Regulations for trade in goods

Required documentation

Export Bill of lading Certificate of origin (if applicable) Certificate of conformity (if applicable) Commercial invoice Customs export declaration Export bank permit
Export license (if applicable) Fumigation certificate (if applicable) Packing list Phytosanitary certificate (if applicable) SOLAS certificate (if applicable)
Import Agency agreement (if applicable) Bank permit Bill of lading Certificate of inspection (if applicable) Certificate of origin Commercial invoice
Import declaration Import license (if applicable) Insurance certificate Packing list SOLAS certificate (if applicable) Transit document (if applicable)

Source: Trading across Borders-Ethiopia (World Bank)

Customs procedure for inward processing

The Export Trade Duty Incentive Schemes governs the temporary importation of goods for manufacturing or processing and the exportation of compensating products.

Costs to be included in the customs value of imported goods

In addition to the price actually paid or payable (PAPP), the following costs must be added (except if they are already included in the PAPP)

Commission and brokerage charges incurred by the buyer (except buying commission) Cost of packages Cost of packing
Transport, loading, unloading, handling and insurance costs If goods are transported by air, one-third of cost paid for air transport Royalties for intellectual property rights and license fees
The value of any part of the proceeds of any subsequent resale, disposal or use of the goods that accrues directly or indirectly to the seller

Source: Article 90 of the Customs Proclamation No 859/2014, Part Three Customs Procedure.

Value must be expressed in Birr using the official exchange rate of the National Bank of Ethiopia on the day of customs declaration.

Main procedures to export

Step Procedure Average cost (USD per ton)
1 Obtain L/C advice 0
2 Obtain bank permit [10;25]
3 Clean products & obtain cleaning certificates [10;15]
4 Obtain fumigation certificate (if needed) 0.25
5 Obtain quality certificates (if needed) 1
6 Obtain phytosanitary certificate (if needed) [5;10]
8 Declare customs online 1.75
9 Obtain customs clearance 0
10 Obtain certificate of origin 0

Adapted from “Business Process Analysis-Export of pulses and spices from Ethiopia”, International Trade Centre.

Regulations for trade in services

Individuals and entities that are intending to invest in the service sector have to contact EIC or the Ministry in charge of the specific service they want to provide to the public and enquire about the needed requirements for their future business. With the future implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area , it is expected that service sector in Ethiopia will be fully liberalize in the coming years.

Currently, services considered strategic by the Government of Ethiopia (GoE), such as the telecom, utility, and the sea transport sectors are allowed to operate as public monopolies or through limited domestic private ownership, as in the case of the financial and air transport sector. Other services sectors, such as professional services or health services have not been considered a strategic priority hence limited reforms. Most of traditional services, such as distribution services, operate in a regulated environment.

Foreign exchange regulation

In Ethiopia, foreign exchange transactions have to be approved by the Central Bank, i.e. the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). Foreigners that are not resident in Ethiopia can hold a foreign currency account.

Repatriation of capital, dividends and salaries is free of regulation.