Trading Across Borders Made Easier

KRA has implemented the Trading Across Borders reforms aimed at enhancing compliance by reducing the time and cost of documentary and border compliance for coffee tea, spices and herbs and imports of brand new motor vehicle spares. This is through the reduction of the number of clearance documents for exports as shown below.

  1. Export Documents As Per World Bank | Export Documents After Reforms
  2. Inland Bill of lading | Commercial Invoice
  3. Export Entry | Port Health Certificate
  4. Phytosanitary Certificate | Certificate of Origin
  5. Road Manifest | Phytosanitary Certificate
  6. Commercial invoice | Customs Export declaration (Entry)
  7. Packing list
  8. Release order
  9. Exit Note
  10. Certificate of Export


*RSP- Resale Selling Price

The Schedules of Tariff concessions under AfCFTA

Modalities for tariff liberalisation were adopted with a level of ambition of 90% of tariff lines to be liberalised in a linear form over a period of 5 years for Non LDCs and years for LDCs (Least developed countries). The percentage for Sensitive Products shall not exceed 7% of total tariff lines subject to negotiation and tariff dismantling starts on the 6th year. Non-LDCs shall liberalise their sensitive products within 10 years and LDCs within 13 years counted from 1st January 2021 when liberalisation of 90% started. The Exclusion List shall not exceed 3% of total tariff lines with intra-Africa import value limit of not more than 10 percent subject to negotiation and review every after 5 years. This will be supported by the AfCFTA Tariff Negotiations online portal where Member States will upload their tariff offers.

The AfCFTA Online Negotiation Tool

  1. Facilitate the negotiations on tariff liberalisation between State Parties, Customs Unions or Regional Groupings under the AfCFTA;
  2. Provide tools to ensure the technical quality of the offers made;
  3. Increase transparency while safeguarding confidentiality; and
  4. Provide tools for users/negotiating groups to interact.

The tool is accessible to all parties to assist in their negotiations and serves as a collaborative platform to exchange the lists of products defined at the tariff line level as well as the tariff that could be applied.

The tool allows each party to: - define their own product lists; share lists with selected parties for discussion; comment on shared lists; and suggest counter proposals.

In order to facilitate the creation of initial product lists, a module analyses various factors among which are: - fiscal revenues; employment by sector; production; potential trade; existing tariffs; commitments; and Infant industries.

Based on this methodology, the tool automatically suggests product lists as a potential starting point for negotiation, considering the tariff-dismantling schedules.




The Customs Services Department under the Kenya Revenue Authority has the primary function of collecting and accounting for import duty and VAT on imports. Other taxes collected by the Customs Services Department on an agency basis include the Petroleum Development Levy, Sugar Levy, Road Maintenance Levy, Import Declaration Fee (IDF), Road Transit Toll, Directorate of Civil Aviation fees, Air Passenger Service Charge, Kenya Airport Authority Concession fees, and various fees associated with motor vehicle permits.

Apart from its strictly fiscal responsibilities, the Customs Services Department has responsibility for the collection of trade statistics, facilitation of trade and protection of society from illegal entry and exit of prohibited goods (e.g. drugs of abuse, hazardous chemicals, pornography, and weapons/explosives).

The Customs Services Department implements bilateral, regional, and international trade arrangements. The department also supports global enforcement efforts against smuggling, the illegal importation, and exportation of arms, and drugs of abuse, as mandated through various international legal instruments. For example, Kenya is a member of both the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Membership in these two regional blocs entails extending preferential tariffs to goods imported from EAC and COMESA member states subject to pre-agreed conditions (the Rules of Origin). Goods originating in Kenya also enter into member countries on preferential rates.

The Customs Services Department, as the agency of government entrusted with the responsibility to monitor and control imports and exports, is responsible for the implementation of the trade and customs clauses of regional trade agreements. This also applies to trade preferences that may not be reciprocal – such as the preferences extended to Kenya under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the U.S. and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific/European Union Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in June 2000. The Kenya Revenue Authority Customs Services Department is a member of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

To import any commodity into Kenya, an importer will have to enlist the services of a clearing agent who will process the import documentation through Kenya Customs electronically on the Simba 2005 system and clear the goods on your behalf.

An import declaration fee (IDF) of 2.25% of the CIF Value subject to a minimum of 5,000.00 Kenyan Shillings is payable. Customs will assess duty payable depending on the value of the item(s) and the duty rate applicable. The East African Community Common External Tariff laying out the duty rates of imported items is available.

Kenya has a pre-shipment inspection requirement (the Pre-Shipment Verification of Conformity, or PVoC) for exports destined for Kenya. Exports to Kenya must also obtain an additional Import Standards Mark (ISM), which must be affixed to a list of sensitive imported products sold in Kenya.

For a small number of health, environment, and security imports, import licenses are required. Imports of machinery and equipment classified as equity capital or loan purchases must be received prior to exchange approval; local banks will not issue shipping guarantees for clearance of imports in the absence of such approval. All imports procured by Kenyan-based importers must be insured with companies licensed to conduct business in Kenya. Importation of animals, plants, and seeds are subject to quarantine regulations.

All Kenyan imports are required to have the following documents: Import Declaration Forms (IDF); a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the PVoC agent for regulated products; an import standards mark (ISM) when applicable; and valid pro forma invoices from the exporting firm.



Kenya applies tariffs based on the international harmonized system (HS) of product classification, and applies duties and tariffs of the East African Community (EAC) Common External Tariff. In general, Customs duty is levied at rates between 0% and 100%, with an average rate of 25%. Imports into Kenya are subject to a standard VAT rate of 16%, levied on the sum of the CIF value, duty, and other applicable taxes.


Class Class Excise duty rates
Beer Malted Stout and porter Opaque beer Other fermented beverages KShs 70.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 70.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 70.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 70.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP*
Other alcoholic beverages Cider Spirits, Whisky, Rum, Gin & Vodka Undenatured ethyl alcohol strength by volume of 80% or higher Premixed alcoholic beverages of strength not exceeding 10% by alcohol content (RTDS) Sparkling wine of fresh grapes (including fortified wines) Other wine in containers holding 2 litres Other wine in containers holding more than 2 litres Other wine grape must Vermouth and other wine of fresh grapes flavoured with plants or aromatic substances in containers of 2 litres or less Vermouth and other wine of fresh grapes flavoured with plants or aromatic substances in containers of more than 2 litres KShs 70.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 120 per litre or 35% (whichever is higher) KShs 120 per litre or 35% (whichever is higher) KShs 70.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 80.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 80.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 80.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 80.00 per litre or 50% of EFSP* KShs 80.00 per litre or 50% of RSP* KShs 80.00 per litre or 50% of RSP*
Tobacco & tobacco products Cigarettes KShs 1,200.00 per mile or 35% of RSP*
Soft drinks Carbonated drinks Juices of cranberry fruit, unfermented and not containing added spirit, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter Bottled water Water pipe tobacco 7% 7% KShs 3 per litre or 5% (whichever is higher) 130%
Other excisable products Food supplements Plastic bags Motor vehicles Cosmetic products Imported used computers (more than 3 years from date of manufacture) 7% 50% 20% 5% 25%
Excisable services Mobile cellular phone services Other wireless telephone services Plastic shopping bags Fees charged for money transfer services by cellular phone service providers, banks, money transfer agencies and other financial services providers 10% 10% 50% 10%
Petroleum products Super Regular Automotive diesel Jet fuel (Spirit type) Jet fuel (Kerosene type) Kerosene Industrial Diesel Fuel Oils Liquified Petroleum Gas Bitumen & Asphalt KShs 19.895 per litre KShs 19.505 per litre KShs 7.215 per litre KShs 19.895 per litre KShs 5.755 per litre Nil KShs 3.7 per litre KShs 0.6 per litre N/A N/A