Ethiopian Customs Commission announced that Diasporas bringing personal items won’t pay customs duty.

December 13, 2021

According to the Ethiopian Customs Tariff Regulations, duty on imported goods is paid based on rates specified by the Customs Tariff Regulations. There are six duty tax rates (0%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%, and 35%) depending on the type of imported goods. The different duty tax rates are due to the need to encourage the import of certain goods such as ambulance vehicles by imposing a 0% tax rate and simultaneously to discourage importing selected goods such as vehicles for personal use by imposing a higher tax rate.

There are two categories. Category 1 consists of import items used for productive purposes such as re-exporting items, raw materials, semi-finished goods, producers goods, and public use. Raw materials and producer goods are usually rated at 0% but can increase to 10 %, while semi-finished goods have 10% and 20% tax rates. Category 2 consists of import items for nonproductive purposes, such as consumer or finished goods, used for personal use.

Consumer goods are further classified into durable and nondurable goods. Durable consumer goods include automobiles, furniture that have an expected useful life of three or more years. Nondurable goods include food, gasoline, clothing, and the like that are depleted or discarded relatively soon. Ethiopian Customs Commission has waived the customs duty fee for Diasporas traveling back home this holiday season. This offer only allows Diasporas to bring different resources to help their families and friends.

However, the Commissioner has stated that there will be strict measures taken on those who try to bring in for-sale goods without paying. Knowing all this, Diasporas should be elated and use this fantastic opportunity to bring several items & supplies for their families and friends. However, Mr. Debela, the Ethiopian Customs Commissioner, firmly stated that they could not use this offer for business purposes to bring in for-sale goods without paying taxes as it will cause difficulties for those who conduct business legally.

Therefore, there will be strict measures for those who try to take advantage of the system. Instead, Diasporas should only use this opportunity to bring different resources to help their families and friends. The Commissioner added that Ethiopians should also bring items to aid the national defense forces, displaced people, and medical institutions.

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