Permanent Duty Free importation of a motor vehicle is possible in Ethiopia but requires several formalities. Since the vehicle is generally transported by sea, it is important to know the steps to be taken and the people who can benefit from it.

Vehicles benefiting from duty-free import

Vehicles that are exempt from taxes in Ethiopia are few and this favor is granted only according to the utility and function of the vehicle. So, if you import ambulances for the medical service and buses to promote tourism in Ethiopia, you will do it duty-free. That is, you will import the vehicle without paying costs such as:

  • VAT
  • Customs Duty
  • Excise Duty
  • Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)
  • Import loads, etc.


You should also be assured that the information related to duty-free importation has not changed in the course of the procedure, as the body in charge is free to modify them without notice. For the promotion of tourism, vehicles must be three in number and have at least four wheels. Do not hesitate to contact customs for any other similar project and you will be exempt from import taxes.

People who can benefit from it

To benefit from this favor, you must be a graduate or member of a diplomatic mission. Other people, such as officers and defense personnel serving with the United Nations, may benefit. Similarly, if you have served abroad for at least one year and have owned a vehicle out of Ethiopia, then you are also eligible.

Things to know

Once you have imported the vehicle, customs will have to verify that it is in good condition and can be driven in Ethiopia. It will be required to register the vehicle from the competent services. The procedure is no different from other imported vehicles that pay taxes and it is up to each one to be able to assert his rights.


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