How to Export or Import to Kenya: Moving & Shipping Goods Explained

Kenya is East Africa’s main exporter / importer and the largest economy. This beautiful country’s economic success is thriving through a strong private sector that developed under market-friendly policies, hailed as the region’s most vibrant and dynamic. Kenya's economy is at a take-off.  Kenya has a concrete plan for future advancement (‘Vision 2030’) and a strong focus on technology development, Agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and infrastructure construction. With this plan, Kenya offers promising prospects for exporters from around the world to trade with Kenya & East Africa.

To export to Kenya you will need to get the following documents. We can help in all your exporting needs to Kenya, clear your goods and transport to your designated place. Here are the documents you'll need to export to Kenya: -


Certificate of Origin

This is a document indicating the country of origin of goods being exported to Kenya. This document is issued by exporting countries designated authorities or agencies designated by the governments where the goods originate from. Certificate of origin ensures that goods originating in certain countries like USA get the preferential treatment that they are entitled to, based on trade agreements.

Customs Bond

Customs bond is a guarantee that the exporter to Kenya will faithfully abide by all laws and regulations governing the exportation of goods into Kenya. It guarantees that all customs duties and other charges assessed by Customs will be properly paid and that all trade procedures will be followed as set by laws of Kenya.

importImport Declaration Form (IDF)

When exporting goods to Kenya, IDF is prepared by the clearing agent and is required for all imports entering Kenya. It contains a summary of the information contained in the supporting documentation such as the invoice, the packing list, certificate of origin, the exporter and importer’s names, addresses and related details.

Letter of Credit

A specialized instrument of international trade designed to facilitate trade between exporters and importers. Letter of Credit is issued by a bank to the exporter at the request of a buyer or importer. It guarantees payment to the seller if the terms and condition specified in the letter of credit are fulfilled.

Export Manifest:

A detailed list of cargo being carried on board by a carrier such as aircraft or ship, showing the quantity, identifying marks, consignor and consignee of each item. A packaging list that should accompany goods exported to Kenya shows detailed information like weight, measurements, etc. They're two separate documents.

Pre-Shipment Inspection

Goods being exported to Kenya must be inspected before they leave the country of origin. Pre-shipment inspection determines the quality, quantity, value, duties and taxes applicable. A report or certificate is issued which should accompany the import clearance documents. Inspected before shipment or not, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has to inspect, certify and allow goods being imported to enter Kenya.

Bill of Lading or Airway Bill

Bill of Lading or Airway Bill  evidences a contract of carriage of goods between a shipper and a carrier of goods being shipped into Kenya (ship or airline). The supplier will send the document to you after s/he has passed the goods onto the carrier for shipping and they have acknowledged receipt.

Top Imports into Kenya

The following is a list of top 10 hottest products to export to Kenya

  • Crude petroleum
  • Petroleum products
  • Industrial & Construction machinery
  • Road motor vehicles
  • Iron and steel
  • Plastics in primary and non-primary forms
  • Medicinal and pharmaceutical products
  • Chemical fertilizers
  • Animal/vegetable fats and oils
  • Unmilled wheat




Published :

December 29, 2014

21 comments on “How to Export or Import to Kenya: Moving & Shipping Goods Explained”

  1. Hi.
    How are you.
    Sir i want to export a gold from kenya to dubai,so what is the process & what is the custome duty & tax ???

  2. What about a consignment of wood curvings to Netherlands by air. Any export duty, air freight etc. Urgently need the feedback please

  3. Hello guys,
    I want to start shipping dry fish from monbasa to Togo. can you send me the quotation.

  4. i would like to export ferrous material to mombassa by ship what are the different type of procedure, how is easy and simple method to export the material. withiout any hassle free shipping, and make more material to mombassa,

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