KRA Car Import Duty: What Is It, Car Import Duty Calculator, Rates, and Fees

Simplify the process of importing a car to Kenya with our guide on KRA car import duty. Calculate customs value and learn about taxes and fees

Sep 7, 2023 - 10:43
KRA Car Import Duty: What Is It, Car Import Duty Calculator, Rates, and Fees
KRA Car Import Duty: What Is It, Car Import Duty Calculator, Rates, and Fees

If you've ever dreamed of importing your dream car into Kenya, you're in the right place. This guide will simplify the complex process of understanding KRA car import duty. We'll cover everything from regulations to the latest updates and even provide you with a car import duty calculator. So, fasten your seatbelt, and let's hit the road to uncover all the essential details you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding KRA car import duty is essential when importing a vehicle to Kenya.
  2. Recent changes have led to increased import duty, affecting car costs.
  3. Use our car duty calculator to determine the customs value and duties payable for your vehicle.
  4. Consider alternative options and strategies to navigate the increased costs effectively.
  5. Stay patient and informed throughout the importation process to make the best decisions for your car purchase.

Importation Procedure for Motor Vehicles

When importing a car to Kenya, following the regulations set by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is essential. Here are the essential requirements:

  1. Vehicle Age: The imported vehicle must be less than 8 years old from the year of its first registration.
  2. Roadworthiness Inspection: The vehicle must be inspected by a KEBS-appointed inspection agent in the export country.
  3. Right-Hand Drive: The imported vehicle must be a right-hand drive.
  4. Valuation Template: Use the new motor vehicle valuation template during importation.

Taxes Applicable in Motor Vehicle Importation

Understanding the taxes and duties is essential. Here's a breakdown:

  • Import Duty (25%): This is the primary duty applicable to imported vehicles.
  • Excise Duty: Excise duty varies based on the engine capacity of the vehicle, ranging from 20% to 35%.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT, 16%): VAT is calculated based on the customs value, import duty, and excise duty.
  • Import Declaration Fees (3.5%): These fees are a part of the importation process.
  • Railway Development Levy (2%): This levy contributes to railway development in Kenya.

Required Documents for Importation

Ensure you have the necessary supporting documents for a smooth importation process. These include:

  • Original Commercial Invoice
  • Cancelled Logbook from the country of origin
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Pre-shipment inspection certificate
  • Copy of your PIN certificate (applicable to individuals) or Certificate of Incorporation (for companies)

Motor Vehicle Importation Process

The process for importing a motor vehicle is similar to other goods. You can watch our tutorial on importing a second-hand vehicle to understand better.

The Latest Updates on Import Duty

Recent changes in import duty rates have impacted the cost of importing vehicles into Kenya. Here's a summary of the fundamental changes:

  • Previously, the maximum depreciation rate for vehicles was 70%, but it has now been capped at 65%.
  • The new depreciation rate has resulted in a more than 14% tax increase for vehicles manufactured in 2016.
  • President William Ruto's directive led to the adopting of the East African Community Council of Ministers' depreciation schedule.
  • Import duty, excise duty, and VAT are interconnected, so any changes in one can affect the overall taxation amount.

How Is Car Duty Calculated in Kenya?

CRSP and Customs Value Calculation

Understanding how car duty is calculated is crucial. The Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP) provided by the KRA is compared to the actual invoice value of the car. The higher of the two is used to calculate the customs value. Here's the calculation breakdown:

  • CRSP provided by KRA
  • Customs Value = CRSP with depreciation applied
  • Import Duty (35% of Customs Value)
  • Excise Duty (20% of Customs Value + Import Duty)
  • VAT (16% of Customs Value + Import Duty + Excise Duty)
  • Import Declaration Fee (3.5% of Customs Value)
  • Railway Development Levy (2% of Customs Value)

KRA Car Duty Calculator

To make this process more accessible, the KRA provides a car duty calculator. You can input specific details such as car make, model, trim, fuel type, engine size, and age to obtain the CRSP value and calculate customs duties and fees.

What Influences Car Import Duty?

Several factors influence car import duty, including:

  • Age of the Vehicle: Depreciation is influenced by the age of the vehicle, affecting the customs value.
  • Engine Size: Excise duty varies based on the vehicle's engine size.
  • Fuel Type: The fuel type (diesel, petrol, hybrid, electric) also affects excise duty.

Impact of Increased Import Duty

The recent increase in import duty from 25% to 35% has significant implications for car buyers in Kenya:

  • The cost of importing vehicles has risen, affecting various vehicle categories.
  • Import duty has a cascading effect on excise duty, VAT, and other charges, compounding the overall taxation amount.

Strategies to Navigate Increased Costs

If you're feeling the pinch of increased import duty, here are some strategies to consider:

  • Increase your savings rate to reach your goal more efficiently.
  • Explore alternative car options that are more budget-friendly.
  • Watch for sales, discounts, or promotional offers on your desired car.
  • Check local prices and consider buying a locally used car to avoid import duty.
  • Be patient and reassess your purchase if the price increase is significant.
  • Explore financing options if saving the entire amount is challenging.

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Importing a car into Kenya involves navigating various regulations and understanding the intricacies of import duty. With the recent changes in duty rates, staying informed and planning your purchase is essential. Following the guidelines in this article and using our car duty calculator, you can make informed decisions and achieve your dream of owning an imported vehicle in Kenya.


How is car duty calculated in Kenya? 

Car duty is calculated based on the Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP), customs value, engine size, and fuel type. It includes import duty, excise duty, VAT, IDF fee, and other charges.

What documents are required for car importation?

 Required documents include the original commercial invoice, canceled Logbook from the country of origin, original bill of lading, pre-shipment inspection certificate, and a copy of your PIN certificate or certificate of incorporation (for companies).

What factors influence car import duty?

 The age of the vehicle, engine size, and fuel type influences car import duty. Older vehicles have higher depreciation rates, larger engines incur higher excise duty, and different fuels affect the amount of excise duty.

How can I navigate the increased costs of imported cars?

 Strategies to navigate increased costs include increasing your savings rate, considering alternative car options, waiting for sales or promotions, checking local prices, being patient, and exploring financing options.

What is the impact of increased import duty on car buyers in Kenya? 

Increased import duty has raised the cost of importing vehicles, affecting various categories of vehicles. It also has a cascading effect on excise duty, VAT, and other charges, leading to higher overall taxation amounts.

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Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.