Butare is situated in Huye district in Southern Rwanda. It used to be the capital of the Butare Province till 2005 and was the colonial capital of Rwanda. If you have to import your vehicle here, there are systematic procedures and regulations that have to be adhered to.
Since 2010, Rwanda abides by a vehicle registration process as per the agreement with other EAC countries. The agreement aims to create similar rules for importing a vehicle in Rwanda. You qualify for duty exemption if you are a returning resident to Rwanda but it is only applicable on the personal vehicles. Other people who may get an exemption are the non-governmental organizations and diplomats.
Documents and Taxation.
As with other imports, there are many documents that have to be submitted so that the import is legal and vehicle is cleared after the various taxes are paid. You are required to submit:
- Origin Certificate.
- Title and registration.
- Invoice and a Bill of Lading.
- Passport or a visa.
- Drivers license.
- Car insurance.
If you have any questions regarding the visa categories, you should contact the Embassy of Rwanda. If you are coming from the UK or the USA, you are exempted from any visa requirements.
Taxation and import duties.
Taxes are going to be based on the price of the vehicle which is determined by the customs agent. You have to pay the customs duty tax of 24% to 25%, while the VAT is about 18% of the vehicles value. There are additional taxes namely, Consumption tax which depends on the price of the vehicle and withholding tax of 5%.
The Ro-Ro or also Roll-on/Roll-off method of shipping is the most common because it requires the least amount of money. The vehicle is driven on using its own wheels and then driven off at the destination port in Rwanda. The Ro-Ro vessels are specifically designated decks to fasten the cars on to them. As you only have to pay for the parking bay, it is cheaper.
The container car shipping is very popular for people who want to send in additional personal luggage with the car. You can drive it to the domestic US port or pay additional charges and get the shipping service to deliver it to the port. The sizes of the containers vary from 20 ft. to 40 ft. and consequently the price varies. The space that is leftover from your vehicle can be filled with other baggage which is incredibly convenient. This is why this method is slightly more expensive because more procedures have to be abided by.
Driving and using the vehicle.
There is no limit on the vehicle’s age, but you only qualify to import if the vehicle has a left-hand driving wheel. Toyota tends to be the best option when it comes to finding replacement parts or if you have to get your vehicle serviced while you are in the country. Other parts are also easy to find but they may have been ordered from abroad.
The roadways can be quite rough. There are some of them which are paved but mostly they are rugged and unpaved, so you need to be careful when driving. It’s advisable to import SUV or a four-wheel vehicle.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.