Documents required to export

Export documentation is required in importing countries to clear goods from Customs and effect bank payment; and the following documents are commonly used in exporting.

*Specific documents required for a particular transaction depend on the requirements of the importing country. Generally requirements are: 

  • Airway Bill
  • Bill of Lading
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Preferential Certificate of Origin
  • COMESA Certificate of Origin
  • Packing List
  • Phytosanitary Certificate
  • Ethio-Sudan PTA Certificate of Origin:
  • Quality Testing and Certification
  • Fumigation Certificate
  • Inspection Certificate
  • Consular Invoice

Engaging in an export business in Ethiopia is a potentially profitable venture; as exports from the country are  growing and the government encourages the sector. Ethiopia's main export products are agricultural commodities. These commodities, live animals and other non-value added export products are allowed only for domestic investors. However, exporters must register with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to obtain an export license.

angle-left General export procedures for exporters

Below is a summary of the general export procedures for exporters:

  1. Obtaining Export License: Exporters must be registered with Ministry of Trade and obtain an export license.
  2. Acknowledgement of receipt of the Order from Buyer: This involves the production of internal instructions by the exporter on the works, production and preparation of the goods for export order.
  3. Finalization of Export Contract (sales contract agreement): Finalize the export contract stipulating the method of payment for the export consignment, and submit a copy to the respective commercial bank by any of such methods as hand delivery, fax, telex or post. Commercial banks require six copies of letter of credit, and five copies of advance payment, cash against documents, and consignment note each.
  4. Application to Export permit: Register the export order with a commercial bank which will in turn issue the export permit for the particular consignment. All exports except coffee have to be registered with any of the commercial banks. For coffee, registration takes place at the National Bank of Ethiopia.
  5. Registration of Export Consignment: Fill in the Customs Declaration Annex form issued by the commercial bank and submit to the International/Foreign Business Department of the Bank.
  6. Application for Quality Testing and Certification: When export products are ready, make arrangements for suitable packaging and apply to the Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia for quality testing, and acquire the Export Authorization Certificate.
  7. Compliance with Rules of Origin: Fill in the certificate of origin issued by the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations or the Customs Commission in order to qualify under the preferential tariff treatments or free trade agreements.
  8. Compliance with Tariff Schemes: Fill in the special movement forms or certificates issued by the Customs Commission.
  9. Insurance of Export Cargo: Insure the export cargo and acquire the insurance certificate or policy document issued by an insurance company.
  10. Customs Declaration: To avoid costly delays, the exporter declares all facts about the export consignment, and all supporting original documents should be forwarded to the Customs Clearing Agents to enable customs formalities and authorization of the dispatch of the export goods. Accordingly, the exporter must hand over the Export Permit, the copy of the Customs Declaration Annex form, the Ethiopian Customs Declaration form, the Certificate of Origin, and the special movement forms/certificates to the clearing agents.
  11. Movement of Export Cargo: To facilitate the movement of goods, transport documents should be acquired from the respective carrier. Although the type of transport documents depends on the mode of transport, the documents should be completed and signed by the carrier or its representatives.

For further information read this guide