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Motor Vehicle Importation

I want to import motor vehicles into Ethiopia. What are the preconditions I must fulfill?

If you are an Ethiopian who resides in Ethiopia, or who returns to Ethiopia after a period of time abroad, you may wish to import a motor car for personal or public use.
To do so legally you will need an importation license issued by the government. Importing a vehicle without a license would be illegal and punishable by law. 
If you do not have the required license then you may import a motor vehicle through a registered importer. They will undertake the following activities on your behalf;

  • Declare to customs the vehicle you wish to import
  • Calculates the duty and tax payable on your vehicle
  • Deals with the transport company that brings your vehicle to the port of Djibouti and then onwards to Addis Ababa
  • Liaises with the insurance company who will provide the appropriate cover

You will need to contact one of the import companies in Ethiopia to discuss the relevant issues.

What are the types of taxes and duties levied on my motor car?

Unless exempted by law, your motor car is liable to five different taxes. These taxes are assigned priority levels and are calculated in a sequential order. These taxes, in their sequential order, are Customs Duty, Excise Tax, VAT, Surtax and Withholding Tax.

What are the motor vehicles exempted from excise tax?

Motor vehicles with a seating capacity greater than 15 passengers, including the driver, are charged at a 10 percent customs duty rate. These vehicles are exempt from excise tax. Motor vehicles with a seating capacity greater than 10 but less than 15 passengers, including the driver, are charged at a 35 percent customs duty rate. These vehicles are exempted from excise tax.

However, if your motor vehicle has a seating capacity of less than 10 passengers, you are obliged by law to pay customs duty plus other taxes including excise tax. The excise tax to be levied on your motor vehicle depends on the cubic capacity of the engine. First, those motor vehicles with a cubic capacity from 1000 to 1300 are liable for 30 percent excise tax rate. motor vehicles with a cylindrical capacity from 1300 to 1800 are liable for a 60 percent excise tax rate. Lastly, motor vehicles with cubic capacity exceeding 1800 are liable for 100 percent excise tax rate. 

How do I know the payable tax and duty on my motor vehicle?

One of the tariff officers in Valuation & Tariff Classification Directorate can roughly calculate the likely tax payable on your car if you provide them the following information:
1. Type of your car e.g. Toyota corolla,
2. Model of your car, e.g. ZZE 142L,
3. Cylindrical capacity (cc), e.g. 1800cc,
4. Year of manufacture of your car e.g. 2008. If you are interested in how your importer or the tariff officer calculates the customs duty and tax please refer the article, entitled "Taxes and Imports in Ethiopia " inside customs folder.

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