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Duty Free Car Importation for Expatriates 

Importing a personal vehicle is highly restricted and time-consuming, but often significantly cheaper than purchasing a vehicle locally. Expats may import their personal vehicle from outside Kenya without paying duty provided that:

• The vehicle is more than three months old but less than 8 years old, and has been registered in the owner’s name for more than three months
• The vehicle is less than 2,500 cc
• The vehicle is not sold within 12 months of import
• The owner is a first-time expatriate in Kenya and has a valid work permit
• The owner is 18 years of age or older
• When clearing customs, the following documentation is required:
• Import declaration form, clean report, and clean report certificate
• Authority to import vehicle letter
• Log book and service history
• Certificate of registration (from own country) indicating engine and chassis number, first date of registration, engine capacity, and history of vehicle ownership
• Certificate of local value (from own country)
• Passport and valid work permit
• C-15 form (available from customs)
Duty payable on the importation of a motor vehicle is as follows:

Import Duty: 25% of the CIF value of the vehicle
Excise Duty: 20% of the CIF value = import duty = excise duty
VAT: 16% of the CIF value + excise duty
IDF: 2.25% of the CIF value or 5,000 KES, whichever is higher.
Note: CIF = customs value of the vehicle, i.e. the cost, insurance and freight paid for the vehicle. The CIF value is also deduced from the current retail selling price of the vehicle.

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3 Responses to Duty Free Car Importation for Expatriates

  1. carnjini


    just to clarify, does the car have to be registered for only 3 months? i thought was 12
    please clarify

  2. Admin

    Dear Carnjini, we are not quite sure which part you are referring to, but when bringing in a car as an expatriate, it should have been registered for more than 3 months and owned by you for a period of not less than 3 months. For Kenyan citizens, the rules are different and you can get more information here:

  3. Kadi

    I am an expatriate planning to relocate to Nairobi. Will I be entitled to duty free import of vehicle eventhough its not my first time relocating to Kenya? I lived in Kenya as an expat from 2003-2009. I did not make use of the duty free import at the time. My job is now again relocating me to Kenya. Hence i have to obtain fresh work permit. Can I now use the benefit?

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