Car Import Procedure In Rwanda

Car Import Procedure In Rwanda

You want to import a vehicle or vehicles to Rwanda and do not know where to start? Want to know the car import process? Wondering how the vehicles are unconfined to the importer from the Rwanda customs? Etc. Below is more information on importing vehicles and customs clearance in Rwanda;

Rwanda is a landlocked country so this means that it has no ports. The imported cars have to pass through the Dar-es-salaam port in order to reach Rwanda. As a result, vehicles to go through borders to Rwanda there is no unusual or special documentation needed. Therefore, the office in charge of customs services at Rwanda Revenue Authority prioritizes the taxes and duties of book keeping and maintaining the entry and exit of goods.  Nearly all the ports in all countries have the same import customs strategy for goods to reach the importer.


When importing vehicles, they are shipped from whatever country they were bought. They arrive at the port of Dar-es-salaam, where the customs inspectors check whether the goods have been cleared and then can be sent to their destinations.

The first step when importing a car is deciding on what car you would like to buy. There are two ways in which one can get the car or vehicle they want in Rwanda. Firstly, contact dealerships in Rwanda and they can assist in getting the car. Similarly, the second technique is to use the internet to buy, you can simply order directly online and process it. It’s important to note that right hand drive vehicles are not allowed in Rwanda. This is because they can be in the country for two weeks only and this has been written in the vehicle importation rules (2009) in Rwanda. When importing a car, a left handed drive car would be more appropriate in Rwanda.

When you have the vehicle you want, it then comes through the Indian Ocean. The cars arrive at either the Mombasa or Dar-es-salaam port from the country straight to a shipping company. Custom clearance is then processed once they are at the port.

Once the vehicles have been confirmed to be paid and cleared by customs, they are taken from the Dar-es-salaam or Mombasa port to Rwanda. They are brought by driving them. The trip from Mombasa to Rwanda is around 4 days going through Uganda and 2 days from Tanzania. It usually costs around 400- 1000 USD for the drivers to bring the car to Rwanda.

When the vehicle has reached its destination. You check the car and ensure it is in a good condition. You can do this by doing a test drive and hiring a mechanic to check it well.

If you like the car and everything is good, you then go into the registration process. At first, you go to is the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA). Secondly, at RRA you get an insurance from a local insurance company. You register before using the car because a non-registered car won’t be allowed to move around.


The taxes to be paid before registration;

  • Value added tax 18%
  • Customs duty 25%
  • Withholding tax 5%
  • Consumption tax (variable)

Below are the registration fees of the vehicles. These prices are calculated depending on the engine power. After paying these fees, you will be given a yellow card and number plate.

0 – 1,000 RWF 75,000 RWF
1,001 – 1,500 RWF 160,000 RWF
1,501 – 3,000 RWF 250,000 RWF
3,001 – 4,500 RWF 420,000 RWF
4,501 – above 560,000 RWF
Special vehicles 640,000 RWF


Aluminium Insurance and Third party are the two major types of vehicle insurance in Rwanda. Aluminium insurance is 372,441 RWF and Third party insurance is 55,316 RWF per year. The insurance can change over time and can be paid in instalments. These services are provided by the local insurance companies eg. COGEAR, SORAS, CORAR, SONARWA etc.


  • Copy of your passport
  • Original commercial invoice
  • Your driver’s licence
  • Original title and registration
  • Country origin certificate
  • Original purchase invoice
  • Bill of lading
  • Insurance policy(international)

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  1. Joseph MUYOBOKE says:

    Need to import an elecric car from china