Monday, July 22, 2024
BusinessRed-flag bequeaths ‘luxury items’ importation only one-month window

Red-flag bequeaths ‘luxury items’ importation only one-month window

 No-more room for fuel automobiles importation

Businesses that started process before government placed the importation ban on 38 commodities, are given a one month ultimatum before such items are completely flagged out.

Following the decision by the National Macroeconomic Committee to ban the import of about 38 items with the aim of rescuing the dwindling foreign currency reserve, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) instructed all commercial banks not to provide any foreign currency to the importers of those items. The ban was placed exactly last year in October 2022.

But the ban could not be fully effective, as some importers are still in the process. However, a new order issued by the customs commission over the week, gives only one month window period for such importers to finalize their affairs. This means, no business company will be allowed to import any of the 38 items, starting from the end of November 2023.

Addressed to all its branch offices and signed by Commissioner Debele Kabeta last Wednesday, November 1, 2023, a letter by the Customs Commission instructs its officers to serve importers with Letter of Credits (LCs) opened before the date of the ban, October 17, 2022.

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“For those who had the bank permit as well as the transit permit before the ban and didn’t finish importing them partly or fully, they will have one month to finish importing them,” the letter reads.

However, the ban on the import of vehicles, whether they have LCs approved before the ban or are being imported by the returnees, hasn’t been reconsidered.

“The latest ultimatum doesn’t include vehicles,” reads the article later, asserting that vehicle importers are still out of options unless they import electric vehicles.

In mid-August this year, the Customs Commission issued a circular that made fuel-based vehicles the first among the list of banned items to have no other means of bringing them into the country.

Since the October ban, Ethiopians returning from life abroad and importers with LCs approved before the ban have imported the items. However, the Commission’s decision in August put an end to this privilege, ruling that no fuel-based goods would come to Ethiopia under any mechanism.

Now that the Commission gave only one-month lifetime to the items, excluding fuel-based vehicles, and the vehicles are already facing a complete ban, none of the 38 ‘luxury items’ will now be able to make their way to Ethiopia through Customs Commission-controlled checkpoints, unless for personal use.

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