Quick info guide

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

Exporting from Ethiopia

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 Registering and obtaining an export license

Registering and obtaining an export license


In Ethiopia, one can register to export all types of goods allowed as far as that good is not prohibited or restricted by an administrative decision. An exporter is only required to have a business license or investment permit to export goods. A businessperson should have a business license or investment permit to engage in export trade.

  • The documents required for the issuance of an export license are:
    1. An application,
    2. The commercial registration certificate,
    3. A passport size photograph,
    4. An investment permit and residence permit if it is a foreign-owned investment,
    5. A memorandum and articles of association or contract of partnership,
    6. A certificate of professional competence in testimony of the fulfillment of the requirements provided by the relevant government office,
    7. A document evidencing the capital allocated for the commercial activity,
    8. A taxpayer registration certificate,
    9. A recommendation given by concerned government office, which testifies that the business premises in which the business is to be conducted is suitable for the intended business and
    10. Where the application is submitted by an attorney, an authenticated power of attorney and photocopies of the attorney’s identification card or passport

However, there are some goods which require a special permit for exportation. For instance a person who wants to export coffee should have a special permit from the Coffee and Tea Development Centre which is under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Exporters in the regional states may be registered in the respective regional trade bureaus. Both foreign investors and domestic investors who wish to benefit from the investment incentives must be registered in the Ethiopia Investment Commission.