While there are number of online sources for information on importing a used vehicle from Japan to the D.R. Congo, what is often difficult to find are the rates that you should be prepared to pay during the import process. We compiled as much information that we could find to help you get a better picture of what you can expect.
Used vehicle import taxes and duties for the D.R. Congo
First, it is important to know that the import fees can vary significantly depending on what kind of vehicle you are importing. The value added tax (VAT) ranges between 8–13 percent, and the import duty has a much broader range of 8–46 percent, depending on the size of the engine.
You will also have to pay port clearing agent fees before the vehicle can leave the port of destination. When applying the VAT, the D.R. Congo uses the tariffs as set by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
There are three main shipping points for the D.R. Congo.
● Port of Mombasa in Kenya: Currently offers the lowest freight fees.
● Port of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania: Currently offers moderate freight fees. You may have to face the extra cost of ferrying the vehicle to the D.R. Congo on a road carrier.
● Port of Matadi in the DR Congo: Currently offers the most expensive freight fees as they include the container shipment costs.
It is also good to know that you may need to pay an import declaration fee (IDF) prior to clearance alongside other used vehicle import taxes and duties. In Mombasa, this fee is either 2.25% (of the total value of the vehicle), or 5000 Kenya shillings (about $60 USD), whichever is higher.
How to save money when importing a vehicle to the D.R. Congo
There is no way to cut the costs from taxes and duties—what the government requires must be paid. However, you may offset these fees by choosing a cheaper method of shipping, which will most likely be included in the initial cost of buying the used vehicle in Japan. It is possible to request that your vehicle be shipped roll-on/roll-off (RORO). This method does not include a shipping container, which means that the vehicle runs the risk of damage or theft. As such, it is recommended to use this shipping method only when importing a non-luxury vehicle that can afford to arrive with a few additional scratches or possibly a stolen radio. If, however, you would like to add personal effects and protect your vehicle, no matter its value, than this in not a good option.
Other considerations when importing a Japanese vehicle
The D.R. Congo requires that all imported vehicles be left-hand drive equipped. While most vehicles being exported from Japan are designed this way, make sure to verify that your vehicle meets this requirement before purchasing.
Also, while there is no roadworthiness inspection required for used vehicles in the D.R. Congo, because Japanese imports have JEVIC certification, some restrictions apply based on the imported vehicle’s year of manufacture. For example, cars, minibuses, and trucks must not exceed ten years from their first date of registration. For commercial vehicles and buses with more than ten seats, they must not be older than seven years from their first date of registration.
* Please note that this information is subject to change, and is current as of the date of this article’s posting.