How to import a car from Japan to Kenya safely, clearance and related issues

If you are looking to import a car from Japan to Kenya, there is a high chance you will be conned if you do not know what you are doing. Owning a car is refreshing and exciting because of the convenience it provides. Many people in Kenya are torn between importing a used car or buying one locally, particularly if it is their first car. There are various advantages of both as well as disadvantages.

READ MORE: To import or to buy a car locally? Disadvantages and advantages of both decisions.

This article walks one through how to import a car safely and having it delivered to your house.

  1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CAR DEALER

Where do you go to buy your car? If you have a friend in Japan who can search, authenticate and ship the car to you, then you have already taken care of the largest headache people face when importing cars.

Many people have lost hundreds of thousands and millions of shillings through fake and fraudulent companies. It is highly recommended that you get a good, reputable car dealer to choose your car from. There are several companies that have a good name in this business and one that you can transact without any worries or fear. The following companies are the ones we recommend if you decide to buy your car online.

It is advisable that you visit the company’s offices before you make any form of payment, just to be sure. The contacts can also assist you a lot in identifying the car and the process of importing it. You can also read online reviews to see what other customers think of the company.

COMPANY:SBT JAPANBEFORWARDTRADECARVIEW
SBTBEFORWARD
WEBSITE:https://www.sbtjapan.com/ https://www.beforward.jp/https://www.tradecarview.com/
EMAIL:nairobikenya@sbtjapan.comsales@transfreight.co.ke-
CONTACTS:Nairobi:
+254 739 231 310 (Whatsapp and calls)
+254 708 231 311
+254 709 915 000
Mombasa:
+254-723-382-525,
+254-792-403-575
+254 731 401 456
+254 722 795 228
+254 722 746 866
0725 640 244
0789 337 135
LOCAL OFFICES:Mombasa:
IMAARA BUILDING 2nd Floor.
Dedan Kimathi Ave,Kizingo(Opp Pandya Hospital)
MOMBASA KENYA
Nairobi:
PARKLANDS ROAD, PARK SUITES Bld. 3rd Floor Suite N.12 OPP. Parklands POSTA Nairobi- Kenya
Mombasa:
Transfreight Logistics LTD
Consolbase Building 2nd Floor,
Refinery Road, Changamwe,
P.O. Box 80038-80100,
Mombasa, Kenya
Nairobi:
Transfreight Logistics LTD
Tulip House, Mombasa Road,
P.O. Box 6010-00200,
Nairobi, Kenya
International House, 3rd Floor
Mama Ngina Street
P.O Box 2113-00606 Nairobi, Kenya
  1. MAKE SURE THE CAR IS 8 YEARS OLD AND BELOW

You cannot import a car that is over 8 years old in Kenya. For instance, being in 2017, you would need to import a car that was manufactured in 2010 onwards. This is very important.

Additionally, also make sure that the car you import was registered in the ‘right’ months of the year. For instance, importing a 2010 car, registered in between Jan- August will attract a lower duty compared to a similar car registered in 2010 between September and December.

  1. PAY FOR CIF IN JAPAN

CIF stands for Cost, Insurance and Freight. It implies that the cost quoted on the car is for the cost of the car and the cost of transportation to the port of client (In this case Mombasa). Also, ensure that the car has been checked and passed whilst in Japan. Naturally, the car will have been inspected and given a quality checking, JEIVIC ,QISJ.

Read More: Tips on how to import good quality car cheaply and safely from Japan

  1. CLEARANCE AT THE PORT AND PAYMENT OF DUTY.

When your beloved car reaches Mombasa port (It takes about 30 days), you will need to clear the car before you can drive away into the sunset. Different cars are charged different duty. To know the amount you would need to pay as duty for your car, find out how much duty you need to pay freely. To get through the hustles of clearing the car at the port, engage the services of a good clearing and forwarding agents. This will save you some money and a lot of headache. The agent can take care of everything, including procurement of license plates for your vehicle. You will need the following documents to clear the car at the port:

  1. B/L
  2. Inspection Certificate
  3. Final Invoice
  4. KRA Pin Code
  5. IDF Form

Duty calculator at calculator.co.ke

5.        DRIVE YOUR CAR OR REQUEST A DRIVER

If you live far from Mombasa, or for some reason you are not able to drive your own car home from the port, you can always enlist the help of your clearance agents. The above car dealers also offer this service at a cost.

Example of how this process works in Screenshots using SBT Japan as an example.

Go to sbtjapan.com website and create an account. Then log into the account. You will see the variety of cars the company has in their stock.

Assuming you want to look for a TOYOTA COROLLA AXIO, click on TOYOTA and then filter down.

Select the car you wish to buy and click on it.

Enter your details.

NOTE: You can negotiate when buying a car. It is highly advisable as it will save you some money. Saving a little coin when you can is always an admirable thing.

Once you are done, a representative will call you to direct you on the process of payment. Then they will notify you after the transaction is complete and when the car gets onto the ship. What remains is to sit back, track your car as it gets shipped from Japan to Mombasa and when it arrives, clear and drive home.

Enjoy your car!

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