Before rushing to import your first batch of products below are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Identify what to import.Have a clear understanding of what you are going to be doing before going into it. Find products which can attract demand locally.Examples sanitary wares, plumbing fittings, electrical fittings, tiles, electronics and cheap jewelry. Consult the customs office to make sure the products you are planning to import are acceptable under Kenyan laws.have an active KRA pin. This will help during the custom clearance process.
  • Find goods suppliers.Sites like or have a large database of Chinese Manufacturers. You will find various suppliers with different product categories.Its advisable to double check on credentials of your chosen supplier just to make sure you are getting the right deal. To avoid scams or  poor quality products are supplied take the following precautions:ask for a sample to be shipped for you and you pay for freight charges or ask a Kenyan residing in China to go confirm
  • Determine how much you want to spend.Importing has many charges except paying the suppliers others include; freight, clearing, duty fee, inspection fee among other charges.Simplest formula is multiply amount payable to supplier by 1.6.
  • Identify the port of loading.China has many outlets, including Guangzhou, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Ningbo and Dalian among others. In each port city you will find courier companies which can deliver to Kenya and help you clear with the customs offices. Examples being: Salihiya Cargo, DHL,EMS.Once you have identified your port and potential courier company , direct your supplier to drop your goods at your agent’s office in the nearest port city. From that point, you can negotiate with the courier agent on terms of delivery. 
  • Collect your goods at the port.If you pay for your goods to be delivered by air, you  have to collect them from  nearest international airport,if you chose delivery by sea, then you have to collect from the port of Mombasa.You will be required to pay custom duties and inspection charges.
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