Addis Abeba — Starting this week, a significant change has taken place in the trade industry as all registrations and license services for companies involved in import-export business will now be centralized at the federal level. Previously, such services were obtained through regional and city-level authorities. According to the statement put forward by the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, this move signifies a shift towards a more streamlined and efficient process, facilitated by the adoption of an online registration system.
According to a recent statement issued by the Ministry, there has been a significant abuse of the registration and issuance of business licenses for export and import companies at the regional and municipal levels, leading to a surge in contraband trade. Data from the Ethiopian Customs Commission reveals that contraband worth nearly seven billion birr has been seized over an eight-month period. Out of this total, approximately 5.3 billion birr worth of contraband items were confiscated during illegal imports, while 1.6 billion birr worth of contraband was seized during illegal exports.
After successfully piloting the project for two years, the Ministry has officially introduced fully digitalized business registration and licensing services this year. The integration of regional and municipal bureaus with the new online service, known as the “ETRADE” portal, has further streamlined the process. This innovative system allows members of the business community to register and obtain licenses without the need for physical visits to the ministerial and regional bureaus.