Vehicle Clearance | Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

Q1.   Importation of second hand motor vehicles

Clearance through Customs

clearing the vehicle through Kenya Customs, an importer will have to contract a licensed clearing agent to process their declaration in the Simba 2005 system. Aeromarine Capital has an in-house clearance and can help you on your vehicle clearance.

The clearing agent will lodge an import entry in Simba 2005 system, pay the required duties and taxes and present all the relevant documentation for Customs to pass the entry.
The documents required are:

  • Original Commercial Invoice.
  • Original Bill of Lading.
  • Import Declaration Form obtained from Customs.
  • Authentic Original Logbook from country of origin.

KRA shall not accept a Certificate of Export issued by Dubai Police or any other authority as a substitute for a foreign log book.
If the logbook is in a foreign language, an English translation issued by the respective Embassy, High Commission or a consulate based here in Kenya must be furnished to Customs to authenticate the foreign logbook.

  • Cancellation of the foreign Logbook
  • Certificate of Inspection by Japan Auto Appraisal Institute (JAAI)
  • Any other document that may be required by Customs

Note: The vehicle must meet Kenya Bureau of Standards KS 1515:2000 – Code of Practice for Inspection of Road Vehicles.

The Standard spells out three major criteria for acceptance of vehicles of importation:

A. Age Limit
All imports of used motor vehicles including returning residents or the general public are required to observe  the 8(eight) year rule, only Right Hand Drive (RHD) motor vehicles whose year of first registration is 2006 or later shall be allowed into the country as from 1st January 2013

B. Left Hand Drive
All left hand drive vehicles are not allowed for registration unless they are for special purpose i.e. Ambulances, Fire Tenders and large construction vehicles imported for projects and to be eventually donated to the Kenyan Government.

C. Road Worthiness
All used vehicles imported into Kenya shall be inspected for Road Worthiness, safety and other requirements.

All imports of used motor vehicles including those belonging to returning residents, diplomats and or public servants must meet the above requirements.

Q2. What benefits accrue to a returning resident when it comes to importing a motor vehicle?

Returning resident: A person changing residence from a place outside Kenya to a place within Kenya where that person has been residing outside Kenya for a period of at least two years and has not resided in Kenya for a period(s) amounting in aggregate to ninety days or more within the two years immediately before this return to Kenya.

A returning resident may import one exempt motor vehicle "(excluding buses and minibuses of seating capacity of more than 13 passengers and load carrying capacity exceeding two tonnes)" Provided that:

i)        the person has attained the age of eighteen years;

ii)      the vehicle was used by him outside Kenya for at least three hundred and sixty days (excluding the period of voyage in the case of shipment)

iii)    the vehicle is owned and registered in his name and/or his spouse, and where the motor vehicle is purchased on hire purchase terms, the first installment in respect thereof was paid and delivery taken at least three hundred and sixty days prior to importation.

Q3. Must I engage the services of a clearing and forwarding agent in clearing any imported cargo? How do I contact one?


To process any documentation, make an import declaration or pay duties to Kenya Customs, you will require the services of a licensed clearing agent with authorized access to the Simba 2005 System used by Customs for clearance of cargo.

. Aeromarine Capital has an in-house clearance and can help you on your vehicle clearance.

Q4. How would an importer establish the import duty rates of any commodity he intends to import?


The import duty rates of all commodities are set out in the EAC Common External Tariff. However, this should be read vis-a-vis the EAC Gazette Notices that incorporate any changes in the tariff rates.

Q5. What do I need to do to register a previously exempt vehicle I have acquired?


Contact a licensed clearing agent to lodge an entry with Customs. Aeromarine Capital has an in-house clearance and can help you on your vehicle clearance.
Present the vehicle for inspection by Customs prior to acceptance of the entry document.
If found to conform to the required standards, the processing officer will accept payment and pass the entry upon full payment of the relevant duties and taxes.
The vehicle can then be registered or ownership transferred in the Road Transport Department.