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International trade can be defined as the exchange of goods and services between two countries.

An enterprise or individual should seek knowledge on the export business. They should define their business and identify the product or service they want to export and to which international market. The product or service should be market driven and meets international standards

Register a company name and obtain the Certificate of Incorporation/Certificate of Registration from the Registrar of Companies, Attorney General’s office.
  • Obtain an Export /Import Code Number from the Customs and Excise Department on the submission of copies of a above).
  • Obtain a PIN number from Kenya Revenue Authority
  • Obtain a VAT certificate from Kenya Revenue Authority
  • Obtain a Local Authority License
  • Certificate of Origin (at the time of exporting)
  • There are a number of Government Ministries and trade support organizations that provide information to potential importers and exporters. They can also link you with potential foreign trade partners. They also create awareness of trade activities that could be of interest to you, such as trade exhibitions in foreign countries, as well as local exhibitions by foreign traders and provide information on export markets and opportunities. Visiting the local Embassies of countries you are interested in doing business with is also useful. Also Kenya Missions abroad will provide information on trade related activities in their countries of operation. The internet is also a valuable source of information.

    Generally, import and export licenses are not required for majority of the products. Licences are required for some products for security, health and environmental reasons. Some products require special permits and certificates from relevant authorities before they can be imported or exported. Examples of products that require special import permits and certificates include plant materials (Plant Import Permit from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS ) and Phytosanitary Certificate issued by competent authority in exporting country); drugs and pharmaceuticals (Import permit from Pharmacy and Poisons Board). Examples of products that require export permits include horticultural products (export permit from Horticultural Crop Directorate). In order to be accorded preferential treatment in some importing countries, the exported products also need to be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin, which shows that the products originated from Kenya. The Certificate of Origin are issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.