How to Import Clothes & Shoes to Kenya: Business Goods Logistics Explained

The process of importing clothes, shoes (used or new) follows standardized import/export protocols established by ministry of trade under the laws of Kenya. The process of clearing your shoes or clothes container will follow the same process used to clear imported goods into Kenya with KRA & KPA. The only difference will be on import duty (high on shoes and clothes) and origin documentation. The biggest challenge when importing shoes or clothes into Kenya is where to find them. Shoes especially is a rare and expensive commodity to find.

China is currently the biggest exporter of goods into Kenya followed by Dubai and India. However, these countries do not have good quality shoes and clothes that would fetch a good profit in Kenya. A lot of times, their used clothes and used shoes are of poor quality and over-used. The best place to import used shoes and clothes is USA, Britain & Germany in the order of preference. However, clothes and shoes from Germany are usually too big for many Kenyans.

99% of those who are involved in shoes importation business from USA & UK won’t tell you a word about it….not even if you’re a relative. We can get you used shoes but at a small fee that many have found to be negligible based on potential profit margins. Living in USA and being in logistics business has exposed us to all this information. If you are interested, contact us for details, fees, terms & conditions.

How to Imports Clothes or Shoes to Kenya:

Clothes & Shoes importation is regulated and discouraged by the Kenyan government in-order to boost local textile industry. Of course, the government of Kenya discourages the importation of new and used clothes through heavy taxation and import duty. However, this practice has only made clothes un-affordable to common mwananchi since the local textile industry cannot suffice the demand of high quality and affordable clothing.

Step 1:

Identify a reputable high quality used or new clothes supplier, preferably in USA. This is the most difficult step when importing used clothes to Kenya. Most online searches will yield low quality mediocre suppliers and brokers, some of them based in China. Reputable high quality clothes suppliers are not so easy to find online as they have sufficient customer flow, thus no need for online marketing. If you need to identify high quality supplier without going through brokers, contact us. If you’re lucky to find a potential supplier online, more than likely, they will NOT AGREE to sell to you as they already have active customer in Kenya who have pre-paid months in advance.

Step 2:

This step is about  protecting yourself from scammers. This business involves high capital investment making it attractive to scammers and fraudsters. When you contract us to find you used clothes or shoes from USA, we phisically visit the supplier, inspect their product and sign legal binding contract between the supplier and us. The notion that the supplier is dealing with someone abroad does not arise. Majority of used clothes suppliers in USA are foreigners themselves and scams are not uncommon. This doesn’t mean all foreigners are scammers or Americans are not scammers. It means that this is a high risk business that involves a lot of money.

Step 3:

Making the purchase and fulfilling the order as agreed is the next step. We handle all the necessary pre-import/export paperwork on your behalf. This includes inspection and certification as required by importation laws of Kenya and enforced by KEBS.

Step 4:

Inland logistics, sea shipping to Mombasa is the next step. Majority of used clothes and shoes suppliers are located in cities away from major sea ports. This means that your container must be hauled by a truck to the nearest major international port. From the port, we conduct all the required procedures as provided by the law. Your tax and duty is based on Cost of your shoes or clothes, Insurance and Freight charges (CIF). This money must be available from the get go. To get the actual figure for a 20 foot or a 40 foot container, contact us for details.

Step 5:

This final step involves clearing your container in Mombasa, Kenya. KenTex Cargo is registered in USA and in Kenya and we do all the clearing and forwarding required with KPA & KRA. In rare occasions, some customers choose to do it themselves, a risky process to gamble while you have millions invested in your import.


Used Clothes & Shoes Grades:

Used shoes and clothes are graded and grouped as grade A, B or C, sometimes you’ll hear grade 1,2,3 and you might hear A, AA, AAA depending on the seller. We recommend you start with Grade B shoes and a budget between $60,000 & $90,000 (5-8 Million shilling) for a 40 foot container with about 700 bales 25KG(55Lbs) each.


Finding high quality used clothes and shoes from USA without getting scammed can be a difficult task. With our assistance to mitigate these risks, this business is very lucrative. Streamlines outsourcing, logistics, clearing and forwarding on both ends is the key to success