PROCLAMATION NO. 60/1997
A PROCLAMATION FOR THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT
AND MODERNIZATION OF CUSTOMS AUTHORITY
WHEREAS, realizing that the customs procedure established in line with the customs law in force couldn’t have complied with the growing pattern of trade activity, has now necessitated for the establishment of new and efficient system to serve the prevailing stage of international commodity exchange;
WHEREAS, the re-establishment of the Authority with the power to decide on matters of customs and equip it with modern facility is believed to enhance its efficiency and precision in decision making process;
WHEREAS, the activities of contraband which is growing very complicated and accompanied by the use of illegal force, and the repression of which has now indispensably called for organizing the Authority in such a way that it be vested with all powers and duties like that of the regular police force have;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
1. Short Title
This proclamation may be cited as “The Re-Establishment and Modernization of Customs Authority Proclamation No. 60/1997.”
In this proclamation:
1) “Authority” shall mean Ethiopian Customs Authority;
2) “Goods” shall mean any commodities, personal effect and animals including money;
3) “Cargo” shall mean any goods imported or exported by any means of transport other than goods required for consumption during the voyage on board of the means of transport and, bona-fide personal baggage of passengers;
4) “Package” shall mean any material that is used for as cover, wrapper, or container of goods;
5) “Duties and Taxes” shall mean any duties and taxes levied on Import and Export goods;
6) “Importation” shall mean bringing or cause to be brought, goods through the first custom station into Ethiopia;
7) “Exportation” shall mean taking or cause to be taken out, goods through the final port of departure from Ethiopia;
8) “Customs Port” shall mean any place that is designated by the Board, for the implementation of customs laws, to be a place for importation or exportation, unloading, preservation or loading of goods;
9) “Customs Area” shall mean the territory of Ethiopia.
10) “Customs Station” shall mean any place designated as customs office at the port of entry or exit of goods, transit routs or at customs area for the control of import and export goods, collection of duties and taxes;
11) “Customs Warehouse” shall mean any place designated or established by a person licensed, by the Authority for the deposit of import, export or transit goods until the accomplishment of customs formalities;
12) “Ware House Operator” shall mean any administrator of a ware house that is established or the establishment of which is licensed, by the Authority in which goods are deposited until it accomplishes customs formality;
13) “Means of Transport” shall mean any means of conveyance including animals that is used for the carriage of goods and passengers, on land, air, river, lake or sea;
14) “Master of means of Transport’ shall mean a person or an agent to command, supervise or manage any means of transport during the voyage;
15) “Transit Goods” shall mean the movement of goods from one country to another by crossing the Ethiopian Territory, or from one customs station to another either by the same or changing the means of transport;
16) “Transit Routes: shall mean any route designated for the movement of import or export goods under customs control;
17) “Customs Clearing Agent” shall mean a person who is licensed to deal with the customs, for and on behalf of another person, to effect customs formalities related with the importation, exportation and in general with the movement and storage of such goods within the customs area;
18) “Customs Declaration” shall mean a form prepared by the Authority in which the details of import, export or transit goods are described for the accomplishment of customs formalities;
19) “Customs Formalities” shall mean any customs operations carried out in connection with importation, exportation or transit of goods from the time of arrival at the customs port until released from the customs control;
20) “Document” shall mean any invoice, form or written evidence necessary to accomplish customs formalities and it includes books of record;
21) “Invoice” shall mean a price document prepared and signed by the manufacturer or supplier and certified by the authorized office of the exporting country as to correctness of the value and origin, stated in the document;
22) “Identical Goods” shall mean any goods which are the same in all respects including physical characteristics, country of origin, factory, quality and reputations, minor differences would not preclude them from being regarded identical.
23) “Similar Goods” shall mean any goods which although not alike in all respects, have like characteristics and like component materials which enables them to perform the same functions and to be commercially interchangeable. The quality, origin, reputation and the trade mark of the goods are among the factors to be considered in determining their similarity;
24) “Person” shall mean any natural or juridical person;
25) “Owner” shall mean any person or an agent who has the right to use, possess, transfer, import or export goods into or from the country and includes the master or the agent of the means of transport who, as an owner, receives the goods for conveyance;
26) “Customs Officer” shall mean any customs employee or agent assigned to discharge customs operations other than the supporting staffs of the Authority.
27) “Customs Police” shall mean an armed police force assigned by the Federal Police Commission to enforce customs laws under the command of the Authority;
28) “Contraband” shall mean the act or an attempt of or providing assistance of importing goods beyond the first or exporting beyond the last customs station in contravention of laws and regulations or possessing, selling or transferring of such goods in a commercial level and it includes cooperation in such activities;
29) “Disposal of Goods” shall mean the act of destroying or cause to be destroyed goods that can not or should not be used by burning, burying or eliminating by any other means;
30) “Board” shall mean the Federal Government Revenue Board;
Establishment of the Customs
1) Ethiopian customs Authority (hereinafter called “the Authority”) is hereby re-established as a Federal Government organ with its own juridical personality.
2) The Authority shall be accountable to the Board.
4. Head Office
The Authority shall have its head office in Addis Ababa and may have branch offices and customs stations else where in Ethiopia or abroad, as may be necessary.
The Authority shall have the following objectives:
1) Collect duties and taxes on goods imported or exported;
2) Implement Laws and International Conventions related to its objectives;
3) Control the importation or exportation of prohibited or restricted goods.
6. Powers and Duties
To achieve its objectives, the Authority shall have the following powers and duties;
1) to assess duty paying values, collect duties and taxes, collect license and service charges;
2) to examine documents of importers or exporters so as to enforce customs law;
3) to establish customs stations in any customs port, frontier post and transit routes;
4) to approve the place for the deposit of import and export goods, establish warehouses, give license for those who establish customs warehouse, supervise the proper handling of deposited goods, suspend or revoke warehouse license;
5) to prevent and control the importation or exportation of goods in contraband;
6) to search any goods and means of transport entered in to or departing from Ethiopia through customs ports, frontier posts and other customs stations;
7) to detain prohibited, restricted or uncustomed goods; and take the necessary measure;
8) under the authority given by and supervision of the Attorney General, to investigate customs offences; institute criminal proceedings; and follow up the case in court,
9) to collect, organize and disseminate import and export data’s;
10) to carry out studies as to the leveing, assessment and collection of customs duties, devise ways of combating and repression of contraband activity. And implement same upon approval;
11) to sale or dispose otherwise goods with out owner, abandoned or forfeited;
12) to issue or revoke customs clearing licence;
13) to prepare forms and brochures necessary for customs activity;
14) to prepare and implement systems for the assessment, and collection of duties, financial accounting and other related activities;
15) to arrange for trainings and work shops to upgrade the efficiency of customs officers;
16) to own property, enter into contract, sue and be sued in its own name;
17) Perform such other related activities required for the attainment of its objectives.
7. Organization of the Authority
The Authority shall have:
1) a General Manager and Deputy General Manager or Deputy General Managers to be appointed by the Government; and
2) the necessary staff.
8. Power and Duties of the General Manager
1) The General manager shall be, subject to the general directives given by the Board, the chief executive officer of the Authority and shall plan, organize, direct and administer the activities of the Authority.
2) Notwithstanding sub-Article (1) of this Article, the General Manager shall:
(a) exercise the powers and duties of the Authority specified under Article 6 of this proclamation;
(b) employ, administer and dismiss personnel in accordance with the directives approved by the Board following the basic principles of the federal civil service laws;
(c) deploy, administer and dismiss customs police force assigned by the Federal Police Commission;
(d) prepare and submit to the Board the annual plan and budget of the Authority and implement same upon approval;
(e) effect payments in accordance with the approved budget and work programs of the Authority;
(f) settle Civil disputes out of court in accordance with the directives issued by the Board;
(g) represent the Authority in all its dealings with third parties;
(h) submit periodical reports to the Board.
3. The General Manager may delegate part of his powers and duties to the deputy General Manager/Managers, other officials and employees of the Authority to the extent necessary for the management of the Authority’s activities.
9. Powers and Duties of the Deputy General Manager or Deputy General Managers
1) The Deputy General Manager or Deputy General Managers shall in accordance with directives given by the General Manager:
(a) Support the General Manager in planning, activities of the Authority,
(b) Perform other activities directed by the General Manager.
2) In the absence of the General Manager carry out the activities of the General Manager.
Budget of the Authority shall be allocated by the Government.
11. Books of Accounts
1) The Authority shall keep complete and accurate books of account.
2) The books of account and financial documents of the Authority shall be audited annually by the Auditor General or by other Auditors designated by the Auditor General.
Performance of the Authority
12. Import and Export
1) For the implementation of the objectives of customs, the following goods shall be under the supervision and control of Customs:
(a) Imported goods from the time they get at Customs port until the completion of customs formalities and received by the importer;
(b) goods under drawback procedure from the time of draw back claim until exportation;
(c) goods, entered into customs warehouse until removed from the warehouse;
(d) goods of export from the time they entered in to customs port until the completion of customs formalities and be exported;
(e) goods in transit, from the time their movement is allowed until the completion of transit procedure;
(f) goods found with out owner, abandoned, forfeited or contraband goods until they are sold or disposed other wise.
2) with out prior authorization of customs, no one is allowed to enter in to customs warehouse in which goods are deposited or; open or do any acts on those goods controlled and supervised by customs in accordance with sub Article (1) of this Article.
3) The Authority shall be responsible for the damage on goods under its control and supervision caused by its employees while discharging their official duties.
13. Postal consignment
1) Goods imported or exported through post office shall not be released without accomplishing customs formalities.
2) The goods imported or exported through post office shall accomplish customs formalities under the control and supervision of customs officer.
14. Prohibited Goods
Any goods the importation, exportation or transit of which is prohibited by laws or international agreements to which Ethiopia is a party, shall be re-exported or forfeited with out any special procedure to be followed.
15. Restricted Goods
1) Goods the importation or exportation of which is restricted by law, unless they fulfilled specific formalities or conditions, shall be detained in customs port unitl a decision is passed upon.
2) Goods detained in accordance with sub Article (1) of this Article shall be barred of departing from Ethiopia or shall be re-exported to the country from which it is imported, unless a permission is given to it, within 30 days, by the office controlling its importation or exportation.
3) Where restricted goods are not re-exported with in 30 days from the date of notification it shall be considered as abandoned to the customs.
Means of Transport
16. Obligations of the Master of Means of Transport
Any master of the means of transport engaged in the importation or exportation of goods shall:
1) arrive or depart the means of transport, load or unload goods, embark or disembark passengers only at customs port;
2) notwithstanding the provisions of sub Article (1) of this Article, in case of force majeure, he may land or stop the means of transport in any place other than a customs port; provided, however, the master of the means of transport shall immediately report the incident to the nearest customs and administration office of the region;
3) submit documents, to the appropriate customs officer, to the effect that the means of transport is duly licensed to transport cargo’s or passengers;
4) submit a manifest that show the list of goods loaded, discharged, stay on board or continue in transit, and a manifest that shows the name of persons to be embarked, disembarked, stay on board or continue in transit to a proper customs officer within 24 hours after the arrival or before departure of the means of transport.
5) Refrain from embarking or disembarking passengers; or loading or unloading goods unless authorized by the Authority and in the absence of Customs officer;
6) Never allow any unauthorized person to reach about or enter into the means of transport;
7) Report to the customs and discharge the cargo for customs control, where the time for departure of the means of transport is canceled or delayed for more than 24 hours, after it is authorized to move;
8) Not attach, connect or prepare any additional room, which serves as a hiding place for contraband goods, on the external or internal part of the means of transport.
17. Goods Declaration
1) The master of the means of transport shall provide information regarding the loaded goods, identifying its purpose either for home consumption, warehousing, temporary admission, transiting or trans shipment and deliver it to customs warehouse or shall accomplish the necessary transit customs formalities.
2) The warehouse operator or receiving the goods shall identify and register the goods based on the information supplied in accordance with sub article (1) of tis Article.
3) Goods without declaration shall be presumed to therefore, enter into a register accordingly.
4) Goods requiring to pass quarantine examination shall, as soon as they are discharged from the means of transport, be stored in a separate Zone until the accomplishment of quarantine examination.
5) Inflammable or dangerous goods shall be notified by the master of the means of transport before they are discharged so that the gods be stored in a separate warehouse or be removed urgently from the port.
6) Where incomplete or erroneous goods declaration is presented to customs and if ascertained that it is due to inadvertent error, amendment shall be allowed by furnishing supplementary report.
18. Goods for Consumption and for sale on Board
1) The following goods shall enter into the means of transport without duty and taxes, where the customs officers are satisfied that the goods are intended for consumption or sale on board during the voyage;
a) fuel, lubricants, spare parts and other goods necessary for the operation of the means of transport;
b) food staff, drinks, and articles for gift and sales to passengers and employees on board of the means of transport;
2) The master of the means of transport who received the gods specified in sub-Article (1) of this Article shall present a declaration to the customs officer, about the goods consumed, sold, disposed and remained on board, upon return to the initial loading customs port.
3) Goods not declared by the master of the means of transport shall be deemed consumed locally and be subject to the duties and taxes left unpaid.
Declaration, Examination and
Release of Goods
19. Lodgment of Customs Declaration
1) Except exempted by directives all goods entered in accordance with Article 17 of this proclamation shall forthwith lodged for clearance in accepted copies of customs declaration.
2) Goods exempted from clearance shall be determined by directives issued by the Board.
3) Where customs clearing agent applies for hold function and fulfils supporting documents, prelodgement of customs declaration may be allowed for any five days before the arrival of the goods at customs port. However, if the goods do not arrive within the five days, a new declaration shall be lodged at the time of arrival of the goods.
4) The Authority may allow goods to be cleared urgently due to their nature or the service they are required for. The details and the reasons that justifies this procedure shall be prescribed in the directives issued by the Authority.
5) All information supplied in the customs declaration shall be filled and signed by the customs clearing agent.
6) Any imported goods registered for home consumption shall be identified and declared in the customs declaration in dutiable, duty free or duty draw back import regimes.
7) Goods entered for an out right export or temporary export shall be declared in Customs declaration.
8) Customs declaration accepted by the entry reception shall immediately be registered for the accomplishment of customs formalities.
20. Supporting Documents of Customs Declaration
1) On the lodgment of customs declaration and declaration of facts the following original documents in support shall be supplied to customs in a number of copies fixed by the Authority:
(a) Transportation document,
(b) Price document,
(c) Bank permit,
(d) Packing list,
(e) Certificate of origin, and
(f) Other necessary documents to be prescribed in the directives issued by the Authority.
2) Transportation document that is required in support of export goods shall be a document that is used as evidence for the transportation of goods upto the customs port of exit.
3) The Authority may require any document to be presented in an Amharic translation made by official translators.
4) Customs declaration shall be acceptable where the necessary documents which are prescribed under this Article are presented and approved by the customs officer.
21. Verification of Documents and Examination of Goods
1) The proper customs officer shall verify documents and examine goods to assure the accuracy of information supplied in the document.
2) The owner of the goods or his authorized agent shall attend during examination of the goods. Where the owner or his agent fails to appear at the time of examination, the proper Customs Officer shall open and examine the goods in the presence of relevant officials.
3) Procedure of goods examination shall be prescribed by directives issued by the Authority.
22. Examination at the Request of Importer
1) If any importer or his agent believes that the goods have suffered damage, short or pilferated in route may request for prior examination of the goods before the lodgment of goods declaration.
2) Where the request made in accordance with sub-Article (1) of this Article and its reason are justified by the Authority; goods examination may be carried out upon payment of service charge. Customs declaration shall, therefore, be filled in accordance with the examination report.
3) Service charges for prior examination of goods shall be prescribed by directives issued by the Authority.
23. Delivery of Goods
1) All goods listed in customs declaration shall be removed from the warehouse by the owner or his agent immediately upon the accomplishment of customs formalities.
2) Goods which is not removed from the warehouse with in the period specified in sub-Article (3) of Article 43 of this proclamation, shall be sold or disposed otherwise as deemed abandoned to the customs.
Goods in Transit
24. Condition for the Movement of Goods in Transit Any goods in transit shall:
Any goods in transit shall:
1) accomplish transit formalities at the customs port of departure before the commencement of transit operation. The details shall be specified in directives issued by the authority;
2) Start the operation under the cover of guarantee prescribed by the Authority;
3) Move only by a clearing agent licensed by the Authority.
25. Arrival of Transit Goods
1) All transit goods shall arrive at the port of customs destination in the condition prescribed and within the period specified by the customs.
2) Customs Clearing Agent shall report forth with to the customs destination office, the arrival of the goods in accordance with sub-Article (1) of this Article.
26. Customs Port and Transit Routes
1) Goods in Transit shall be imported in prescribed customs ports and be transported through allowed transit routes.
2) Customs ports and transit routes shall be determined by the board and prescribed in Public notice issued by the Board.
Temporary Importation and
Exportation of Goods
27. Temporary Importation
1) Goods necessary for trade promotion, technology transfer, tourism and cultural exchange, development works and consultancy service may temporarily be imported without payment of duties and taxes subject to be re-exported on the completion of its objectives.
2) A person who imports goods temporarily, without payment of duties and taxes shall submit security equivalent to the duties and taxes in accordance with the provisions of chapter 7 of this Proclamation.
3) It is prohibited to use goods imported on temporary basis other than the purposes for which they are imported or to use out of the localities where the activities are carried out.
28. Time Limit
1) Temporarily imported goods shall be re-exported within six months or within the time specified in the project agreement or in agreement entered with the Government.
2) The Authority may extend the time limit for a period of not more than one month where the importer proves on acceptable ground that the goods imported temporarily cannot be re-exported within the time specified in sub-Article (1) of this Article.
3) Goods for trade promotion, technology transfer tourism and cultural exchange may, upon request be sold or remain within the country upon payment of taxes and duties based on their value at the time of request, where the request is made within the period prescribed for their stay and authorized by appropriate offices to remain in the country.
4) Goods for development work and consultancy services may remain within the country upon payment of taxes and duties based on their value at the time when the goods are imported; where it is requested within the period prescribed and authorized by appropriate offices to remain in the country.
5) Where temporarily imported goods, are destroyed of irrecoverably lost by force majeure and where it is proved with sufficient evidence, the gods may remain in the country upon payment of duties and taxes based on the value of goods less the amount of damage.
29. Temporary Export
1) Goods exported temporarily by accomplishing customs formalities may be allowed to re-enter into the country without payment of duties and taxes, on the following conditions:
(a) imported goods sent abroad for repair and maintenance without repayment of duties and taxes;
(b) temporarily imported goods sent abroad for repair and maintenance without cancellation of the guarantee given at the time of their importation;
(c) personal effects, automobiles for personal use, machinery and other equipment necessary for his work abroad.
(d) Goods exported for trade fair, exhibition or cultural show.
2) Goods returning pursuant to sub-Article (1)(a) and (b) of this Article shall be subject to duties and taxes on the cost of maintenance and repair incurred abroad.
3) Goods may be eligible for exemption from duties only if returned from abroad within six months, unless a greater period is specified in the agreement approved by the government.
Establishment and Administration
Of Warehouses and Conditions for
30. Establishment of Warehouses
1) Customs warehouse, for the storage of import or export goods until the accomplishment of customs formalities, may be established by the Authority, business organizations or by individuals.
2) Customs warehouse established by the Authority shall be notified to the public by Government Gazettes
3) Business organizations and individuals shall establish customs warehouses by a license given by the Authority.
31. Warehousing of Goods
1) Goods arriving at any Customs Port shall enter into appropriate customs warehouse within 5 days from the date of unloading.
2) Goods not entered into warehouses within the time specified in sub-Article (1) of this Article, shall be deposited in the Authority’s warehouse as deemed imported for home consumption pursuant to sub-Article (3) of Article 17.
32. Controlling Warehouses
All goods deposited in the authority’s ware house or in any licenced customs warehouses shall be controlled by Customs Officers.
33. Warehouse Registers
1) All warehoused goods shall be registered in the appropriate register book. Method of registration and the details of the register book shall be prescribed in directives issued by the Authority.
2) Customs officer shall verify the goods described and its registration by signing on the books of registration and cargo manifest.
34. Time Limit of Storage in Customs Warehouses
1) Any goods entered in to licenced customs warehouse shall be removed within three months, by accomplishing the necessary customs formalities.
2) Goods entered in to licenced customs warehouse that is not removed within the time specified in sub-Article (1) of this Article, may be sold or disposed otherwise after being transferred to the Authority’s warehouse.
3) Where a license for customs warehouse is cancelled before the expiration of three months, that is prescribed for the storage of goods, the goods shall be transferred to the Authority’s warehouse to accomplish the remaining time for storage.
4) Any expenses for transferring the goods from licenced customs warehouse to the Authority’s warehouse shall be covered by the owner of the warehouse.
5) Goods entered into the Authority’s customs warehouse shall be cleared within three months upon accomplishing all customs formalities.
6) Any goods which is not removed from the Authority’s warehouse within the tie specified in Sub Article (5) of this Article may be sold or disposed otherwise by the Authority.
7) The Authority may sale, at any time goods that the perishable or not convenient for preservation.
35. Sale of Goods
1) The proceeds of sale of goods which is not removed from customs warehouse and sold by the Authority, shall be applied in the payment of:
(a) expenses of the sale,
(b) duties and taxes,
(c) charges for the Authority’s warehouse,
(d) cost of transport and the balance, if any, shall be deposited by the Authority for the account of the owner.
2) Where no claim is lodged to the Authority within six months from the date of the sale, the balance deposited shall be transferred to the government.
3) The Board shall issue directives regarding the sale and disposal of goods under this proclamation.
36. Storage of Goods
1) The Authority shall issue directives for stacking and storage of goods in customs warehouse.
2) Any person who operates customs warehouses shall respect the conditions specified in the directives issued by the Authority.
3) The operator of warehouse shall be liable for any damages on goods in disrespecting the directives issued by the Authority under sub-Article (1) of this Article.
37. Goods Taken for Sample
1) For the reasons listed hereunder goods may be taken for sample from the warehouse before the accomplishment of customs formalities:
(a) when required for checking the type and the content of goods to classify in the proper tariff heading;
(b) when required for identifying the type, quality and country of origin of the goods for valuation purposes;
(c) when a court or police order its presentation for inspection purposes;
(d) to ascertain the price indicated on the invoice in appropriate for the specified item;
(e) for other reasons allowed by the General Manager.
2) Goods issued for sample shall be returned in the same condition and quantity as they were taken out. Where it is destroyed during examination or retained for reference it shall be presumed as warehoused for the purpose of duties, taxation and for other reasons related with accounts and charges.
38. Access to Customs Warehouse
Except those authorized by customs, no one is allowed to enter into customs warehouse. The Authority shall issue directives regarding persons to have access to customs warehouses and the conditions thereof.
39. Establishment of Licensed Customs Warehouse
1) Persons specified in sub-Articles (2) and (3) of this Article may establish general or private customs warehouses upon receiving of license from the Authority.
2) The following are eligible to establish customs warehouses for general cargoes:
(a) business organizations engaged in freight transport;
(b) business organizations established to operate warehouse services;
(c) business organizations established to operate customs clearing services.
3) The following can establish private customs warehouses to be used only for the storage of their own goods:
(a) international airlines engaged in the transportation of passengers and cargo;
(b) enterprises established to sale duty free goods;
(c) other persons and enterprises that may be authorized by the Board.
40. Application for Warehouse License
1) Any person requesting for a license to establish customs warehouse shall submit the following documents together with his application:
(a) specific activities of the business;
(b) license or trade certificate for the activity;
(c) certificate for registration: where the applicant is an enterprise;
(d) the site and building plan, and construction permit in case of a warehouse to be established new;
(e) documentary proof for the paid up capital;
(f) insurance certificate for the warehouse and for the goods to be warehoused;
(g) documentary proof for the fulfillment of storage and safety equipment of the warehouse;
2) Grades of licensed customs warehouses shall be decided by the Board.
3) Persons who request for a license to establish a customs warehouse shall pay license and renewal fees.
4) The amount of license and renewal fees, the time for which the license remains in effect, and the specifics for renewal and cancellation shall be prescribed by regulations issued by the Council of Ministers.
41. Obligations of the Licensee
Any person licensed to establish customs warehouse shall:
1) Provide office and furnish with equipments necessary for the customs officer assigned by the Authority;
2) Keep registration book in accordance with directives issued by the Authority for the goods entered into and cleared from the warehouse, and report to the customs officer assigned at any time required;
3) Store goods by identifying their nature and characteristics in a safe and convenient condition for control;
4) Give proper reply to the queries made by customs officers assigned by the Authority and cooperate for inspection and investigation;
5) Transfer to the Authority’s warehouse those goods deposited for more than three months in his warehouse.
42. Goods to be Deposited in the Authority’s Warehouse
The following goods may be deposited in customs warehouses at customs port of entry, and of exit or at any other places, that are established by the Authority:
1) Goods not indicated in the cargo manifest;
2) Goods not declared the purpose they are imported for;
3) Goods not declared to be deposited in a licensed customs warehouse;
4) Goods imported to be deposited in the Authority’s warehouse;
5) Goods transferred from licensed customs warehouse to the Authority’s warehouse for whatever reasons;
6) Goods seized by reason of contraband or for contravention of any laws that are to be enforced by the Authority.
43. Calculation of Warehouse Fee
1) Storage fees for goods deposited in the Authority’s customs warehouse shall be calculated as follows;
(a) goods entered in customs warehouse; from the date of entry until released upon accomplishing customs formalities;
(b) goods transferred from licensed warehouse; from the date of transfer until released upon accomplishing customs formalities.
(c) Goods seized by reason of contraband or contravention of laws that are enforced by the Authority; from the date of sales until the buyer collects them;
2) The mount of fees payable for storage pursuant to this Article, shall be prescribed by the Authority in public notice.
3) Goods sold or accomplished customs formalities pursuant to sub-Article (1) of this Article shall not stay in the warehouse for more than one month, if it stays for more than one month the Authority can sale or dispose it in anyway it thinks fit.
4) Goods which could not be released upon deposition of guarantee under sub-Article (2) of Article 44 of this proclamation are free from warehouse fee from the date of seizure by customs until released by a final decision of court.
44. Conditions for Guarantee
1) The Authority may release goods upon receiving guarantee for the following reasons:
(a) when an extension of time is required to fulfill documents necessary for the accomplishment of customs formalities;
(b) when documentary proof is required to ascertain the re-exportation of duty relieved temporarily imported goods;
(c) when it is necessary to ascertain that transit goods have been exited through the approved customs port of exit or arrived at the predetermined customs port of destination;
(d) when it is necessary to ascertain the exportation of goods which are produced by duty relieved imported raw materials.
(e) Until the disputes on tariff classification or price valuation of goods are settled;
2) Goods seized by reasons of contravention of customs laws, except those goods seized due to contraband, prohibition, restriction or goods required as evidence by court, may be released by the Authority upon receiving sufficient guarantee until a final decision is passed upon.
45. Amount of Guarantee
1) The amount of guarantee for the goods specified in sub-Article (1) of Article 44 of this proclamation. Shall not be less than the duties and taxes payable for the goods.
2) The amount of guarantee for the goods specified in sub-Article (2) of Article 44 of this proclamation shall be equal to the value of the goods and duties payable for the goods;
46. Types of Guarantee
1) A guarantee to be accepted by the Authority shall be cash deposit or document of guarantee given by insurance or bank registered in accordance with Ethiopian laws.
2) Guarantee given under this proclamation shall be governed by suretyship provisions of the civil code.
3) The Authority shall decide on methods of payment of the guarantee.
Valuation, Tariff Classification
And Calculation of Duties and Taxes
47. Duty Paying Value
The duty paying value of any import or export goods shall be the actual total costs of the goods.
48. Duty Paying Value of Imports
1) For the purpose of customs the duty paying value for imported goods shall be the sum of the transaction value, freight cost and insurance premium that is paid to deliver the goods upto a prescribed custom port.
2) Transaction value and other related costs given by a supplier who is associated in business with the importer shall be considered genuine unless the given price is influenced by their relationship.
3) Where a document which show the correct freight cost up to the first customs port is not produced or the document produced is rejected by the Authority; the freight cost of identical goods transported at or about the same time with the same means of transport shall be taken to calculate the cost of freight.
4) Goods imported with out insurance coverage or transported under insurance coverage but the bill produced is rejected by customs, the insurance cost paid for identical goods transported at or about the same time with the same means of transport shall be taken to calculate the cost of insurance.
5) To determine the accurate value of the goods pursuant to sub-Article (2) and (3) of this Article, the following additional costs shall be considered:
(a) commissions and brokerage costs incurred by the buyer;
(b) the cost of container and cost of packing the goods be it for labour or material;
(c) the value of goods and services supplied by the buyer free for charge or at reduced cost, to the extent that such value has not been included in the price actually paid or payable;
(d) royalties and license fees related to the goods that is paid directly or indirectly by the buyer;
(e) loading, unloading and handling charges paid up to the port of importation.
6) The method of calculating the costs specified under sub-Article (5) of this Article and conditions that may have impact on the duty paying value shall be prescribed in directives issued by the Board.
7) Where documents necessary to determine duty paying value of the goods are not presented, or rejected by the Authority, the transaction value of identical goods imported from the same country at or about the same time shall be taken to determine the value of the goods.
8) Sub-Article (7) of this Article shall apply, where the goods are purchased at the same commercial level and quantity as the goods being valued. Where no such purchase is found, upon some adjustment, the transaction value of identical goods sold at different commercial level and in different quantities, shall be taken to determine the value of the goods.
9) Where the value of the goods cannot be determined in accordance with sub-Article (8) of this Article, the transaction value of similar goods imported from the same country at or about the same time shall be taken to determine the value of the goods.
10) Sub-Article (9) of this Article shall apply, where the goods are purchased at the same commercial level and quantity as the goods being valued. Where no such purchase is found, upon some adjustment, the transaction value of similar goods sold at different commercial level and in different quantities, shall be taken to determine the value of the goods.
11) The application of valuation methods listed in this Article, and other alternatives to be followed by the Authority, shall be prescribed in the directives issued by the Board.
49. Deductibles from Import Value
1) The following adjustment costs shall be deducted from import values:
(a) costs for damages in routes;
(b) costs for damages in customs warehouse.
2) When it is requested and agreed upon by the customs office to destroy or dispose any dangerous goods deposited in the warehouse, the goods shall be destroyed or disposed otherwise at the presence of customs officer and other officials concerned, and the value of the goods destroyed or disposed otherwise shall be deducted proportionally from the duty paying value of the goods.
50. Value of Export Goods
For customs purpose the value of export goods shall be the transaction value of the goods and the cost of transportation up to the port of exit.
51. Exchange Rate
1) For goods imported through letters of credit, the exchange rate shall be the rate specified on the bank document against the utilized currency.
2) For any other purchase the official rate of exchange prescribed at the time of acceptance of customs declaration shall be applicable.
52. Commodity Classification & Tariff Rate
Any goods imported or exported shall be subject to:
1) Pay duties and taxes according to the tariff of Harmonized Commodity Description and coding system;
2) Pay duties and taxes according to the preferential tariff rate where goods are imported from the preferred country;
3) Pay duties and taxes at the rate in force on the day the declaration of the goods are presented to, and accepted by the customs office.
53. Disputable Cases
1) Where any protest arises as to valuation, commodity description and classification and tariff rate, the duties and taxes shall be payable upon registration of the point of protest.
2) Payment made under protest pursuant to sub-Article (1) of this Article shall be resolved within 3 months by the General manager.
3) Where final decision is given in favour of the person who paid under protest, the duties and taxes paid excessively shall be refunded to him within 30 days after the decision is given by the Authority.
4) Where the Authority’s decision is given in favour of customs the sum of money paid on protest shall be deemed as the duty and tax payable for the goods, unless the person paid under protest brought an action in a court having jurisdiction within 30 days after he is notified of the decision by the Authority.
54. Duty Free Imports
1) Goods may be imported or exported free from any duties and taxes in accordance with law or international agreement to which Ethiopia is a party or by an agreement made and permission given by the government.
2) Any goods imported duty free may be sold or disposed to any person who enjoys similar privileges, or exported, without paying duties and taxes; or subject to pay customs duties and taxes at the rate and value prevailing during the time of sales or disposal, be transferred to any person.
3) Where duty free imported goods are lost or damaged due to force majeure the importer shall report forthwith to the Authority, and if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Authority the whole or part of the duties and taxes may be cancelled.
55. Re-payment of Duty
1) Notwithstanding other duty draw back regulations, repayment claims shall be granted if duties are over charged as a result of incorrect commodity classification, tariff setting, valuation, and other calculation or assessment mistakes.
2) Pursuant to sub-Article (1) of this Article, duties and taxes shall be repaid when the Authority discovers or when the importer claims for it. However, the duties and taxes may be repaid only if the errors are discovered and lodged to customs within 6 months from the date of clearance for importation or exportation of the goods.
56. Re-exportation from the customs Port
Goods imported and declared for home consumption may be re-exported at the request of the importer before accomplishing customs formalities upon payment of 5% the fee of the value of the goods.
57. Deferred Payment
1) If the duty paid for the goods imported or exported is less than the actual duty required to be payable the difference shall be collected by the Authority from the owner or his agent.
2) The collection of the difference referred to under sub-Article (1) of this Article shall be made by the Authority within two years from the date of clearance of goods.
Powers and Duties of Customs
Officers and Customs Police
58. Powers and Duties of Customs Officer
1) Customs officer while on his official duties shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) to stop and search means of transport carrying import, export or transit goods;
(b) to seize goods found concealed in the means of transport for the purpose of evading prohibition, restriction or duties; and if deemed necessary, detain the means of transport, the master of the means of transport or the owner of the goods for investigation;
(c) to enter and patrol at any port of entry or exit, international airport or customs warehouse; inquire to and get proper reply from the master of the means of transport or warehouse operator, investigate any document and books or records related to import and export activities;
(d) to inquire and get proper reply from any passenger or employees of the means of transport about any goods in relation to importation or exportation; if there is a reason to suspect, examine their luggage;
(e) Where there is a reason to suspect of hiding prohibited, restricted or dutiable goods in his body, carry out body search by similar sex, and seize goods found in contravention of the law, and detain the person for investigation;
(f) On authorization of court, search business premises, warehouses, dwelling houses, documents and books of records of any person engaged in import or export trading business. Where goods or documents are found in contravention of the custom laws, seize such document and goods; if necessary, detain and investigate the owner of the goods, or lock the business premises or warehouses;
(g) To seize duty free goods transferred to other person in contravention of the rules laid down in this proclamation and detain the person who transferred it.
2) Where goods in contravention of customs laws are seized in the absence of the owner or person responsible, the Authority shall immediately call by notice for the appearance of the owner or person responsible for the goods seized;
3) Any right of the owner or agent in relation to the goods seized shall be barred, if not appeared or instituted legal action within 30 days from the date of issuance of the notice;
4) Customs officer shall wear uniform, and hold special identity or identification card while carrying out his official duties specified in this Article;
5) Customs officer shall be assisted by customs police while carrying out his official duties.
59. Powers and Duties of Customs Police
Customs Police shall:
1) Seize goods and detain persons moving in contravention of customs or any other laws that are enforced by the Authority;
2) Investigate any customs offences and shall forward his report for the necessary legal action;
3) Customs Police in enforcing customs laws shall have the powers and duties vested to regular police force in the criminal procedure code.
60. Using Force
Customs police shall use reasonable force:
1) to stop and detain any person who overruns customs stations, or transport goods out of customs transit routes to evade prohibition, restrictions or duties on the goods.
2) To detain any person who obstruct customs officer while searching in the discharge of his responsibilities, and carry out the necessary search.
61. Customs Investigation and Institution of Proceedings
1) Where an offence is committed against the provisions of customs laws or any other laws enforced by the Authority, customs police shall, seize the goods or detain the person found in contravention of the laws and carry out investigation, in accordance with the provisions of the criminal procedure code.
2) Customs Police shall forward the investigation report he made under sub-Article (1) of this Article to customs prosecutor or in case of serious offenses, to the Attorney General.
3) The Customs prosecutor who discharge his responsibilities under the strict supervision and follow-up of the Attorney General, shall institute criminal proceedings, in accordance with the criminal procedure code, in the court having jurisdiction.
Offences Against Customs Activities
Offences Committed by Customs
62. Corrupt and Relationship Practice
1) Any customs officer or customs police who, by receiving a gift or by reason of correlation or by any other illegal relationships of mutual benefit:
(a) allow or attempt to allow the importation or exportation of prohibited, restricted goods or goods on which duties are not paid;
(b) allow to accomplish customs formalities by false and deceitful customs declaration or supporting documents; reduce or attempt to reduce or obstruct payable duties and taxes; or cooperate on such similar activities; is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 15 to 25 years.
2) A person who, after committing the offences specified under sub-Article (1) (a) and (b) of this Article, immediately reports of the corrupt practice with tangible evidence, before the goods are taken out of the customs area, may not be prosecuted for the offence he committed.
63. Abuse of Power
Any customs officer or customs police who, with intent to injure another person, hold on customs formalities or detain or put goods under custody, stop or delay the means of transport or commit other similar offences is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 3 upto 5 years.
Offences Committed by Others
Offences Against Provisions
Related to Means of Transport
64. Contravention by the Master of a Means of Transport
1) Any master of the means of transport, who:
(a) fail to hand over passengers or cargo manifest with in the specified time to customs;
(b) gave access to any unauthorized person to the means of transport or;
(c) Caused the means of transport stay at customs port beyond the time for its departure without notifying and getting permission from the customs officer;
is punishable with fine from Birr 2,000 upto Birr 5,000.
2) Any Master of a means of transport, who loads or unloads or attempts to load or unload goods in the absence of customs officer, is punishable with fine from Birr 7,000 upto 10,000 and imprisonment from 3 upto 5 years.
3) Any master of the means of transport:
(a) shall not move, import or export goods, out of Customs area, or bring in or take out through customs station other than those prescribed or unload out of customs Port;
(b) who commits or attempts to commit offences specified under sub-Article (3) (a) of this Article is, without prejudice to the forfeiture of the goods, punishable with both fine from Birr 7,000 upto Birr 10,000 and imprisonment from 3 upto 7 years,
4) Any master of a means of transports found passing goods through extra rooms attached to the inner or outer part of the body of the vehicles made for the purpose of hiding prohibited, restricted goods or goods not cleared of customs formalities or contraband goods is, without prejudice to the forfeiture of the goods found in it, punishable with both imprisonment from 7 upto 10 years and a fine equivalent to the taxes and duties payable on the goods.
Offences Against provisions Related To Warehousing
65. Contravention by operator of licensed customs warehouse
Any person licensed by the Authority to carry out customs warehouse business, who:
1) refuses to provide necessary work materials to customs officer assigned by the Authority; or
2) permits unauthorized person to enter the warehouse; or
3) fails to keep books of record for the goods entered and removed from the warehouse in accordance with prescribed method of recording, and refuse to provide a report within the time specified by the Authority; or
4) fails to renew customs warehouse license with in the time specified; or
5) fails to remove goods from Customs warehouse upon the accomplishment of customs formalities; or
6) keep any goods in the licensed warehouse which should be transferred within the time specified to the Authority’s warehouse;
is punishable with fine of Birr 2,000 for the first time offence, for the second time offence the fine shall be Birr 5,000 and the warehouse license be revoked.
1) Any person who commits contraband offence shall, without prejudice to the confiscation of the goods seized, be punishable with both rigorous imprisonment from 7 to 10 years and a fine equivalent to the duties and taxes which might be imposed on the goods found in contraband.
2) Where the offence of contraband has been committed in collaboration with others or by the use of force, the punishment shall be, without prejeduce to the forefeiture of the goods seized, from 15 to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine not less than the duties and taxes payable on the goods.
67. Fraudulent Activities
Any person who provide false information, delete, cancel, erase, prepare false documents or do any mischievous act with intent to deceive or defraud the Authority in connection with the goods imported or exported shall, without prejudice to the forfeiture of the goods fraudulently declared, be punished with both fine not less than the duties and taxes payable on the goods and rigorous imprisonment from 15 to 25 years.
68. Falsify Documents and Identities of the Authority
Any person who, with an intention to cause damage on customs or to get undue advantage for himself or to procure for a third person:
1) Unlawfully distribute, use or possess forms, seals, identity cards, emblems, symbols or any identification of the Authority is punishable with both fine from Birr 10,000 upto Birr 20,000 and rigorous imprisonment from five to 10 years.
2) Unlawfully prepared, distributed, used or possessed uniforms of the Authority is punishable with both fine of Birr 5,000 upto Birr 10,000 and rigorous imprisonment from 3 to 5 years.
69. Opening of Parcels, Alteration and Removal of Marks
Any person who, without being authorised by the appropriate customs officer:
1) removes or disconnects the fastenings affixed on the means of transport or container or remove, deface, cancel or alter the label affixed on the goods; open, break and mix up the goods with one another during intransit or arrival at customs port, shall be punishable with both fine from Birr 5,000 up to Birr 10,000 and with a rigorous imprisonment from 3 to 5 years, unless a severe penalty is imposed by other laws.
2) Where the offence is committed in cooperation with two or more persons or by the use of force, shall be punishable with both a fine specified in sub-Article (1) of this Article and rigorous imprisonment from 7 to 15 years.
70. Soliciting of Corrupt Practices
1) Any person who offers, procures, or induces customs officer or customs police to do offences against the law or directives prescribed by customs law shall be punished with both, fine of Birr 5,000 upto Birr 10,000 and with rigorous imprisonment from 10 to 15 years.
2) Any person who offers or procures to a customs officer or customs police so that the offences specified under sub-Article (1) of this Article be committed may not be prosecuted for the offence, where he immediately reports of the corrupt practice with tangible evidence before the goods are taken out from the customs area.
71. Obstruction of Customs Formalities
1) Any person who, without good cause obstruct or hinder to the duties of customs officer not to investigate documents, to check and conduct examination of the means of transport and goods; prohibit to enter into the warehouse, business premises or dwelling houses; or who refuses to give reply to the inquiry made by the customs officer and resist to cooperate for investigation or interfere by any method so as to obstruct the duties of the customs officer, shall be punished with both, imprisonment from 1 to 3 years and to a fine of Birr 5,000 to Birr 10,000
2) Where the offence is committed in cooperation with two or more persons or with the use of arms, the punishment shall be a fine from Birr 5,000 to Birr 10,000 and rigorous imprisonment of 5 to 10 years.
72. Contravention of Responsibilities in Relation to Goods In Transit
Any person engaged in transit of goods, fails to report within the specified time to customs stations in rout or at the customs port of termination about the goods in transit shall be punished with fine of Birr 500 for the first time offence, and Birr 1,000 for the second time offence. If the offence is committed for a third time, in addition to the payment of Birr 2,000 the license shall be revoked.
73. Transfer of Duty-free Goods
Any person who transfers duty-free or temporarily imported duty-free goods to another or use for other purposes against the provisions of this proclamation shall, without prejudice to the forfeiture of the goods, be punished with an imprisonment of not exceeding 3 years.
74. Possession of unlawful Goods
Any person who intentionally use, posse or keeps in the means of transport, warehouse, business premises, dwelling house or in his body; goods that are prohibited, restricted or uncustomed shall, without prejudice to the forfeiture of the goods, be punished with both fine equivalent to the duty payable on the goods and rigorous imprisonment from 3 to 5 years.
75. Unlawful Possession of Samples
Any person who, with intent to get undue advantage for himself or to procure for others or with intent to cause harm on others, or who does not return or who uses or cause to destroy sample goods, is punishable with both fine from Birr 3000 upto Birr 5000 and rigorious imprisonment from 2 upto 5 years, without prejudice to the payment of the value of the goods and duties and taxes payable on the goods.
76. Enter without permission to Customs Warehouse or means of Transport
Any person who enters to customs warehouse or to means of transport arrived at customs port without permission shall be punished with a fine of upto Birr 500.
77. Applicability of other Laws
Irrespective of the penalty provisions of this section, the penalty provisions of penal code or other relevant laws shall be applicable to offences they impose severe penalty.
Documents prepared by the World Customs Organization in relation to classification of goods shall be deemed as conclusive evidences.
1) Any document necessary for the accomplishment of customs formalities shall be prepared, published and distributed only by the Authority.
2) Unless with due authorization of the Authority, possession, and distribution of customs forms shall be prohibited.
80. Customs Clearing Agent
1) Customs Clearing Agent shall be responsible to accomplish customs formalities and for the payment of duties and taxes in relation to import and export goods.
2) Notwithstanding to the provisions of sub-Article (1) of this Article, goods that need not have declaration as prescribed by the Authority may be cleared by the owner in the absence of customs clearing Agent.
81. Duty to Cooperate
Any person shall have the duty to cooperate, with employees assigned by the Authority, so that they discharge their official duty efficiently.
82. Providing Information to Customs
1) Any person who has information about prohibited, restricted or uncustomed or contraband goods entered in contravention of this Proclamation shall immediately inform to the nearest customs.
2) The secrecy of the information supplied and the identity of the informant shall not be disclosed.
3) Where goods subject to forfeiture are seized in accordance with the information supplied to the Authority, pursuant to sub-Article (1) of this Article, the informant and the person actually seized the goods shall be entitled to a reward in accordance with directives issued by the Board.
Any person who has grievances against the performance of customs may lodge his complaints to the Authority.
84. Issuance of Regulations
The Council of Ministers may issue regulations for the implementation of this Proclamation.
85. Repealed and Inapplicable Laws
1) The following are hereby repealed:
(a) Customs and Export Duties Proclamation No. 39/1943;
(b) The Proclamation to Consolidate and Amend the Law Relating to Customs Proclamation No. 145/1955;
(c) Customs and Export Duties Measurement Regulations No. 48/1944;
(d) Customs Working Hours Regulation No. 169/1952.
2) Any other laws, regulations, directives or practices inconsistent with the provisions of this Proclamation shall have no effect on matters covered hereunder.
86. Effective Date
This Proclamation shall enter into force as of the 13th day of February, 1997.
Done at Addis Ababa, this 13th day of February, 1997.
NEGASO GIDADA (DR.)
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC
REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA