In Kenya, since 2013, there have been several revisions of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Customs Management Acts vis-à-vis application of taxes and duties on solar PV modules, balance of system components and appliances designed for use on solar PV systems. This has resulted in varying requirements for solar PV companies in the completion of import declaration forms and application of taxes and duties depending on what is being imported e.g. solar lanterns, solar lighting systems, or different solar PV balance of system components. In addition, the interpretation of the Acts by customs officers at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) regarding which solar systems qualify for exemptions has been varying.
This general lack of clarity in the importation processes, requirements and qualification for exemption has resulted in significant costs and delays for many solar PV companies. The inconsistent application of exemptions has affected product pricing and resulted in some companies gaining an unfair advantage, when they benefit from exemption while other companies don’t for identical products or systems.
The purpose of these guidelines is to provide clarity to the solar PV industry (solar PV companies and clearing and forwarding agents (C&F)) on the importation process, requirements and qualifications for exemption for all relevant solar PV products in Kenya.