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Ethiopia - Import Goods

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The procedure to be followed to import goods in Ethiopia is as follows.

Obtain an import permit, if the types of goods require you to (food, drugs, chemical, agricultural products and machinery)

The first thing you should do is to ensure that all goods to be imported meet Ethiopian standards as prescribed by General Authority for Import/Export/Quality Control in Ethiopia at the Ministry of industries.

Send information to the supplier clear describing the following

  • Good description
  • Technical specifications
  • Quantity
  • Price
  • Delivery period
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Confirm that the goods are not on the prohibited list
  • Check to make sure that the goods do not attract anti-dumping duties
  • Determine the cost, organize funding, and obtain advice from your bank
  • Discuss with the supplier, sign a contract and make payment as agreed
  • Before the goods get in the country you should:
  • Obtain the commercial invoice, packing list bill of lading, certificate of conformity
  • Appoint a clearing agent who will compute the customs duty, transport charges and advice you accordingly
  • Obtain the relevant quality certificates
  • When the goods arrive, you should do the following:
  • Process the goods through customs
  • Obtain a release order
  • Authenticate compliance certificate
  • Pay transport charges, collect goods and transport to your premise

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Required Documents[edit]

1 .Import card issued by the General Authority for Import and Export equity control at the ministry of trade and industries.

2.Taxation card This card is obtained from Taxation authority or any of its offices in the country.

3.Three additional forms obtained from Import and export executive regulations issued by the minister of trade and industries.

4.The document which includes information on the type,quantity,price, and country of origin of the imported commodities.

5. Bill of lading.The Bill of Lading must contain the terms "Consignee" and Notify Part.

6.Original invoice.There is no prescribed format to the commercial invoice.

7. Packing lists

8.Certificate of origin.Should be issued in a minimum of three copies (additional copies may be requested by importer

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Ministry of Revenues

PO Box 2559, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Tel;/00251115518200 512555

Ministry of Trade and Industry

PO Box 704, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel:00251115518025 515411

Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority,

Ministry of Economic Development & Cooperation -

P. O. Box 2428, Addis Ababa,

Tel: 251-1-519684, Fax: 251-1-517988

Ministry of Trade and Industry

P. O. Box 2559, Addis Ababa,

Tel: 251-1-518200, Fax: 251-1-514288

Megenagna, close to the office of Bole sub city

Tel: +251116629870

Fax: +251116629873


Commercial cargo facilitation branch office

Addis Ababa Transport compound



Fax: +251114403769

Addis Ababa Airport Customs Branch Office

Tel: +251116651400

Fax: +251116651401

Ethiopian Investment Authority

P. O. Box 2313, Addis Ababa,


Tel: 251-1-510033, Fax: 251-1-514396

Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce

P. O. Box 517, Addis Ababa,

Tel: 251-1-518240, Fax: 251-1-517699

Ethiopian Private Industries Association

P. O. Box 8739, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

Tel: 251-1-512384, Fax: 251-1-552633.

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  • Any person aged 18 years and above and legally residing in the country can import goods in to the country.
  • Any person who obtain any import license or permission for importing goods in Ethiopia.
  • Any person who has the import interest and meets the above requirement and is importing goods that does not fall in the restricted list.


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


The document is valid for one year

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

Process time is 1day but you give an allowance of -7 days

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 


  • Familiarize yourself with the documentation and procedures required to successfully import goods into the country
  • Familiarize yourself with the procedures pertinent to the kind of material you are importing into the country
  • Make sure you have a trade license
  • Prepare the necessary documents, mapping out different steps involved in the importation process.
  • A clearing agent can help you process all the necessary documentation

Required Information[edit]

  • Import declaration
  • Content particulars
  • Suppliers invoice
  • Documented evidence carriage of goods
  • Customs value declaration
  • Compliance information
  • Good release order evidence

Need for the Document[edit]

Ethiopia imports a wide range of goods: from heavy machinery and steel to chewing gum. A large number of Ethiopian businesses are engaged in import activities. Even though the growing manufacturing industries will provide substitutes for some goods, Ethiopia will very likely continue to import most of the goods it's importing now.

Participating in the import trade in Ethiopia may be a good idea for a domestic trader; a foreign exporter also can make use of the growing import to Ethiopia and sell its goods to Ethiopian Importers. Construction machinery and vehicles, steel, chemicals, and recently cement are goods that are imported to Ethiopia in huge quantities.

Information which might help[edit]

  • Most of Ethiopia's imports came from Western countries. Italy, the United States, West Germany, and Japan, in order of importance, accounted for 45 percent of total imports in l987.
  • The Soviet Union accounted for l6 percent of the value of imports in l987. By contrast, Ethiopia's exports to the Soviet Union amounted to only 5 percent of total exports in 1987.
  • The relatively high proportion of imports from the Soviet Union was largely because of oil; in l987 Ethiopia received virtually all its crude petroleum from the Soviet Union.
  • In l987 the United States remained Ethiopia's major trading partner despite cool relationships between the two countries; the United States ranked first in buying Ethiopia's exports and third in satisfying Ethiopia's import needs.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]


More information which might help people.