Are you traveling to Kenya with personal items valued at over USD 500? Be prepared for a significant tax bill. The Kenyan government imposes a Customs Duty on all goods brought into the country, regardless of whether they are new or used.

I am not joking, I recently did an article about the exploitative taxes and rot happening at Customs and since then things have escalated with Netizens openly criticizing the Kenyan Government for the measures being taken to apparently “protect the country’s economy and prevent the smuggling of goods.”

Today, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) put out a post (that has since been deleted) on X (Formerly Twitter) stating that you can only travel with personal or household items worth below $500. “Anything above the amount is subject to tax.”

This is simply mind-boggling to me, my laptop alone is worth over $1,000. That means I have to pay tax for it every time I travel back into the country. Isn’t that ludicrous? In this day and age when almost everyone who can afford to travel to and fro is using a smartphone worth more than $500, how was that amount arrived upon, and in fact who came up with it? is it cumulative or per item?

I do not know the exact amount you’ll pay, KRA says it depends on the value of your items and the rates provided by various Acts including the East African Community Customs Management Act EACCMA (2004), VAT Act (2013), Excise Act (2015), and other levies imposed by Government legislation. But from my research, customs duties can be levied at rates between 0% and 100%, with an average of 25%. However, sensitive items attract duty higher than 25%. That means traveling with your iPhone 15 Pro Max 512GB would cost you approximately $350 each time.

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While taxation is necessary for Government operations, such high rates are not only burdensome for travelers and citizens alike, they are simply not the way to go. It’s crucial for the Kenyan government to reassess its taxation policies to ensure they don’t stifle economic growth or place an undue burden on individuals.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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