Ethiopian Business Development Services Network (EBDSN)

 Export-Import Guide

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 Export   [top]

Ethiopian Export Promotion Agency (EEPA)
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The Ethiopian Export Promotion Agency (EEPA) is a Government institution with the objective of promoting the county's exports. One the webpage please find all about Import-Export, Business environment in Ethiopia, foreign investments 

Ethiopian Export Promotion Agency (EEPA):
Export procedures 
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Once an exporting company is legally established, the various procedures that it regularly needs to follow in order to make exports are the following.

Order Acknowledgement to the Buyer
This involves the production of internal instructions by the exporter on the works, production and preparation of the goods for export order.

Finalization of Export Contract
Finalize the export contract stipulating the method of payment for the export consignment, and submit a copy to the respective Commercial Bank by any of such methods as hand delivery, fax, telex or post. Commercial Banks require six copies of letter of credit, and five copies of advance payment, cash against documents, and consignment note each.

Application to Export 
Register the export order with a Commercial Bank who will in turn issue the export permit for the particular consignment. All sorts of exports except coffee have to be registered with any of the Commercial Banks, only the registration for coffee remains at the National Bank of Ethiopia. 

Registration of Export Consignment 
Fill in the Customs Declaration Annex form issued by the Commercial Bank and submit to the International/Foreign Business Department of the Bank. 

Application for Quality Testing and Certification 
When export products are ready, make arrangements for suitable packaging and apply to the Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia for quality testing, and acquire the Export Authorization Certificate. 

Compliance with Movement Requirements 

Compliance with Rules of Origin
Fill in the certificate of origin issued by the Ethiopian or the Dire Dawa Chambers of Commerce in order to qualify under the preferential tariff treatments. 

Compliance with Tariff Schemes 
Fill in the special movement forms or certificates issued by the Customs Authority. Currently, the special movement certificates include the EURI movement certificate that is required by the European Union Countries, and the form A for the Generalized System of Preferences-GSP Form A required by its member countries. 

Insurance of Export Cargo
Insure the export cargo and acquire the insurance certificate or policy document issued by an insurance company. 

Customs Declaration
To avoid costly delays, the exporter declares all facts about the export consignment, and all supporting original documents should be forwarded to the Customs Clearing Agents to enable customs formalities and authorization of the dispatch of the export goods. Accordingly, the exporter must hand over the Export Permit, the copy of the Customs Declaration Annex form, the Ethiopian Customs Declaration form, the Certificate of Origin, and the special movement forms/certificates (the EURI Movement Certificate and the GSP form A) to the clearing agents.

Movement of Export Cargo 
To facilitate the movement of goods, transport documents should be acquired from the respective carrier. Although the type of transport documents depends on the mode of transport, the documents should be completed and signed by the carrier or its representatives. 

 Export Business Registration and Licensing
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On the EEPA Webpage please find details about Business registration and licensing: 

  Economic and Trade related Information
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Macroeconomic and social indicators(GDP, Gross Domestic Product and Sectors) and commercial and financial information (banking laws, insurance laws, micro-finance institution laws).

 Ethiopias External Trade
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Data on export by commodity, by destination, by origin and major trading partners.

 Major Trading Companies
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Major exporters and importers by commodity or by company name


Quality Export Products Information
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Coffee, livestock products, live animals and meat, oilseeds and pulses, fruits, vegetables, flowers, textiles, garments, tea, mineral products and others.


 Import   [top]

SGS Addis Ababa Liaison Office - Ethiopian Shipping Lines, P.O.Box 1087 Addis Ababa
Tel. +251-1-50.46.27, Fax 50.46.33, 


Guidelines to Importers Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) Programme

PSI, under its current application in Ethiopia, is a service established and governed by Proclamation No. 173/1999.  SGS is appointed by the Ethiopian Government to conduct the   Pre-Shipment Inspection services for goods coming from all over the world.

Goods Subject to PSI
All goods with a FOB value equal to or in excess to USD 2,000.00 (except those stated under the exempted goods list below) are subject to PSI according to the existing laws governing PSI.

Exempted Goods
The following goods are exempted from PSI requirements:

  • Gold, precious stones, precious metals

  • Objects of art

  • Crude oil and refined petroleum

  • Explosives and pyrotechnic products

  • Ammunition, weapons, implements of war

  • Live animals fresh, chilled or frozen fruits, vegetables, fish meat and fresh eggs

  • Scrap metals

  • Fertilizer

  • Current newspapers and periodicals

  • Household and personal effects including a used vehicle

  • Parcel post or commercial samples

  • Gifts made by foreign governments or international organizations to foundations, charities and recognized humanitarian organizations

  • Gifts and supplies to diplomatic and consular missions and to agencies of the United Nations Organization and the organization of African Unity imported for their own needs

  • Goods supplied to the Government as direct grants emergency and relief imports

  • Investment goods imported by Ethiopian nationals residing abroad and foreign investors, who have an exemption letter from the Investment Authority

  • Postage stamps, aero grams, lottery tickets, currency.

  • Shipments with a FOB order value of less than USD 2,000.00 except Full Container Load Cargos (FCLs) and spare parts of commercial value (but only upon official announcement by the Ministry of Revenue).  The amount of the proforma invoice accepted by the banks and the transactions exchange rate applicable on the date of the proforma invoice is the basis for determining the value.

Partial Shipments:
Partial shipments of goods purchased by a single purchase order shall be subjected to pre-shipment inspection even if the FOB, value of each partial shipment is less than USD 2,000.00 FOB, provided that the aggregated value of such partial shipments is greater than USD 2,000.00 FOB.

Full Container Load Cargos (FCLs) and spare parts of commercial value:
Full Container Load Cargos (FCLs) and spare parts of commercial value are subject to Pre-Shipment Inspection irrespective of their commercial value.  Therefore, such imports are subject to PSI even if their total order value is below USD 2,000.00 FOB. (only upon official announcement by the Ministry of Revenue)

How to apply for pre shipment inspection
Once an importer has decided to import goods and received a proforma invoice from his overseas supplier, he needs to:

Contact Customs Authorities to pay a PSI program deposit of 1% of the CIF value.  (This deposit will, after importation of the goods, be offset against the Pre-shipment Inspection Programme Fee, is 1% of the duty paying value.  Against payment, importer will obtain a prepayment receipt from Customs, which will have to be added to all other documents required to import goods.  The inspection will not be conducted without payment of this PSI fee).

Apply to the National or Commercial Banks for imports covered by a letter of credit or by cash against documents (CAD) as per current procedure (including all necessary documents and authorizations).

Complete an Import Advice Note application (IAN) on the format already available from the banks or SGS Addis Ababa Liaison Office, that will be submitted to the banks for L/C, CAD and TT imports along with other documents necessary to arrange a payment instrument.

SGS Addis Ababa Liaison Office will collect from the banks the completed application together with all the necessary documents as listed below for each type of import.

Upon receipt of the import documentation from the banks, SGS Addis Ababa Liaison Office will enter the details showed on the documents into its computer application and will  electronically send such details to the inspecting SGS office located in the declared country of supply.  A copy of the Import Advise Note will also be sent to the importer through the fax number declared on the Import Advise Note application.

Upon receipt of the Import Advice Note, the inspecting office in the country of supply automatically contacts the seller of record detailed on the importers’ Import Advice Note to request information and to arrange the physical inspection.

N.B:  It is important to note that SGS will contact the seller (i.e. the party named in the Import Advice Note) who may not be the actual supplier of the goods.  If you know who the supplier is, please provide full contact details.

Document requirement for PSI Application
The following Documents are required for Pre-Shipment Inspection application:

Letter of Credit (L/C) importation:

  • Proforma Invoice (with Quality and Standards Authority, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior etc… stamps whenever applicable)

  • Exchange control permit copy

  • L\C copy

  • Pre-Shipment Inspection fee payment application (duly stamped by Customs)

  • Pre-Shipment inspection fee receipts copy

  • Import Advice Note application (duly completed and stamped)

Cash Against Documents (CAD) Importation:

  • Proforma Invoice (with Quality and Standards Authority, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior etc… stamps whenever applicable)

  • Purchase order copy (duly approved by the bank)

  • Pre-Shipment Inspection fee payment application (duly stamped by Customs)

  • Pre-shipment Inspection fee receipt copy

  • Import Advice Note application (duly completed and stamped)

Telegraphic Transfer (TT) Importation:

  • Proforma Invoice (with Quality and Standards Authority, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior etc… stamps whenever applicable)

  • Exchange control permit copy

  • Pre-Shipment Inspection fee payment application (duly stamped by Customs)

  • Pre-Shipment inspection fee receipt copy

  • Import Advice Note application (duly completed and stamped)

Other Importation (e.g. self-funded payments)

  • Proforma invoice (with Quality and Standards Authority, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior etc… stamps whenever applicable)

  • Pre-Shipment inspection fee payment application (duly stamped by Customs)

  • Pre-Shipment inspection fee receipt copy

  • Import Advice Note application (duly completed and stamped)

N.B – Important tips for prompt PSI application processing

  • Importers must duly complete all fields including their shipment type as FCL (Full Container Load) or Non-FCL on the Importer Advise Note application form with the maximum possible accurate information.

  • Importers must ensure prompt transmission of their PSI application from the banks to SGS.

  • Importers must ensure that the bank transmits correct and legible photocopies of documents along with their Import Advise Note application to SGS.

  • Importers must immediately communicate with SGS Addis Ababa Liaison Office and provide the required/missing information and/or documents(s) whenever they are advised that their applications are not being completely processed.

  • Importers must always advise their suppliers about the mandatory requirement of PSI and provide them with SGS IAN number for ease of reference.

 EU Trade Promotion Web Site   [top]

The European Union (EU) launched a new online helpdesk to provide information on exporting products to the European markets. The web site, a free of charge interactive information resource, contains custom duties, customs documentation, rule of origin, and trade statistics about EU markets. The website would help business operators to obtain the necessary information on EU preferential import regimes and links to relevant authorities and organizations in EU trade operations and up-to-date information on import tariffs.