Countries > Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Import a Vehicle Duty Free

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A duty-free vehicle" is a vehicle which has been acquired without payment of VAT, Customs Duty, Excise Duty or any other consumption taxes payable and "tax" means Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and other import charges (i.e. Customs Duty and VAT) where applicable.

Any investor may import duty free vehicle in Ethiopia:

  • Ambulances used for emergency case of employees
  • Buses used for tour operation services.
  • Without prejudice, the board may issue directives on conditions of importing duty free:
  • up to three 4-wheel drive vehicles for tour operation services
  • Vehicles for any other investments depending on the type and nature of the project.

In this circumstances there is a relief from tax in respect of a duty-free vehicle that is being brought into the Ethiopia State by an individual as part of their personal property on transfer of residence.


To be Eligible, the applicant:

  • The Applicant must be a diplomats or their family members
  • members of the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic mission
  • certain officials, including Defence Forces personnel, serving abroad on UN missions.
  • must have been living or serving abroad for a continuous period of one year or more,
  • must have had possession of and used the vehicle, outside the Ethiopia, for at least 12 months before the date of transfer of residence to Ethiopia, and
  • must not have been granted exemption from ERA on similar grounds within the preceding five years.

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The owner of the Vehicle has to renew the registration with the Land Transportation Office in Ethiopia by law.

An inspection report which details the specifics of the vehicle and the corresponding emission test done to check the vehicle is in a good condition before it is permitted to be used on the public roads of Ethiopia.

Required Information

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Valid identity proof
  • Citizenship
  • Address
  • Occupation
  • The Customs Value (CIF Value)
  • The Engine Size
  • The Manufacturing Age of the Car
  • Monthly exchange rate


Stages involved in registering a Duty free Vehicle in Ethiopia is not far different from importing a new private vehicle, the only difference is in the payment of government tax,in that the Duty free vehicle is not required to pay government taxes whereas the private new vehicle pays for taxes.

Registration forms to be completed

Upon satisfaction with the documents , the registration officer issues registration forms to be completed by applicant from the government which includes:

(a)Allocation of Registration Number of New Vehicle Form
(b)Auto vehicle License Form.
(c)Form B
(d)Federal Road Safety Form,
(e)Tax Form.

Police Confirmation and Endorsement

After the completion of the Forms listed above, the registration officer will forward them to the Police Officer attached to the Licensing office to append his/her signature on the Allocation form after verifying and satisfied with the documents along with the vehicle brought for registration.

This is to ensure that the vehicle under registration satisfies all the existing laws binding motor vehicle registration and that the vehicle to be registered is risk free not a stolen vehicle.

Issuance of Number Plate

Upon receipt of the police endorsed document, the registration officer then process for payment based on the type and capacity of vehicle;

Collection of issued Number Plate

The following are the steps required to obtain a new Number plate.

  • Applicant’s desired number is sent for VERIFICATION.
  • Documents submitted for registration of vehicle are confirmed with the above stated requirements.
  • Filling of special number request form by applicant after which payments are made to appropriate banks.
  • Applicant returns duly completed form and proof of payments
  • Produced special plates are documented and handed to the owner alongside other documents.

The issued number plate will then be handed over to the applicant,The number plate for duty free vehicles differs from the other vehicles


Not all vehicles that are manufactured for sale in the Foreign countries can be imported into Ethiopia. As a general rule, if the vehicle you plan to import was manufactured for sale in the other countries and is less than 25 years old, or is a bus manufactured on or after January 1, 1971, you must find out if it qualifies for importation under Transport Ethiopian's Registrar of Imported Vehicles.

The duty free vehicle has opened up the opportunities for Diaspora returnees to be privileged in a number of other areas, including exemptions from custom duties, as well as regulations allowing investors to import duty free vehicles, capital goods and the construction materials necessary for the establishment of new enterprises or for the expansion or upgrading of existing ones.

A vehicle in respect of which relief has been granted may not be sold or otherwise disposed of, hired out, lent or given as security in Ethiopia during the 12 months following the date of registration without payment of the exempted taxes.

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Required Documents

  • the vehicle registration document
  • the certificate of insurance
  • the sales invoice, receipt of purchase or other similar document
  • evidence of the date on which the vehicle was brought into Ethiopia (e.g. proof of shipping).

You will also be required to produce evidence of use of the vehicle abroad. This evidence should include

  • service and maintenance records
  • fuel receipts
  • documentation to indicate that annual circulation and registration taxes have been paid etc.


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


Valid for a long time

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Processing Time

The process takes 60 days

Office Locations & Contacts

Federal Inland Revenue Authority (FIRA)

Location Debrezeit Road, near Global Hotel

P.O.Box 3087,Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel: 251-1-66-94-27

Fax: 251-1-66-93-18


Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority

P.O.Box 3087,Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone - 0116 62 98 57

Fax - 0116 62 98 59

E-mail -

Website :

Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority

P.O.Box 3087,Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone - 0116 62 98 81

Fax - 0116 62 98 66

E-mail -

Website :

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Other uses of the Document/Certificate

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e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

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