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 Packing for export from Ethiopia


The following guideline goes over the main points on packing export goods from Ethiopia:

Exporters should be aware of the demands that international shipping puts on packaged goods. Buyers are often familiar with the port systems overseas, so they will often specify packaging requirements. If the buyer does not specify this, ensure the goods are prepared using these guidelines:

  • Goods should be palletized and when possible containerized
  • Packages and packing filler should be made of moisture resistant material
  • Observe any product specific materials packing requirements
  • Pack in strong containers, adequately sealed and filled when possible and
  • To provide proper bracing in the container, regardless of size, make sure the weight is evenly distributed.

Marking and Labeling

Exporters should also be acquainted with a specific marking and labeling which has to be used on export shipping cartons and containers. Thus, Ethiopian exporters need to put the following markings on cartons to be shipped:

  • Goods description,
  • Shipper’s mark,
  • Country of origin,
  • Weight marking (in kilograms),
  • Number of packages and size of cases,
  •  Handling marks,
  • Cautionary markings, such as “This Side Up” or “Use No Hooks” (in English and in the language of the country of destination),
  • Port of entry,
  • Labels for hazardous materials (universal symbols adapted by the International Air Transport Association and the International Maritime Organization)