Traders are subject to paying a varying number of duties, taxes, fees and charges, depending on several factors including the nature and volume of the goods, the Customs laws in force at the time of the transaction, and the public services required to complete the necessary trade procedures.
Detailed information on specific duties, taxes, fees and charges that one will need to pay for the import or export of specific goods is provided on the Portal. Users will find this information for each procedure in the estimated cost section.
Estimated cost section on the Portal
The section displays details of each cost, and allows users to calculate with high accuracy an estimate of the procedure’s total cost; by inputting variables such as, the total value and weight of goods etc. Below is a summary and distinction between the duties, taxes, fees and charges a trader will need to pay:
1. Duties & taxes
A duty is a tax imposed by the Government on imports and exports of goods. It includes any cess, levy, imposition, tax, or surtax. The rates of Customs duties to be paid vary by product and country of origin, and is based on the characteristics of the imported goods such as; the value, HS code, weight, etc. Below is a summary of applicable duties:
- Import Duties: Depending on the item to be imported, import tax rates vary between 0%, 10% and 25% as provided by the East Africa Community Common External Tariff (CET). However, Sensitive items attract duty higher than 25%. The sensitive items are listed in the Second Schedule of the EAC Common External Tariff (CET)
- Excise Duties: Excise Duty depends on whether the imported item is excisable or not. The Excise duty rates are prescribed under the (Excise Duty Act, 2015)
A tax is a source of Government revenue imposed on goods and individuals. More specifically, import and export taxes are placed on purchased goods imported into or exported out of a country. Below is a summary of applicable taxes and levies:
- Export Levy: Some select items attract an export Levy as outlined the First Schedule of the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016
- Value Added Tax (VAT): The normal rate of VAT is 16%. However, items exempt from VAT as provided by the Value Added Tax Act, 2013 attract a rate of 0%.
- Import Declaration Fees (IDF): An import declaration fee of 2% as provided by the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016
- Railway Development Levy (RDL): Railway Development Levy of 1.5% are levied on the value of imports as provided by the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016
Tax exemption is the reduction or removal of a liability to make a compulsory payment. On importation, tax exemption is extended to the products listed here. Further, tax exemptions are extended to Persons Living With Disabilities (PWDs), which requires one to obtain an exemption certificate. Applicants will then be required to physically appear before the Domestic Taxes Department, for an interview and obtain an Acknowledgement Slip. For more information on tax exemptions for PWDs, click here.
2. Fees & charges
Fees and charges refer to costs imposed by Government Agencies for services rendered in connection with importation or exportation. In accordance with WTO rules, fees and charges for services rendered must be limited to the approximate cost of the service rendered.