Ethiopia to Establish Customs Police to Tackle Contraband

Addis Ababa December 05/2018 The government of Ethiopia announced that it is going to establish a customs police under the Federal Police in order to prevent and control contraband trade.

The move has come after the Council of Ministers approved a proclamation for its establishment as part of the fight against illegal trade.

Minister of Revenues, Adanech Abebe said that establishing a police force that work specifically on the issue would help to control contraband trade, which is significantly affecting the country’s economy.

She said that the contrabandists are operating in a coordinated manner, posing a threat to the country.

In addition to contraband trade, the nation has been also deprived off its benefits due to sabotage on the import-export trade.

Incentives that the nation has introduced to attract more investment such as importing equipments duty free and tax exemptions have been misused.

The Minister mentioned a case where people are allowed to import equipments free of tax in the pretext of developing 55 international hotels in a very small rural town in Afar regional state.

Noting that the problem is related to the fact that many government institutions have the authority to permit duty free imports, Adanech said the government is working to address this gap.

Saying that the Ministry is working to control problems related to misuse of incentives and illegal activities that led the nation to lose billions of Birr in revenues, Adanech said establishing customs police is among the measures.