Importers and Exporters Brace for Increased Cargo Clearance Costs in Kenya

Nairobi, October 20, 2023 – Importers and exporters in Kenya are set to face higher expenses for cargo clearance services, following the announcement by the country’s clearing and forwarding agents to implement minimum charges starting December 1, 2023. The move is expected to impact the cost of doing business for a wide range of industries, including the import and export sectors.

According to the recent announcement made by the clearing and forwarding agents, the minimum charges for cargo clearance services are as follows:

For Imports:

To clear a 20-foot container, the new minimum cost will be at least Sh15,000.
For a 40-foot container, importers will now have to budget at least Sh25,000.
Clearing a vehicle with up to 2000 cc will incur a minimum charge of Sh15,000.
Vehicles with engine capacities ranging from 2001 to 3000 cc will have a minimum clearance cost of Sh20,000.
For vehicles exceeding 3000 cc, including buses, trucks, lorries, or other specialized vehicles, the minimum charge will be Sh30,000.
For Exports:

Local exports of 20-foot containers will be subject to a minimum charge of $100, while 40-foot containers will cost a minimum of $150 for clearance.
In the case of transit exports, agents will charge $100 for 20-foot containers and $200 for 40-foot containers.
This decision by the clearing and forwarding agents has sparked discussions within the business community, with concerns raised over the potential impact on the cost of goods and services. Importers and exporters are now evaluating how these increased charges will affect their operations and profit margins.

Economists suggest that the rise in cargo clearance costs could result in higher prices for imported and exported goods, which could, in turn, lead to inflationary pressures in the Kenyan market. The timing of this announcement, just ahead of the busy holiday season, adds to the apprehension felt by businesses that rely on international trade.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and relevant government agencies have yet to comment on this development, leaving importers, exporters, and clearing and forwarding agents anxiously awaiting further guidance on the implications of these new minimum charges.

As the December 1, 2023, implementation date approaches, the Kenyan business community remains on edge, closely monitoring the situation and hoping for a resolution that balances the interests of all stakeholders involved in the import and export processes. will continue to provide updates on this significant development as more information becomes available.