Quick info guide

To obtain an import license you need to have;

  1. A copy of your Tax Identification Number (TIN);
  2. A copy of the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association for private limited and share companies;
  3. Two passport size photographs taken within the last six months;
  4. If the applicant is a foreign investor, the investment and residence permits; and
  5. A valid commercial registration certificate.

License fees: 102 ETB

Prohibited Imports

The following goods are prohibited imports to Ethiopia:

(i) Used clothing

(ii) Arms and ammunition, except by the Ministry of Defense

(iii) Goods of a commercial nature and quantity that are not imported through formal bank payment mechanisms.

How to import goods into Ethiopia

To start an import business, one requires commercial registration and a license from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The fees for commercial registration and business license are 102 ETB for each. For anyone who wishes to get started in business in general and import trade in particular, it is necessary to visit the Ministry of Trade and Industry which is located around ‘Kazanchis’ on the way to ‘Filwuha’ in the same building with the Development Bank of Ethiopia.

Steps to follow when importing goods into Ethiopia

angle-left Collect documents for Customs declaration

Step 4: Collect commercial documents required for Customs declaration

Here the importer collects the necessary commercial documents from his/her bank (in case of L/C or CAD) or directly from the supplier (in case of advance payment). The following documents are necessary for the preparation of a customs declaration:

(a) Transportation document - such as bill of lading, air way bill or truck way bill;

(b) Invoice which describes the value of imported goods;

(c) Bank document, i.e. L/C, CAD, confirmation of advance payment;

(d) Packing list which describes how the goods are packed during transport;

(e) Certificate of origin which describes where the goods were originally produced;

(f) Other documents as required, such as pre-import permits issued by regulatory agencies and duty free permits for investment goods.