Shipping from China to Kenya

Bansar has rich experience to operate the shipping goods from China to Mombasa or any other cities in Kenya, Besides the good service and competitive rates, Bansar can assist shipper to provide the COC certificate to the importer to finish the customs clearance successfully.

If you want to know any info about shipping from China to Kenya, like shipping companies from China to Kenya, how long does a ship take from China to kenya, cost of shipping container from China to Kenya etc, just contact our support team and we will be 24/7 online to support your business.

Sea Freight from China to Mombasa Kenya
Bansar can provide very competitive ocean freight to our customer, and we can get the stable space from shipping line company, especially with COSCO, CMA, besides these, many mix shipping goods loading in the container, we can do the customs clearance professionally in China.
Air Freight from China to Kenya
Different airline company provide different air freight and service, Bansar can choose the best service and competitive price to our customers based on the schedule from clients.

FCL Shipping from China to Kenya

For the normal container, Bansar can provide the best ocean freight, For OOG freight goods, Bansar also can provide very competitive shipping rates to our client.

LCL Shipping from China to Kenya

The average cost for LCL shipment is high than FCL, Bansar can provide you very competitive LCL ocean freight and lower destination charge in Mombasa port.

Additional services for shipping from China to Kenya

Pickup and Delivery
Pick up your goods in any city in China
Warehousing Distribution
We provide free warehousing for your goods.
Cargo Insurance
Cargo insurance protects your goods all the way to the Kenya
Custom Clearance
We handle all paperwork and other details for you.

Your Best Freight Forwarder from China to Kenya

  • Provide the competitive freight from any port in China to Mombasa by sea
  • 24/7 online support
  • Guide shipper how to provide the correct COC certificate
  • Provide the CO certificate
  • Container loading supervision service
  • Provide the free warehouse service
  • Pick up service in any city in China
  • Professional paper work
  • SOC cargo service, for example container house

Shipping from China to Kenya: The Ultimate Guide

If you want to know how long it will take to ship from China to Kenya, you can check below form, any city to Mombasa, actually most goods sent to Kenya often to Mombasa port.

Port of Loading

Port of Arrive

Transmit Time











Have you ever wanted to buy goods from China and ship to Kenya?

Well, this is the right guide for you.

Today, I will show you the various ways to ship from China to Kenya including the modes and companies that you can explore.

In this guide, I will also let you in on the possible costs that you may incur as well as the KRA requirements for imports to Kenya.

Well, there is a lot that I have to share.

Shipping from China to Kenya

Shipping from China to Kenya – Photo credits: Alibaba

Chapter 1: Air Shipping from China to Kenya

No doubt air freight is the fastest means of transportation in the world.

In international shipping, air freight can deliver your items from China to any part of the world in less than five working days.

To Kenya, it could even be less – say three days to get your items from China to Kenya.

This is in high contrast to ocean shipping which can take a month or even more deliver items from China.

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways

Well, it is apparent that air freight, in this case, can save you a lot of waiting time.

Now, other than speed, there are more reasons why you should choose air shipping from China to Kenya.

· Reliable Shipping Schedules

Air freight schedules are usually very reliable.

This is because it has a few reasons that can cause flight delays.

And if a delay occurs, you can be sure that your shipment will arriveon the next flight as soon as it is available.

Thus, if you compare to other means of transport, air shipping schedules are more convenient.

· Broad Reach

Air freight can send goods to any region in Kenya; be it Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, or Eldoret.

This is because service providers have set up schedules with numerous carriers to ensure that you enjoy hassle-free shipping – no matter your destination.

· Low Insurance Premiums

Although air shipping tends to be costlier than sea shipping, it offers a money saving opportunity.

You see, air transportation is comparatively shorter, as such it tends to attract low insurance premiums.

· Low Risk of Damage/Loss of Goods

Air freight tends to have a higher level of security.

The safety measures put in airports help to ensure that there is less exposure of goods to risks such as loss or damage.

This means that with air freight, you can rest easy knowing that you will receive your goods safely from China.

· No Need for Warehousing

Unless otherwise, air freight will reduce your need for storage.

Again, this is because air transport is quicker thus it reduces the time of stocking items.

In most cases, you will find that the inspection, clearance processes, and cargo handling are more efficient in air freight.

This, therefore, makes your cargo to be cleared for admission into Kenya much faster.

· Lower Packaging Costs

You don’t need to stuff your items in heavy packaging when air shipping.

This means that you will use less packaging material which will save on both time and money.

· Easy Tracking

Using internet software offered by air freight service providers today, you can monitor the progress of your shipment while in transit.

Therefore, you can have peace of mind knowing that things are running as smoothly as you expect them to.

Please note:

When shipping from China to Kenya, your air freight experience will highly depend on the service provider you use.

It also greatly depends on the airports you choose to ship your goods from and to.

You can enjoy airport to airport shipping as well as door to door services upon arrival of goods to Kenya.

You can also choose consolidation services to help improve your experience.

Working with a reliable shipping agent can help ease the worries of air shipping from China.

At BanSar, we can handle the entire shipping process from booking to delivery at your doorstep without any hassles.

So do contact us if at all you need help to air ship items from China to Kenya.

As you do that, let us find out from which airports you can ship your items toChina.

1.1. Main Airports in China

China has quite some airports.

Airports in China

Airports in China

The main ones are:

  • The Beijing capital international airport in Beijing
  • Guangzhou international airport in Guangdong, Guangzhou
  • Chengdu shuangilu international airport in Sichuan, Chengdu
  • Shanghai Pudong international airport located in Shanghai
  • Shenzhen Baoan international airport in Guangdong, Shenzhen
  • Kunming Changshui international airport in Yunnan
  • Shanghai Hongqiao international airport in Shanghai
  • Xi’an Xianyang International Airport in Shaanxi, Xi’an
  • Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport in Chongqing
  • Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, Zhejiang
  • Nanjing Lukou International Airport Jiangsu, Nanjing
  • Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport in Fujian, Xiamen
  • Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport Henan, Zhengzhou
  • Changsha Huanghua International Airport in Hunan, Changsha
  • Qingdao Liuting International Airport in Shandong, Qingdao

You should note that the airport you ship from in China is what you’ll refer to as the departure/origin/loading port.

Therefore, always strive to use the port that is nearest to your supplier to help cut on transportation costs.

The same applies to ocean shipping.

1.2. Major Airports in Kenya

In contrast to China, Kenya has very few international airports.

These are Jomo Kenyatta international airport, Kisumu international airport, and the Moi international airport.

Airports in Kenya

Airports in Kenya

Allow me to tell you a bit about these airports and the advantages of using each to ship items to Kenya.

· Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport popularly known as the JKIA international airport is the largest and main airport in Kenya.

The airport is located in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi and just about 15 km from the central business district.

It might interest you to know that the JKIA airport was founded in the year 1954 but began operations in early 1958.

The airport started out as Embakasi airport but was later renamed Jomo Kenyatta international airport (after Kenya’s first president) in 1978.

Note that this airport is centrally located and has the latest facilities and machinery for cargo handling.

Custom clearances at this airport are also quick as it is the main airport in Kenya and is located close to customs headquarters.

So you don’t have to worry about handling of your cargo or delayed clearance processes.

Plus, you don’t have to beat your head over not shipping to Nairobi.

JKIA is connected to areas within and outside Nairobi.

You can ship to JKIA and have your goods delivered to the final destination by road, or rail.

· Moi International Airport

The Moi International Airport is the 2nd largest and busiest airport in Kenya.

It is located in the coastal city of Mombasa – about 425 km southeast of the JKIA international airport.

The Kenya airport authority operates the airport,and it serves over 50 destinations across the globe.

Look, when your shipping destination is far from Mombasa, and for some reason, this is the only airport that you can ship to, don’t worry.


It is because the Moi international airport is well connected to several major transport networks.

There is the standard gauge railway that runs from Mombasa to Nairobi.

There is also a highway that runs from Mombasa through Nairobi up to the western regions of Kenya.

All of these connect to several other transport systems that allow you easy access from Mombasa.

· Eldoret International Airport

The Eldoret International Airport is also a large airport in Kenya.

The airport is located in Eldoret town in the rift valley region of Kenya.

It is under the ownership and management of the Kenya airport’s authority.

The Eldoret airport serves the town of Eldoret and its surrounding environs.

It was established in 1995, and it currently has two scheduled international cargo flights and several weekly ad hoc freighters.

· Kisumu International Airport

This is an airport in the western region of Kenya, in Kisumu city.

Like the Moi airport, Kisumu International Airportis also operated by the Kenya airports authority.

And although it doesn’t handle much of international flights, you can still ship your items from China to this airport if shipping to western, Nyanza or rift valley regions.

Please that the Kisumu international airport is not as big.

Nonetheless, it serves its purpose as a landing zone for flights to and from the regions above.

1.3. Airfreight Terminologies

For first-timers, shipping from China to Kenya tends to be a little complicated.

However, it can be made easy even in the first trial and, learn air freight terminology is a great place to start.

Here are the most common air freight terms that you might come across.

· Air Waybill (AWB)

An airway bill is an air freight document that acts as a contract of carriage between the carrier and shipper.

It includes the carrier’s conditions of carriage, i.e., procedures for claims and liability limits.

It also contains the shipper’s specific shipping requirements to the respective shipping airlines.

These instructions include the shipment specifications, shipping cost, etc. and it is non-negotiable.

· Accessorial Services/Fees

In addition to the usual shipping service, airlines provide other services like pickup and delivery, storage, demur-rage, loading and unloading, and C.O.D.

Charges for these services are never included in the basic weight rate charge and as such are billed as accessorial fees.

· Dangerous Goods

According to IATA, dangerous goods are those that can pose a significant health or safety risk to a person or any property during transport via air vessels.

To transport these goods, therefore, one must follow certain set conditions.

These conditions are put to ensure the safety of the items as well as that of the persons handling it and the environment.

Note that your respective airline will advise you if the goods you are shipping are dangerous or not.

· Duty

Duty is generally a tariff imposed by customs authorities on imports to a country.

This duty is often based on the value of the imports, its weight or a combination of weight, value and other factors


Full for “estimated time of arrival,” ETA refers to the time your cargo is expected to arrive at the destination airport.


Full for “estimated time of departure,” ETD refers to time your cargo is expected to depart from origin airport.

· ATA and ATD

Full for “actual time of arrival,” ATA refers to the actual time of cargo delivery at the destination port.

ATD, on the other hand, stands for actual time of departure which refers to the exact time your cargo departs from the origin airport.

· HS Code

This is a harmonized system code used to classify goods for customs clearance purposes.

The code is unique to each category of goods, and it is majorly used in the determination of import tariffs.

· Dimensional Weight

Also known as volumetric weight, dimensional weight is the weight that is measured by height, width, and length of cargo.

The metric unit of this weight is cubic meters “cbm3.”

· Actual Weight

The actual weight of cargo on a weighing scale.

· Chargeable Weight

The billable weight of cargo. It could be the dimensional or actual weight.

Whatever is higher between the two is what air carriers use to calculate freight rates.


This stands for International Air Transportation Association.

It is a body that establishes air freight rules, regulations, and fares.

It generally governs air freight activities carried out by airlines, governments, and shipping agents.

· IATA Approved Agent

This is an agent, forwarder, or broker who is recognized and approved by IATA.

Most IATA agents are appointees of carrier companies that authorize them to receive and prepare shipments.

They also collect charges as directed by the respective carrier.

· Customs Clearance

The accompanying procedures for the clearance of goods by customs for entry into a country

· Consolidation

A situation where goods from different shippers are brought together for shipping to the same airport.

Chapter 2: Sea Shipping from China to Kenya


Air shipping is excellent if you are in a hurry, are shipping a smaller quantity of goods or those that are of high value.

And, because of its high speed, air shipping is inherently expensive.

Thus, it is not advisable to ship a large volume of goods by air.

You can instead ship by sea if you have a large volume of goods that you need to move from China to Kenya.

Please note that with sea shipping the cost will be lower.

However, in comparison to air shipping, the delivery time will be longer.

Ocean freight

Ocean freight

You might wonder just how long?

2.1. Sea Freight Transit Times to Kenya from China

Well, it will take a while to get your items from China to Kenya.

The transit times in most cases varies from a few weeks to a month.

All this depends on the shipping company you are using and the distance from origin port to final destination.

I want you to understand something:

Transit time in international sea freightis described as the time it takes to move cargo from origin port to destination port.

In this case, this will be the time your cargo will take to move from a port in China to a port in Kenya.

This means that the total time it will take for you to get your items from a supplier in China to your final destination in Kenya could be longer.

Why long?

Because often, shipping delays emanate from the suppliers who tend to take too long to prepare shipments.

Delayed customs processes can also delay the delivery of goods.

So for instance, shipping from Guangzhou China to the port of Mombasa takes approximately 30 days.

To estimate how long it might take to receive your goods from China finally, add at least three days for shipment preparation and another two days for customs clearance.

That will make it about 35 days to finally receive your goods from China.

2.2. Suggested Shipping Companies from China to Kenya

There are numerous shipping companies that you can contact, and every single one of them has different approaches to transportation.

I will admit that in this day and age, this diversity is great, the problem, however, is that not many people understand.

It is therefore easy to get overwhelmed and confused when choosing a company to ship your goods.

To make things easier for you, here are companies that will offer you better shipping rates and services.


COSCO whose full name is China ocean shipping company ranks fourth among the top shipping companies of the world.

The company is Chinese, and it has its headquarters in the country’s capital, Beijing.

Besides ranking 4th among the world top ocean carriers, COSCO also ranks top among companies with the largest vessel fleet.



Currently, it boasts of over 1000 ships with a total capacity of 1.58 million TEUs.

Including the port of Mombasa, COSCO calls over 1000 major ports around the world.


EMC is an acronym for Evergreen Marine Corporation.

The company was founded in 1969 in Taiwan.



If shipping from China, this is a company that you would much want to consider.

It has a decent fleet size, offers excellent shipping rates, and it can transport your goods from any port of China to Kenya.


Hapag Lloyd (HPL) is a popular German shipping company that has close knitted connections with importers from China to Kenya.

Those that have had the chance to use this company often compare its services to that of industry giant MAERSK.



This can only tell you one thing; that HPL offers top class services.

You can never go wrong with HPL for your shipping needs from China to Kenya.


Those in Kenya, have you ever seen trucks from Mombasa moving containers labeled CGM to Nairobi and busier?



Well, those are containers from CMA CGM shipping company.

It is a popular French shipping company that moves cargo across 150 different countries including China to Kenya.


Hamburg SUD is a German based company founded in 1871.

The company ranks among the top 10 container shipping brands in the world.

Monte Pascoal


It is also among the top reefer shipping brands in the world.

H-SUD operates container liner and reefer services from China to the whole of Africa, Europe, and Canada, and Asia.

So if you are shipping any items that require refrigeration while shipping, H-SUD is your go-to company.


Like H-SUD, MSC is a privately owned and operated company from Italy.

The company which goes by its full name Mediterranean shipping company was founded in 1970 in Naples, Italy.



It ranks among top 5 of the world’s largest container shipping companies.

The company currently operates a fleet of over 450 vessels with a container capacity of 2.4 million TEUs.

It calls over 300 ports around the world including those in China and the port of Mombasa.

These are the companies that you can contact if you need to ship your items from China to Kenya.

If you need any help locating the right company, booking shipping space and related services, BanSar is here to help.

You can contact us anytime with details of your shipment, and we will ensure that it reaches you on time and its best form.

2.3. Shipping from China to Port of Mombasa (Kilindini Port) – Step by Step Guide

Unfortunately, unlike China, Kenya has only one seaport that you can use to ship items from China to the Port of Mombasa.

Port of Mombasa

Port of Mombasa

It is the only port in Kenya that also serves neighboring countries like Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi.

Now that’s a story for another day.

For now, allow me to take you through a step by step guide on how to ship products from China to this port.

· Step 1: Identify the Goods you wish to import from China

The first step of international shipping is always to find the goods for shipping.

You can source your items from Alibaba or directly from a factory in China.

Just ensure that the supplier you source from is reliable and trustworthy.

· Step 2: Locate a Freight Forwarder

Shipping from China to Mombasa is a process that requires the help of a knowledgeable person.

A freight forwarder, in this case, will be of great help to you.

He/she can help you find the right suppliers, help with the booking as well as handle the customs clearing processes.

So after you’ve identified a product to import, you should find an excellent forwarder to help you ship the items to Kenya.

· Step 3: Ship Items

Once you’ve made an order for goods in China, the freight forwarder will ensure that the supplier avails the goods at the loading port in China.

From here, they will inspect the goods, pack them properly and load them into a container for shipping.

Please note that when working with a freight forwarder, you won’t have to do anything.

Your only job here is to provide details of your shipment and destination.

The forwarder will then take care of everything to ensure that the goods get to the port of Mombasa as agreed.

Next will be to.

· Step 4: Begin the Customs Clearing Process

If you want your goods to be cleared entry faster, you should start the clearing process before the shipments lands in Kenya.

So during tracking, when it’s remaining one week before the ship docks at the Kilindini harbor, begin the process.

Start by applying for a bill of lading document that will prompt the shipping company to hand over the goods.

Once you have this, you will just wait until the cargo gets to Kenya to continue the clearing the process.

· Step 5: Pay Import Tariffs

Certainly, clearing processes cannot be completed before payment of duties and taxes is made.

KRA has to verify the goods that you’ve brought in, determine the dutiable charge and wait for you to pay before they can release the goods to you.

After you pay, nonetheless, the goods will be taken to a long room for further inspection and verification of tariff payment before they are released to you.

· Step 6: Collect your Items and Truck them to the Final Destination

Well, that’s it.

Once cleared for entry into Kenya, you can assume ownership of the goods and finally truck them to your final destination.

That said, have you figured out the costs part yet?

Chapter 3: Cost of Shipping Container from China to Kenya

Typically speaking, the cost of shipping is one that you cannot ignore when importing items from China to Kenya.

And this is no matter whether you are shipping by air or by sea.

The aspect of cost as I said to you earlier is one that you must factor in before everything else.

In this chapter, I will try to cover this bit in the best way I can.

So let’s get right to it.

3.1. Air Shipping to Kenya Cost

By now you know that air fright is the most expensive means of freight transportation.

Here, weight and volume are critical factors in determining the rate of shipping.

Air carriers calculate freight rates by the dimensional weight also known as volumetric weight or actual weight.



Whichever one is higher between the two weights is the chargeable weight, and it is what you’ll pay for.

So to know how much you are going to pay to ship from China to Kenya by air, here is what you need:

· Know the Dimensional Weight of the Cargo

The dimensional weight of your cargo, i.e., length, width, and height.

You can get this information from the packing list the seller provided.

Multiply the measurements, i.e., L x W x H to get the volume and then divide by 6000 to get the volumetric weight.

The above is for if the measurements are given are in cm.

If they in meters, then you will divide the volume by 0.006 to get the volumetric weight.

· What is the Actual Weight of the Cargo

You will also need the actual weight of the cargo which is the real weight of the cargo on a weighing scale.

The measurement unit for actual weight in kilograms.

For express shipping, the formula for calculation will be:

Total volume in cm3 divide by 5000

If the measurements are in meters, then it will be total volume divide by 0.005.

Here are a few scenarios that will give you a clear view of what I am trying to say.

Example 1:

You are shipping a box measuring 40 cm x 30 cm by 50 cm with an actual weight of 60 kg.

The chargeable weight calculation will be as follows:

Gross weight = 60 kg

Dimensional weight = 40 x 30 x 50

= 60,000/6000

= 10 kg

The chargeable weight, therefore, will be the gross weight of 60 kg.

Example 2:

You are shipping a box measuring 120 cm x 70 cm x 50 cm weighing 50 kg, what will be the chargeable weight?

Gross weight = 50 kg

Dimensional weight = 120 x 70 x 50

= 420,000/6000

= 70 kg

The chargeable weight, therefore, will be the dimensional weight of 70 kg.

What about sea container shipping?

Let’s find out.

3.2. Container Shipping Cost from China to Mombasa Port

When it comes to container shipping by sea, pricing is calculated per cubic meter (CPM) basis.

Therefore, how much your shipping cost will be from China to Kenya will depend on the size of your cargo.

Please note:

Apart from the carrier fees from origin port in China to the port of Mombasa, you will also have to pay other charges.

Off loading container in Mombasa

Off loading container in Mombasa

These will include the port security fees, terminal handling, customs clearance, and documentation as well as delivery fees.

These additional fees, note, you will only pay at the port of Mombasa if you are shipping FOB (free on board).

If you are shipping CIF or under other terms, then these charges will apply at both the origin port in China and the port of Mombasa.

The later will accrue to a higher shipping cost than if you are to ship FOB where the seller takes care of local charges at origin port.

So generally, shipping a container from China to Kenya might cost you something about $350-$500 per cubic meter.

If shipping LCL however, the cost calculation will be done like in air freight.

Whichever is higher between the gross weight of the shipment and the dimensional weight is what is charged.

When shipping items from China to Kenya by sea, I would advise that you discuss the options available to you with your freight forwarder.

Getting a ‘cheap sea freight’ rate from a Chinese supplier/freight forwarder doesn’t mean that it is the best shipping option for you.

So don’t assume that it is.

Discuss all the options you have with your shipping agent and agree on the best possible solution for you.

For advice on the best way to go when shipping from China, please contact BanSar.

We will advise you on this as well as answer any questions you may have about shipping goods from China to Kenya.

Let’s move on to the next chapter.

Chapter 4: Modes of Shipping from China from Kenya

There are many different modes used for shipping international freight.

The difference of each mode reflects the various requirements of importers, with different conditions applied to the shipping of different types of cargo.

Below is an overview of the different modes of shipping from China to Kenya:

· LCL Shipping from China to Kenya

LCL stands for less than container load.

It is a mode of shipping that you can use if your shipment is not enough to fill a 20” or 40” container.

LCL Shipping

LCL Shipping

Here, your cargo will be consolidated and shipped alongside that of other shippers sending to Kenya.

Once the goods arrive at the destination dock in Kenya, they will be separated and handed over to respective owners for clearance.

LCL shipping note is an economical alternative to shipping goods that can’t fill a container.

It is also quite popular among first-time shippers.

· FCL Shipping from China to Kenya

If you have a large quantity of shipment that can fit in a 20” or 40” container, then shipping FCL would be ideal.

The term FCL stands for full container load, and it is basically the opposite of LCL.

In this shipping method, the items in a single container all belong to one shipper.

This means that if you have enough items to fill a container, whether 20” or 40”, you should book FCL.

Note however that in FCL shipping, the container does not have to be fully loaded to qualify as FCL.

The term logistically means that a shipper has exclusive rights to an entire shipping container.

This means that you can book and ship FCL even if your goods aren’t enough to fill up a shipment container.

The advantage of this is that it faster and safer than LCL as there is less exposure to damage and loss of goods.

· Express Shipping from China to Kenya

Earlier on, I mentioned that there two means of transportation for international shipping.

Well, that is true.

However, air shipping has another option called express shipping.

With this option, you can ship items from China to Kenya in less than three days.

Express shipping note is handled by courier companies like FedEx, DHL, UPS, and EMS.

Express shipping

Express shipping

Although expensive, the service assures you of faster, safer and more reliable shipping.

Also, express shipping is only viable to smaller packages – at most 500 kgs.

Larger or heavier items might cost you a fortune to ship express.

· Ro-Ro Shipping to Kenya

Those shipping cars and other wheeled cargo will find Ro-RO shipping useful.

This mode of shipping allows for wheeled cargo importers to transport their items from China to Kenya safely.

In Roro shipping, cargo is wheeled directly onto the shipping vessels and safely secured under-deck.

RO RO Shipping

RO RO Shipping – Photo Courtesy: Simba Shipping

Securing the cargo underdeck is done to prevent the cargo from moving during transportation.

Movement during shipping can be dangerous as it can damage the vehicle and any others around it.

To Roro ship, your cargo has to be in working condition to make it easy to drive it in and out of the vessel.

· Reefer Shipping to Kenya

If shipping temperature sensitive items, reefer shipping is the most cost-effective way to do it.

Items like pharmaceuticals, meats, dairy products, etc. require special shipping conditions regarding temperature and humidity.

As such, booking reefer shipping will ensure that your goods are transported safely from China to Kenya.

 Reefer container

Reefer container

You might wonder how this mode works.

Well, here, carriers use refrigerated containers also known as reefer containers to ship items from origin to destination.

The items are loaded into the container and put under a specific condition that will prevent damage during transportation.

· Door to Door Shipping from China to Kenya

The door to door shipping another mode of transporting goods from China that you can explore.

This mode is exactly what its name suggests sounds.

Door to door shipping

Door to door shipping – Photo courtesy: FedEx

It is a service where your goods are picked from the supplier’s warehouse in China and delivered right at your doorstep in Kenya.

Compared to standard shipping methods of port-to-port or door-to-port, door to door shipping is pricier.

It is, however, an excellent choice for importers with busy schedules.

Choosing door to door can help save you focus on other business matters as you wait for your shipment delivery?

Chapter 5: Kenya Customs – Requirements by KRA when Importing from China

There are some requirements that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has put forth on imports into Kenya.

It is thus critical that importers understand these requirements to avoid running into problems with Kenya’s customs authorities.



With this in mind, allow me to explain what these rules and regulations are in the following categories:

· Kenyan Product Safety and Standards Regulations

As with any other country, Kenya has set certain safety and standards regulations that all imports to Kenya must meet.

The first is that imports to Kenya must undergo a pre-shipment inspection to verify their conformity.

This inspection should be done at origin country before you ship the goods to Kenya.

If you are unable to conduct this inspection before shipping, you must apply for a destination inspection.

This means that the conformity verification will be done once the goods land in Kenya

For this, you will have to pay a 15% penalty and 15% bond on the CIF value of your imports plus the cost of the inspection.

Apart from this, you need to get an Imports Standards Mark (ISM) and affix it to products you are shipping from China.

Like the conformity verification, the ISM mark should be affixed to products before shipping.

Restricted items like guns and ammunition must be accompanied by an import license to show that you are authorized to import them.

Also, when shipping any items as equity capital or as a loan purchase, you will need to ship the items before an exchange approval.



Without this, it may be difficult to get any Kenyan bank’s shipping guarantee for clearance of your imports.

Additionally, live animals, plants, and seeds are all subject to quarantine regulations in Kenya.

So keep this in mind the next time you want to bring such goods to Kenya.

About labeling, KRA has put the following regulations;

  • Any items that pose harm to human health, safety, and the environment must have an ISM mark.

The ISM mark is specific to every shipment and must be put on all items that fall into the category mentioned above.

  • Special labeling should be done for specific items like condensed milk, paints, varnishes, vegetables, fruits, and
  • Labels must indicate the weight and measure of the product imports, and this must be in metric form.
  • Labels must also indicate the manufacturing and expiry date of items
  • Labels on pharmaceutical products must show all the ingredients included in the product.

The label must also show the expiry date, warning and precautions, product registration number and the manufacturing company.

· The Documentation you Need to Ship from China to Kenya

When shipping from China to Kenya, you need to accompany your imports with certain documents for successful clearing.

For items that are restricted for imports, you will need to provide an import declaration form (IDF) and a certificate of conformity (COC).

Without these, clearing your imports for entry to Kenya may be problematic.

Therefore, ensure that you prepare and process the IDF document on time.

As for the COC certificate, make sure that your supplier in China provides it with all the right details in it.

Other documents that you will need are:

 i. An imports standards mark for sensitive products

ii. Commercial invoice

iii. Packing list

iv. Bill of lading document or airway bill

 v. Import license where applicable

Please note that for most of the paperwork, you will need to process them electronically via the Kenya customs website.

You may want to enlist the services of a professional customs broker to handle this clearance process for you.

· Kenya Import Duty and Taxes

Imports to Kenya are subject to an import tariff based on the harmonized system code of the import product category.

KRA Taxes

KRA Taxes

Additionally, the tariff that Kenya applies on imports is those set out by the East Africa community.

So generally, about duties KRA charges a 0% – 100% duty rate on imports with an average of 25%.

On taxes, KRA charges a VAT tax at 16% of the sum of the CIF value of the consignment, duty and other applicable taxes.

There are items that KRA exempts from duties and taxes.

You can find out about this from the fifth schedule exemptions of the East African customs management act.

· Restrictions on Imports to Kenya

Kenya prohibits the importation of the following items;

  • Pornographic content whether it is informed of books, cards, lithographs or engravings with obscene content.
  • False currency
  • Matches manufactured with phosphoric ingredients
  • Unauthorized articles with the Armorial Ensigns or Court of Arms of a Partner State or articles with such ensign or arms that resemble those of a partner state.
  • Distilled beverages containing essential oils or chemical products like star arise, benzoic aldehyde, salicylic esters, absinthe, and
  • Narcotic drugs
  • Hazardous Wastes
  • All soaps and cosmetic products contain mercury
  • Used tyres for Commercial light vehicles and passenger cars.
  • Counterfeit goods of all kinds
  • Agricultural and industrial chemicals like captafol, DDT, lindane, mercury compounds, Fluoroacetamide, and crocidolite,

KRA also restricts several items from importation to Kenya, among them are:

  • franking machines
  • Game traps
  • Precious metals and precious stones
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Game parts, e., Ivory, horns, skin, teeth both worked and unworked
  • GMOs
  • Non-indigenous species of fish or egg of progeny.
  • Commercial casings
  • Historical artifacts
  • Psychotropic drugs

Please note: you cannot import the prohibited items under any circumstance.

If you do, KRA will seize your cargo and may punish you.

For the restricted items, you must get authorization from the relevant authorities to be able to bring them into Kenya.


You can tell from this guide that shipping from China to Kenya is not difficult after all.

All you need is the willingness to learn and to conduct due diligence before getting into any deals.

Also, you need to partner up with a very reliable freight forwarder in China to be able to ship successfully.

In that respect, BanSar is here for you.

We will provide you with the fastest, most reliable and affordable shipping services from China to Kenya.

So contact us today to find out more about what we have to offer.

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