08-03-2023 by Freddie del Curatolo
For those preparing to travel to Kenya, a review of the international rules for importing items, objects, products and personal effects in suitcases from abroad into the African country is useful, if not necessary. To give you exact information we refer, in addition to our direct sources, to the communiqués sent by the Kenyan government to the International Air Transport Association.
To adhere to the most stringent and effective screening methods in airport customs, Kenya has implemented the use of modern scanners that screen luggage with the same search definition as those in Western international airports and state-of-the-art destinations.
BACCHUS AND TOBACCO
What used to be possible to manage to stow and conceal and make it through customs unscathed is now at risk of being checked and seized, especially if alcohol and tobacco are involved.
In fact, remember that the maximum allowed for cigarettes is 200 pieces (10 packs) or 50 cigars. For alcohol, on the other hand, no more than one bottle of hard liquor over 13 degrees can be brought in the suitcase. In the case of wine bottles, although many official sources report only one, one per suitcase is usually accepted, as are perfume bottles. Among the reported bans, interestingly, in addition to fruit and plants (which must obtain special permission) are meat and poultry sausages. One expedient for those who want to bring more than one alcoholic beverage or bottle of wine is to add one purchased at the Duty Free Shop to those in the suitcase and brought in the special bag, still sealed, as carry-on luggage.
PURCHASED FOODS AND PRODUCTS
Also remember that any new product with a receipt or packaged by the company selling it may be subject to taxation. This can also apply to vacuum-packed jars and other packaging, especially if they are products that can also be found in Kenya.
Even products packaged personally in a homemade way could be subjected to the same treatment, as the plastic in the packages must bear a mark to not be considered outlawed, so it is better to use trays or not wrap them in plastic.
As for medicines, if there are multiple packages, you must carry the prescription that authorized their purchase, translated into English. (Example: more than one package of psychotropic drugs, or bag of various medicines that you intend to donate to non-profit organizations or directly to health facilities.) For every donation, from clothes to useful items, in the case of new material it always pays to have receipts with you and possibly a letter from the association that is going to receive them. By law, the authorities are not required to take your word for it if you claim that, for example, a lot of baby clothes are for a school that you help in a personal capacity. The charge that can be brought against you is that you brought them to sell them, so in the case of used items whose provenance and receipts you cannot provide, the risk is that you will pay a surcharge and (as is often the case) be subject to extortion attempts.
Also remember that plastic bags without brands and labels of the company that produces or distributes the products are banned: Kenya has banned their use on national soil since 2019.
You risk seizure and police arrest for: toy guns and weapons (of the real ones, even if regularly reported in Italy, it is useless to talk), spear guns and spear guns, ivory objects and fetishes or ornaments made from animals that also live in Kenya, sex toys (as well as pornographic magazines or videos).
Almost impossible to legally bring your own drone into Kenya, we refer you to reading this article.
In any case, more caution is recommended at entry and an awareness that not every officer who cares to enforce rules that do exist is doing so to try to pocket a bribe from you. Kenya's law, moreover, in cases of cash demands or attempts at "adjustment," punishes both the bribe-giver and the bribe-giver. So don't ever be the first to propose such deals (and possibly reject them when immigration officials or airport authorities are the ones proposing them as the only way out). In international arrivals, if you look closely, telephone numbers of the anti-corruption bureau or enforcement personnel are posted somewhere.
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