Import rules and regulations for Japanese used vehicles in Rwanda

Japanese vehicles are second name of reliability. The popularity of Japanese vehicles is confined not only to Japan, but to almost all countries across the world. The Japanese auto industry has built its reputation on smooth, refined, and perfectly nerve-calming cars. It is not easy to keep a car in Japan, due to strict guidelines for the road and safety of people. In Japan necessary inspection “Shaken” is done on vehicles after a regular period of time. Hence, it becomes difficult for people to keep vehicles and they are generally sold out. Many of the used cars find their way to other nations.


Located in Central/Eastern Africa, Rwanda is a popular destination for Japan used cars. The demand for used vehicles in Rwanda is increasing tremendously, which in turn is escalating the business of car importation. Many people prefer to import Japanese used vehicle as they get quality vehicle at reasonable prices. Even though vehicles are used, but still they are as good as new ones.

Importers while importing the vehicle should make sure that they are complying with the country’s import regulations in order to avoid any problems during customs clearance. Importation of left-hand drive vehicles is allowed in the country. Right-hand drive vehicles are allowed in the country only for two-weeks.

Documents required:-

  • Original certificate of Title and Registration
  • Original commercial/Purchase Invoice
  • Copy of Passport
  • Drivers License
  • Registration/ De-registration certificate of country of origin
  • International Insurance Policy (green card)
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Duties and taxes exemption certificate, if any
  • Gift certificates, if gifted to any organization eligible for duty free importation.

Taxes and Duties:-

  • Customs Duty- 25%
  • VAT-18%
  • Withholding Tax- 5%
  • Consumption Tax- (rate variable)

Vehicle Registration:-
To drive the vehicle on the roads of Rwanda, importers have to register it with the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA). Vehicle registration fees for imported vehicles depend upon their engine capacity. Below are the registration fees:

  • Engine capacity from 0 to 1,000 cc – RWF75,000
  • Engine capacity from 1,001 to 1,500 cc – RWF160,000
  • Engine capacity from 1,501 to 3,000 cc – RWF250,000
  • Engine capacity from 3,001 to 4,500 cc – RWF420,000
  • Engine capacity from 4,501 and above – RWF560,000
  • For special vehicles – RWF640,000

Once the registration fee is paid, the number plates and Yellow Card (carte jeune) are given to the vehicle’s owner.

Shipping Ports:-
The ports for vehicle shipment in Tanzania are Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Mombasa in Kenya. The most common method for vehicle shipment is RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off) shipment method. On request of customers, another method of shipment that is safer yet expensive called container shipment method is used.


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