Importation of Duty Free Cars into Kenya

Updated: July 5, 2010

Duty Free Car Importation

Importation of Duty Free cars into Kenya

  • The importer should have attained the age of 18 years.
  • The importer should have resided outside Kenya for at least 2 years
  • The importers should not have resided in Kenya for 90 days or more within the 2 years before returning to Kenya
  • The motor vehicle should be imported within 90 days from the importer’s arrival
  • The motor vehicle should be personally owned and registered in the importer’s name or spouse’s name
  • The importer should have used the motor vehicle to be imported for at least twelve months prior to the importation
  • The motor vehicle should meet the Kenya standard code of practice for inspection of road vehicles ( KS 1515 : 2000 – code): The motor vehicle should not be over 8 years old, the motor vehicle should be a right-hand drive except for special purpose vehicles.

Temporary Importation of Duty Free cars into Kenya

(Non Kenyan Residents wishing to use personal vehicle)

  • The motor vehicle owner is exempt from liability to Import Duty
  • The motor vehicle owner is to deposit given security for the amount of import duty payable on the vehicle.
  • The motor vehicle owner is to submit temporary importation papers (Carnet de Passage en Douane)
  • A pass sheet or any other similar importation documents issued under guarantee of an authorized association in respect of the motor vehicle.
  • Motor vehicles should be re-exported within such a period not exceeding twelve months from the date of importation.


  1. Patrick Karanja

    November 26, 2010 at 10:42 am

    My name is Patrick Karanja and I am currently residing in the UK for the last five years. I have a car which I want to import duty free and I understand all the procedures and requirements to qualify for this. My question is;
    1. Will I be required to pay import duty if I want to dispose off ( Sell off) the car after some time
    2. Do you offer clearing services
    Thanks in advance,

  2. James waiyaki

    April 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    So what happens to us Kenyans who live in the US looking to import our vehicles duty free. All US made cars are left hand drive? these rules are so unfair

  3. Admin

    April 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    It might seem unfair, but the rules are put in place for safety measures since our roads are all “Left Hand Traffic”. This basic rule eases traffic flow and reduces the risk of head-on collisions. This means that you will have to sell your current car or convert it to a Right-Hand Drive. Even Ministers importing Hummers into Kenya are forced to convert theirs or have them custom made. Pole sana

  4. James Muigai

    April 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I wish to import a Toyota Auris 1.6 hatchback yr 2007 petrol. I hv met all requirements as a returning resident. I understand it will be duty free but how much will I pay for port charges? Do u also clear cars at the port and what are your charges. Thanks

  5. Angela

    April 13, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Dear James,

    Please find our response to your query in your email. We hope the information is of help to you. Contact us at any time if you need assistance.


  6. Koech Collins

    June 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I would like to import my car duty free as a returning resident i satisfy all the qualifications.
    Do you offer port clearing services and how much will it cost? Also is the rule that one is required to deposit a bank guarantee equivalent to the taxes payable still applicable?
    Your timely response is highly appreciated.

    Best Regards.

  7. Angela

    June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Hello Collins,
    Thank you for your inquiry. Please check your mail for our response. Feel free to contact us should you need any more help.

  8. Wallace Ikinya

    June 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I have heard that for US Kenyans, we have been given an exception to import RH cars without having owned them for 12 months prior. Is this true? If not, how is the Gov. dealing with this problem since we drive LH cars?

  9. Pingback: Duty Free Car Importation for Returning Residents | Kenya Car Bazaar Ltd.

  10. WILLY

    October 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I am planning to import an ambulance for a faith based run clinic in Nairobi. Does ambulances imported into Kenya attract import duty? What are the other requirements?

    Please help.



  11. Admin

    November 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Dear Willy, kindly visit our duty calculations page to get the breakdown of all the charges payable for importation of an ambulance into Kenya. Here is the link:

  12. Jane Gachie

    February 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Hi i have been living in Germany for the last 13 years my car was left hand side so i went to UK and bought a RD Car must i have owned it 12 years or is there an exception ? then im already in Kenya waiting for the one year to be over so i can ship it , my Questions are my days in Kenya being counted ? what is the best thing to do and if there is excemption where is it in writing ?

  13. Admin

    November 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Hi Jane, you need to have owned the car for atleast 1 year (i.e. 12 months), the car should not be more than 8 years old (i.e. 2007 or newer now), and you have to ensure that you have not lived in Kenya for more than 90 days before making the application for tax exemption.

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