Frequently Asked Questions


How do Japanese car auctions work?

Almost all used car in Japan pass through an auction house at one time before they are export or re-sold in Japanese Local market. There are more than 30 auctions houses in Japan managed by various car auction companies. The main auction house companies include USS, IAUC and Tweb. Only registered used car dealers can buy and sell vehicles in the auction. The auctions are normally run in Japanese language membership is normally not open to foreign companies. Access by foreign car dealers is normally through local Japanese car dealer. The main advantage of buying direct from the auction is availability of large pool of vehicles to choose from and authenticity of vehicle information provided. Contact us if you would like to purchase car direct from the auction


How long does it take to import a car from Japan to Kenya?

The importation period of a vehicle from Japan will depend mainly on whether you are buying a vehicle available in stock ready for export or if you are buying direct from the auction or local dealers. If you are purchasing a vehicle readily available with an export agent, it should take roughly 35 to 40 days while if the vehicle is to be purchased on order, the process may take up to about 2 months depending on the vehicle you are looking for and other factors. Shipping from Japan to Mombasa normally takes 30 days but sometimes just about 2 weeks.


How much duty is payable?

Import duty is calculated following the guidelines below. Note the year of manufacture and month of first registration of a vehicle are two important parameters when computing duty.

Import duty at 25%, Excise duty at 20% and VAT at 16% are payable cumulatively and in that order.

  • Import duty is 25% of the Customs value (CIF) of the vehicle i.e. 25% of (Invoice value + Insurance + Freight charges)
  • Excise duty is 20% of (Customs Value + Import Duty)
  • VAT is 16% of (Customs Value + Import Duty + Excise Duty)

Further, an Import Declaration Fee (IDF) of 2.25% of the CIF is also charged subject to a minimum of Ksh. 5,000 payable in advance on application.


Duty Free Car imports to Kenya

We import vehicles on behalf of diplomats and expatriates working in Kenya. If you would like to import a duty free vehicle ensure that you have consulted the relevant authorities and that you are exempted from paying import duty. Duty exemption document (Pro 1 B) will be required when registering the car at the port of Mombasa.


What documents are needed when importing a vehicle from Japan?

When importing a vehicle from Japan, the following documents will be sent to you by your export agent.

  • Original Bill of Landing
  • Export certificate / Logbook
  • A translation of the export certificate
  • Vehicle Inspection certificate
  • Marine insurance
  • Commercial invoice

The importer needs to prepare the following documents

  • For Individual importers – Copy of KRA pin certificate and ID
  • For company – Copy of KRA pin certificate and Copy of Certificate of Incorporation