General Customs Information
Source Logistics Cluster
Theme Border Crossings and Customs
Countries Kenya
Document type Other
Publication date 16/05/2006

General Customs Information

The Customs working hours at the borders are from 06:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs for cargo

The Customs Entry into Kenya documents can be established at the following overland border posts:

  • Moyale, border with Ethiopia
  • Mandera, border with Somalia
  • Malaba, border with Uganda
  • Busia, border with Uganda
  • Namanga, border with Tanzania

It is advisable that all required documentation for customs clearance be ready, by the client and its appointed C&F agent, prior to departure of cargo from the point of origin.

  • Estimated average time for Customs clearance is one to two days, provided that all necessary documentation is in order.
  • The said time also includes the cargo verification time by the Customs and Police officers against the established transport / clearing documentation.

Kenya Customs. Traffic congestion resulting in clearance delays may occur at the big (in terms of volume) border posts, such as in Malaba. The time delays are estimated to be about one day. Though, most delays and congestion are related to clearing documentation that is not in order and / or to insufficient number of Customs officers at the border post of Malaba where Customs clears cargo transported by both rail and road.

Note: In general, the Customs rules are very detailed and rigidly implemented with a multiplicity of forms. Therefore, import and export delays may occur at the major and busy entry and exit points that could affect the smooth running of operations, ie. Mombasa, Malaba. The Government has already started an electronic clearing procedure that will streamline its Customs department operations so to become more user-friendly, it reduces the number of required forms and procedural stages and maximize the revenue collection. However the system is new so it is still not running at his full capacity.

Required Documentation for Import

Certificate of OriginOriginal B/L or AWBOriginal InvoiceCertificate of OriginDonation LetterPre-shipment Inspection (PSI) certificate. PSI is required in Kenya but actually under review for some commodities. Governments assert that pre-shipment inspections ensure that the price charged by the exporter reflects the true value of the goods, prevent substandard goods from entering their country, and mitigate attempts to avoid the payment of customs duties.Packing List / Cargo ManifestMinistry of Finance Duty/Tax Exemption Letter (food imports)Ministry of Foreign Affairs PRO1B Duty/Tax Exemption Form (NFI imports)Conversion into Home Use Letter (only in case that the Duty/Tax Exemption Letter is not timely received, where the cargo is temporarily cleared in transit)Customs Import Entry Form C63Form C89 issued by the Customs' Truck Monitoring Unit (TMU) - ref. cargo verification formShip's agent Delivery OrderMombasa Port Release Order (MPRO)
Food import additional required documentation: Phytosanitary Certificate
Non-Radioactivity CertificateFumigation Certificate (for food)Health CertificateQuality Certificate

Drugs import additional required documentation:

As reported, the duration of obtaining the Duty/Tax Exemption Letter from the different counterpart Ministry can take several weeks.