Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do I need a clearing agent and cannot clear the goods myself?
Importation and exportation in Kenya is not straight forward as one may think. There are numerous procedures to follow and an error in any one procedure may lead to penalties and excessive costs. Since the introduction of online clearing procedures in 2005, only companies who hold a clearing license may access these systems. Furthermore it is a license requirement that clearing agents are trained by the KRA. While the importation or exportation procedures may seem to be simple, it is often the coordination between the various agencies, where clearing agents have established relationships to facilitate smooth clearance. It has been proven time and time again that clearing agents are the most effective and efficient way of getting importation or exportation done in Kenya.

2. What documents are required for importation?
The following documents are required for importation clearance:
Letter of authority
Bill of lading
Commercial invoice
Packing list
Certificate of Conformity (if required)
Insurance (optional)
Import Declaration Form
Fumigation certificate (if required)
Health certificate (for food items)

3. Does PFL own transport facilities?
No PFL does not own any transport facilities, but rather has a network of preferred transporters. The advantages of this arrangement is that PFL can obtain various quotes from our network in order to give the client the best price, there is always a fallback transporter available, and the transporters have established relationships with our staff and therefore coordination is a breeze.

4. There are hundreds of clearing agents out there, why PFL?
The first thing when looking to engage a clearing agent is to investigate how long they have been in the business. The longer one has been in the business the more experience and the more established relationships with various authorities they have. Secondly larger, established clearing firms may seem more attractive and reliable, but they also have higher overheads and therefore have high prices too. With PFL our prices are the most competitive in the market and we will endeavor to beat any quote. And finally with PFL you deal with the directors directly and therefore get a truly personalized service.

5. What if I do not have a complete/full set of documents?
We advise all our clients on what documents are require for different types of imports/exports in order to clear their shipment with customs. If you do not have complete/full set of documents we will advise you on the penalty charges you will face in order to get a release on your consignment from customs, KEBS and the CFS in order to reduce all extra costs which may incur due to this lack of documents.

6. What is a C11 form?
This form is handled by our shipping department. It is used to make an application to amend an error in the manifest.

7. What is the meaning of a CRO?

A CRO is short for Customs Release Order. This is issued by KRA customs after verification is done and all documents are in order. Only after a CRO is issued is when charges can be paid and consignment loaded out of the container freight station.

8. What is a Delivery Order?

A delivery order is a document issued by the shipping line to the clearing agent proving that the consignee (owner of cargo) has authorized the clearing agent to handle their cargo. A delivery order is only issued once all shipping line charges are paid and Bill of Lading surrendered. The port of Mombasa and any Container Freight Station will not allow release of the cargo without seeing a valid Delivery Order.


Welcome to Principal Forwarders Ltd. We provide the most efficient and hassle free clearing and forwarding service in the country, which is done through highly professional, qualified and experienced staff. Our office also employs the latest in technology and communications facilities to enable imports and exports to be handled professionally from documentation to release. Our facilities also enable documents to be tracked at any point in time, with expected arrival dates of the cargo and expected clearance date of the cargo being informed to the client at all times. The aim of this site is to provide you information about our reliable services and allow you to make an informed decision about engaging our services.

Clearing & Forwarding

We facilitate the clearing and forwarding of all import consignments from the port of Mombasa. This includes all containerized cargo, bulk cargo such as wheat, sugar, tea, coffee etc, we aso clear loose (LCL) cargo and project cargo for all non-profit organisations and multinational companies.

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