Car relief for diaspora Kenyans returning home from left-hand-drive countries

carshipKenyans returning home from left-hand-drive countries will be allowed to import a similar right hand drive car duty free.

This is in line with the recently introduced rules to help those coming back for good to settle easily.

In guidelines issued by the government Wednesday, the returnees will have to prove ownership of the LHD vehicle for at least a year before returning to Kenya.

Those seeking to enjoy the duty waiver will also be required to confirm having disposed of their LHD vehicles and that they area returning to Kenya permanently and not for a short visit.

Less than eight years

“The replacement vehicle must be of a similar category with the previously owned left-hand vehicle with regard to make, engine rating and year of manufacture. It must be less than eight years old,” the guidelines read.


The government has ruled out the replacement of cars or buses with a 13-passenger capacity or load carrying vehicles able to lift over two tonnes.

In September last year, during a visit to the United States, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that Kenyans living abroad would be allowed to bring in right-hand-drive models duty-free from November last year.

He spoke at a meeting with Kenyans living in New York.

The President had also warned that the government would be vigilant against those who would seek to exploit the system.

Guidelines for Importation of Duty Free Vehicles by Kenyans Returning from Countries that Operate Left Hand Drive Vehicles

The National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) have developedguidelines to implement the directive.
The guidelineshere below will be administered by the Kenya Revenue Authority and all applications to utilize the facility should therefore be made to the Commissioner of Customs Services.

The Kenya Revenue Authority
Times Tower Haile Selassie Avenue
P.O.Box 48240-00100 GPO Nairobi
Tel:+251 (0)20 281 7800 (hotline)
+254 (0) 20 34 33 42
Fax 341342

In accordance with Section 247(b) of the East African Community Customs management Act, 2004, the Commissioner of Customs Services shall allow residents returning from countries operating left hand drive motor vehicles, to import a duty free hand drive replacement vehicle from any other source subject to the following conditions:

  1. The person must be bona fide changing residence (permanently) from a place outside Kenya and not merely making a short visit back home.
  2. The returning resident must prove ownership and use of the previously owned left hand vehicle in the country of former residence for a period of at least one year, prior to his/her return.
  3. The returning resident mist provide proof of disposal (transfer of ownership) of the previously owned left had drive vehicle before changing residence from the former country of residence.
  4. The replacementvehicle must be of similar category with the previously owned left had vehicle with regard to make, engine rating and year of manufacture.
  5. Both the previously owned left hand vehicle and the right handreplacementvehicle must not be any of the following categories:
    a) Bus of minibus of a seating capacity of more than 13 passengers.
    b) Load carrying vehicle of load carrying capacity exceeding two tones.
  6. The replacement vehicle must comply with KEBS requirements of Legal Notice No. 78 of 15th July 2005 and SK1515.2000 Kenya Standard Code of Practice for inspection of Road Vehicles. In particular, the replacementvehicle:
    a) must be less than 8 years old from the year of first registration
    b) will be subject to roadworthiness inspection by KEBS’s appointed inspection agent in the country of export.

These guidelines shall only apply to residents returning from countries that operate left hand vehicles who had previously owned and used a left hand motor vehicle in the country of former residence.




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