How To Import Goods From China To Kenya (Sea and Air)

China To Kenya Cargo

How can I import my business goods from China to Kenya?.

Here is how you can be able to easily buy and import your goods from China to Kenya, safe and secure.

China and Kenya have been doing business for years now and the relationship between the two countries is always getting better and better.

In China, business owners can be able to deport raw materials for their business in China from Kenya and the same thing can happen to Kenyan business owners, they are also able to import their business’s goods directly from China into the country through air or sea.

Kenya and China have a B2B (Business to Business) relationship that is mostly powered by China’s giant e-commerce company and other companies such as Chna.CN and Analema.

This enables business owners and business people to communicate with each other and build up their businesses with the help of working together to better each other’s business and provide value to customers both in Kenya and China.

If you are a business owner or you recently started your business and you now want to start shipping or transporting products (Goods) from China to Kenya.

In this article, with the help of a few Kenyan businessmen, we have provided a comprehensive guide on how you can start importing products from China to Nairobi, Kenya, or any other city in Kenya, like Kisumu.

The goods you can import in Kenya from China rage from many different categories including;





Building Materials


Sanitary Wares


Plumbing fittings

Electrical fittings


Mobile Phones, the list is endless, among other important items that can be imported in Kenya.

With that said, below is how to import goods from China to Kenya for your business.

Here is what you need to know before you can successfully import goods from China to Kenya.

China To Kenya Goods Importation Requirements:

  • A Registered Business

To import goods for your business from China to Kenya, you will first need to make sure that your business is registered in Kenya.

The process of registering your business in Kenya involves, registering your trademark and business name.

The process can easily be done online and it costs around Ksh. 1,000 for a sole proprietorship businesses, and this whole process takes nothing more than a month to be completely done.

Documents Required include;

  • Import license
  • Certificate of origin
  • Bill of lading/airway bill
  • Commercial invoice
  • Inspection certificate
  • ISM (imports standard mark) certificate
  • Packing list
  • A Safe Warehouse (Store)

This is not necessary a requirement but it is a good thing to put in mind way before exporting your products.

Also Read:  Top 20 Best Artists In Tanzania [Ranked] 2023

You want to keep your imported goods in a safe place where it’s easy to access from your Business’s location to make your business run smoothly.

  • Attract Customers

Again this is not necessarily a requirement but what’s the point of importing bulk goods all the way from China just for them to end up as dead stock.

So it is highly recommended to have a reliable number of customers that you are sure they are in demand of the goods that you are about to import.

The aim is to always import after your first successful importation, you want customers to buy the goods imported asap, so you can order and import other goods and so on.

With that said, here is how to start importing your business cargo in Kenya straight from China.

Importing Cargo From China To Kenya Step by Step Guide:

Follow the easy steps provided below to import goods in Kenya all the way from China;

1. Choose A Good Supplier

The first step is to find a reliable supplier to work with and start your cargo importation process in Kenya.

There is a number of Good suppliers in Kenya and China, but if you are looking for the best, below are some of the best and most recommended places to find the best China to Kenya Suppliers.

Alibaba – Alibaba is currently the largest B2B online company and a good place to find China to Kenya suppliers.

AliExpress – AliExpress is highly recommended especially for small businesses who want to work with small scale exporters

Chna.CN – This is a leading business to business (B2B) company in China and a great place to find good suppliers

Analema – Analema is among the most recommended B2B company especially for Kenyan business owners who want to import goods to Kenya from Asian countries.

2. Determine The Cost Of Importing Your Cargo

On Money Matters, you should determine the exact amount of money you are going to spend on the entire process of importing your goods from China and the price of the goods from the manufacturer in China.

Determining your entire cost will help you figure out how much you can make as your profit.

Because at the end of the day, the aim of your business is to make profits after of course satisfying your customers.

After doing your calculations and finding a good supplier that meets your budget, it’s time for you to place your order and get your goods delivered to Kenya.

Also Read:  Top 6 International Money Transfer Platforms in Kenya | How To Send Money Abroad From Kenya

TIP: If this is your first time importing goods from China, request for a sample, from your supplier, of the items you are importing to make sure that they are legit, high quality and meets your Business’s standards.

Samples are usually free of charge but freight charges of around Ksh. 4,500 may apply.

Do NOT trust suppliers who can’t give out samples. They might be a scam.

3. Work With A Reliable Clearing Agent

You should get a reliable agent in Kenya to work with on your cargo importations.

A good agent will do a great job at clearing the cargo once it arrives in Kenya.

Your agent’s work will be to process all the necessary documents through the Kenyan Custom, once your goods finally touch the land of Kenya.

The agent will then clear your imported goods on your behalf and complete the documentation process electronically.

Here are the important documents you need for the process to go through successfully.

A Commercial Invoice – This is the receipt that indicates all the payment information such as the cost of the imported goods, freight charges, and the insurance costs.

An Import Declaration Form – This form contains information about quality of the goods imported, the value, the quantity of the imported goods and the classification of your cargo, the form is issued by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

A Certificate Of Conformity – This certification indicates that the goods that you have imported for your business are legal and accepted in Kenya. This is the conformity inspection of your imported goods.

An Exemption Letter – This is basically a letter you will receive as a confirmation of goods exempt from taxation in Kenya

4. Choose A Good and Organized Loading Port

As a business goods importer, you should determine the best port of loading your goods to ensure your cargo is delivered in Kenya close to effortlessly.

Choose a loading port for your cargo that your supplier is able to drop off the cargo easily, that’s if your cargo is transported by Sea.

China popular ports include, Tianjin Port, The Ports of Guangzhou, Qingdao, Dalian Port, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Ningbo Port.

Your supplier might as well drop off your cargo at a transport agent’s office and the courier agent will deliver you cargo in Kenya.

Some of the top transport agents are DHL, EMS and Salihiya Cargo.

They will swiftly deliver your goods to Kenya after agreeing on the price of the transportation from China to Kenya.

Also Read:  List Of Best Business Courses To Study In Uganda 2022

If you are wondering which are the best shipping companies from China to Kenya?

Here are some of the best and high quality services are a guaranteed:

  • China ocean shipping company (COSCO)
  • EMC(evergreen marine corporation)
  • Hapag Lloyd
  • CMA
  • MSC

5. Order Your Goods From Your China Supplier

Once everything is ready, it’s time to make your order from your supplier.

You can now go ahead and make the order of your business goods after determining the cost and the process/stages it will go through to get to Kenya.

You can always ask or follow up with the cargo delivery company you work with to know when you should expect your goods to arrive in the country.

On average you can expect your cargo to arrive in Kenya from China in about 30 days if your cargo is shipped by Sea, to arrive in Mombasa Port, (The Port Of Mombasa).

On the other hand, if you are importing your goods by air, you can expect the cargo to touch down in Kenya in not more than 4 days depending on the company you work with.

TIP: If this is your first time ordering products from China, avoid ordering a ton of goods, just order a decent amount of stock, before buying a lot of goods at once.

6. The Collecting Of Your Cargo

Once your cargo has arrived in Kenya, it’s time to go collect your cargo and start making sales.

Depending on how your cargo was shipped from China to Kenya, for instance, if your cargo was shipped by sea, there is only one place to go and collect your cargo from and that will be the port of Mombasa.

But if you transported your goods by air, you can simply choose the nearest airport to you, your warehouse or near your business location, and collect your cargo from the airport.

Your agent will ensure that the cargo is cleared and be ready to be collected by you.

You can now collect and transport your goods to your business or warehouse after paying for the custom duties and the inspection charges for imported goods in Kenya.

You can now repeat the whole process again when you are ready to ship another cargo, but this time, it will be way easier and simple because you have probably known what works and what doesn’t.

That’s how Businesses In Kenya can be able to import goods and items for their Businesses from China into Kenya by air or by sea.

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

You may also like...