Question 1: What basic Policies, Rules and Regulations are to be kept in mind before doing Business with Kenya/EAC?
Answer: Following are the major regulations governing imports (exports) to Kenya and East African Community.
- The National Trade Policy of Kenya-2017
- The Customs and Excise Act-Revised 2010 and Regulations thereto
- East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA)-2004
- East Africa Community-Common External Tariff (EAC-CET)-Revised -2017
- Value Added Tax Act-2013
- Excise Duty Act-2014
- Miscellaneous Fee and Levies Act-2016
- Tax Appeals Tribunal Act-2013
Question 2: What are the custom procedural requirements of your respective country?
Answer: The Customs and Border Control Department (CBCD) of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is the main wing/department responsible for collection and executing of import duties and taxes. The department administers the East African Custom Management Act (EACMA) 2004, EAC-Common External Tariff-2017 and other Revenue Acts that impose taxes or levies on imports. For customs clearance of any imported goods such as manufactured goods, machinery, agro food, perishable products or general merchandise requires the engagement of a licensed customs clearing agent. The importer or customs clearing agent is then allowed to declare the goods being imported on the customs portal known as SIMBA. Customs clearance has to be done by following the below mentioned formalities and processes:
Registration of entries is done through Electronic Declaration Form (C17B) which generates DPC pass for further processing and verification/release of goods if found in order. The above documents are required for supporting the declaration and clearance
Processing of registered entries under new customs systems (iCMS) are done automatically once payment is done without the intervention of DPC.
Verification and release of cargo is done by Customs Verification Officers at the releasing points receive the customs entries online after they are passed at the DPC. Verification of cargo is conducted as: Goods on red channel are verified 100%, Goods on yellow channel go through the cargo scanner and full document verification, Goods on green channel are given direct release, Goods released on the green channel will be subjected to Post Clearance Audit (PCA) procedure on a risk based approach.
Consignment Clearance Procedure at Mombasa Port: In accordance with the provisions of the Section 34 of the East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA)-2004, goods for importation shall be entered (declared) within twenty-one days after the commencement of discharge or in the case of vehicles, on arrival. The importer or clearing agent shall capture all the mandatory details required when declaring an import in the customs system. The port and border handling charges at Mombasa shall be cleared by the importer or agent at the earliest after arrival of the consignment to avoid unnecessary delays.
Question 3: What documents are required for importation into Kenya and accredited countries?
- Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the PVoC agent for regulated products
- An import standards mark (ISM) when applicable
- Valid Commercial Invoice from the exporting firm
- Valid Pro forma invoices from the exporting firm
- Bill of Lading (sea cargo)/Airway Bill (air cargo)
- Certificate of Origin
- Freight invoice for sea cargo
- Logbook and its translation if it is not in English (motor vehicle)
- Certificate of Roadworthiness in case of motor vehicles
- Permit/License for restricted goods
- Personal or Taxpayer Identification Number (PIN certificate)
- Exemption letter (in case goods are exempted)
- Delivery note from the shipping line
- Purchase Orders/Contracts
- Packing List
- Letter of Credit
- Certificate of verification (sample testing) is obtained from KEBS and KEPHIS for relevant goods
- Upon presentation of these documents, taxes/duties payment receipts id also presented to Port authorities
Question 4: Are there any Bilateral or Multilateral Treaty/ free trade Agreement signed between Kenya/EAC and Pakistan?
Answer: The Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) between Kenya and Pakistan was signed in 1983 which is still in force as neither Kenya nor Pakistan has terminated it as per provisions of the Agreement (Articles 12.2). BTA provides for formulation of Joint Trade Committee (JTC) on trade and investment to enhance trade relations and discussion over pending bilateral trade issues for increased and smooth relationship. Although, bilateral trade agreement still exists but has not benefited yet and most of its provisions are very general and outdated therefore, need to be revised and tailored according to the present requirements.
No meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) between the two countries has ever taken place. Moreover, Kenya and Pakistan has also established Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) in 1992. Three sessions of the JMC have been held with third and last session in 2004 at Nairobi. The following agreements (MRAs) and their finalization between PSQCA, Pakistan and KEBS, Kenya and DPP, Pakistan and KEPHIS, Kenya are pending since 2007 and 2016 respectively.
i. MoU Between Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)
ii. Bilateral Agreement between KEPHIS and DPP regarding conditions for the importation of citrus fruits and mangoes from Pakistan to Kenya.
Moreover, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) had signed an agreement for establishment of Joint Business Council (JBC) on 11 July, 1996 and another agreement for enhanced cooperation was also signed between the chambers on 11 July, 1996 but no meeting or further progress has ever taken place so far.
Question 5:What are the potential Pakistani Sectors/products for exportation into Kenya/EAC?
Answer: Market information and intelligence has revealed that the following sectors has export potential to Kenya in the near future.
- Surgical instruments
- Light Engineering and Electronics (motors, pumps, generators, fire-arms, wires and cables, electric fans, domestic appliances, insulators and cutlery etc.)
- Sports Goods
- Textile and Apparel
- Worn/used clothes and shoes
- Agro Food (rice)
- Agriculture machinery and appliances and tractors
- Services (IT, software development, marketing, designing, logistic, security, identity registration, e-passport, security solutions etc.)
- Training and capacity building
- Joint venture in blue Economy
Question 6:Who are the main competitors of Pakistani products in your country?
India, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Tanzania
Textile and apparel
China and India
China and India as well as EU
China and India
Fruits and Vegetables
South Africa, Egypt and EAC countries
USA and EU/India
European Union countries
Question 7: What are the general points to be kept in mind about Kenya while trading?
Kenyans are very disciplined, helpful and English speaking citizens. They are free from discrimination of religion, creed, colour, citizenship and friendly to foreigners/Pakistanis.
Pakistani citizens can obtain Kenyan visa on arrival as well as through online portal of Kenyan High Commission at Islamabad and submission of hardcopies of passport/required documents.
Kenyan work visa/business visa could also be obtained easily. Work permit is renewed after every two years o Foreigners can purchase land or property in Kenya/EAC countries.
Constitution allows Kenyan nationality to all foreigners and there is no bar on dual nationality.
Import is highly discouraged. Multiple Non-Tariff and Technical Barriers exists for importation.
Proof of documentation is required on transfer/withdrawal of amount above than US$ 10,000.
Bank cheque of US$ 15,000 and above are not entertained by Banks.
Outward flow of dollar is discouraged.
Credit line is not provided by Central Bank of Kenya.
Around 30,000 Kenyan citizens having Pakistani origins are settled in Kenya, involved in all sort of businesses mostly in sale/purchase of Japanese used vehicles. Around 70% are settled in port City-Mombasa.
Working method in both public and private sector is very slow. Obtaining of information and routine approvals are delayed and they are least responsive.
Among all sectors of economy, digital financial and transaction services are highly developed.
There are two International airports at Nairobi and Mombasa. There are no direct flights between Kenya and Pakistan. Generally, air fare ranges from 550-1100 US$.
Mombasa serve as the main and only port for all incoming/outgoing cargo ships for Kenya and EAC countries. The newly operated Naivasha Inland Container Depot at a distance of 520 Km from Mombasa serve as the main dry port for all cargos destined to EAC countries.
Port City-Mombasa is at 430 Km from Nairobi connected through road, rail and air flight.
Sea route shipping duration is 12-15 days between Karachi-Mombasa ports.
Kenya is the hub of tourism related to natural life and wild beasts/animals.