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 Obtain a pre-import permit

Step 2: Obtain a pre-import permit (for certain restricted goods only)

The import of certain goods into Ethiopia is restricted for safety, security, environmental, health and other reasons. In this regard, The Ministry of Trade and Industry has the power to restrict imports. There are a few restrictions on the importation of some products that compete with locally produced goods. For example;

Restricted Goods

Regulatory Agencies

Pharmaceuticals and medicines, medical

supplies or instruments, baby food, food supplements, cosmetics

Ethiopian Food and Drug Administration Authority


Veterinary drug and

animal feed

Veterinary Drug and Feed Administration

and Control Authority (VDFACA)

Communication equipment

Information Network Security Agency (INSA)

Telecommunication and network equipment

Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MinT)

Radiation emitting equipment and radioactive sources

Ethiopian Radiation Protection Authority


Ethiopian Transport Authority