufactured for sale in the other countries and is less than 25 years old, or is a bus manufactured on or after January 1, 1971, you must find out if it qualifies for importation under Transport Kenya’s Registrar of Imported Vehicles.
The duty free vehicle has opened up the opportunities for Diaspora returnees to be privileged in a number of other areas, including exemptions from custom duties, as well as regulations allowing investors to import duty free vehicles, capital goods and the construction materials necessary for the establishment of new enterprises or for the expansion or upgrading of existing ones.
A vehicle in respect of which relief has been granted may not be sold or otherwise disposed of, hired out, lent or given as security in Kenya during the 12 months following the date of registration without payment of the exempted taxes
- the vehicle registration document
- the certificate of insurance
- the sales invoice, receipt of purchase or other similar document
- evidence of the date on which the vehicle was brought into Ethiopia (e.g. proof of shipping).
- Original passport to confirm the above
- Vehicle Log book to confirm the above
- Bill of Lading
- Pre Inspection Certificate
- KRA Pin Card
You will also be required to produce evidence of use of the vehicle abroad. This evidence should include
- service and maintenance records
- fuel receipts
- documentation to indicate that annual circulation and registration taxes have been paid etc.
Office Locations & Contacts
Kenya Revenue Authority
Tel: +254 (020) 4999 999
Cell: +254 (0711) 099 999
To be Eligible, the applicant:
- The Applicant must be a diplomats or their family members
- members of the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic mission
- certain officials, including Defence Forces personnel, serving abroad on UN missions.
- must have been living or serving abroad for a continuous period of one year or more,
- must have had possession of and used the vehicle, outside the Kenya, for at least 12 months before the date of transfer of residence to Kenya, and
- must not have been granted exemption from KRA on similar grounds within the preceding five years.
Valid for a long time
The owner of the Vehicle has to renew the registration with the Land Transportation Office in Kenya by law.
An inspection report which details the specifics of the vehicle and the corresponding emission test done to check the vehicle is in a good condition before it is permitted to be used on the public roads of Kenya.
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Valid identity proof
- The Customs Value (CIF Value)
- The Engine Size
- The Manufacturing Age of the Car
- Monthly exchange rate
Need for the Document
A duty-free vehicle” is a vehicle which has been acquired without payment of VAT, Customs Duty, Excise Duty or any other consumption taxes payable and “tax” means Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and other import charges (i.e. Customs Duty and VAT) where applicable.
Any investor may import duty free vehicle in Kenya:
- Ambulances used for emergency case of employees
- Buses used for tour operation services.
- Without prejudice, the board may issue directives on conditions of importing duty free:
- up to three 4-wheel drive vehicles for tour operation services
- Vehicles for any other investments depending on the type and nature of the project.
In this circumstances there is a relief from tax in respect of a duty-free vehicle that is being brought into the Kenya State by an individual as part of their personal property on transfer of residence.