Legal News on Covid-19

By Lydia Kedir –Legal Assistance – at Dagnachew and Mahlet Law Office
Address: Addis Ababa, Email

Ethiopian Public Health Institute announced a new revised Directive No 803/2021. The Directive aims to provide for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Directive is effective from August 19 2021. In the Directive provisions on activities that are prohibited and duties imposed are listed in detail. For instance it is prohibited for any person to shake hands with another person in the form of greetings. Wearing a mask to get public and private service and a distance of two adult strides are emphasized. Face to face education for public or private educational institutions are restricted and should be conducted by adhering to the requirements of the Directive. Public and private organizations including construction projects have a duty to provide sanitary materials and employers should make sure their employees wear masks.

Any passengers known to be infected with corona-virus are prohibited from entering the country, mixing with the general public or meeting with people in any way that may spread the virus. As a result, any international traveler except transistors, above the age of 10, who are coming through international airports of the country shall bring a certificate of negative RT PCR test done up to 120 hours or five days before arriving in Ethiopia. Passengers may not isolate himself for seven days if he has a certificate for recovery from COVID 19 within 90 days or if he has completed the COVID 19 vaccine in full and provide evidence. Passenger who comes into the country to attend a conference for an emergency or tourist, or a diplomat shall not be required to isolate himself for seven days when he is tested for COVID 19 (PCR or Antigen-based RDT test) and when the result is negative. An International traveler arriving at Bole International Airport who shows any symptoms of Covid- 19, will be monitored in accordance with the protocol enacted by Ethiopian Public Health Institute.

The Directive repealed the previous Directive No 30/2020 and incorporated revised and amended duties and prohibitions for the prevention and control of the Covid 19 pandemic. For detailed reading click the link for the full text of the Directive.

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Federal Supreme Court Cassation Decision on Judicial Mortgage

The Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench on Cassation File No 173079 on August 5, 2020 has entered a judgment. The Cassation Bench was composed of seven judges. The judgment rendered by the Cassation bench states that judicial mortgage (Article 3044 of the Civil Code) and priority right to any other creditor shall not be created by attachment of property (Article 151 of the Civil Procedure Code) or by temporary injunction order(Article 154 of the Civil Procedure Code) given at any stage of the suit before judgment. This interpretation by the Cassation Bench is a reversal of the previous Cassation Bench interpretation given on Cassation File No 97206 decided on August 4,2014 and Cassation Bench File No 29269 decided on 26 October 2007. The Cassation Bench judgment is a biding judgment on all levels of federal and regional courts.

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Building an Independent Judiciary: Promulgation of Federal Judicial Administration Proclamation

Ethiopia amended its Federal Judicial Administration Proclamation No 648/2010 and came out with Federal Judicial Administration Proclamation No 1233/2021. The objective is to ensure in a fundamental way that the courts exercise their judicial functions free of all internal and external influences. Such independence of the judiciary with accountability will gain the trust of the people. The process of appointment of judges and judges conduct their judicial functions in a complete independence, impartiality and accountability will ensure public confidence. This will contribute to the democratization process of building of institutions.

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New Federal Advocates Licencing and Administration Proclamation Enacted

The House of Peoples’ Representative on June 10/2021 after deliberation enacted as law the Federal Advocates Licencing and Administration Proclamation No 1249/2013. The new law has been in discussion for several years. The law got its final endorsement on June 10. The new law will put advocates in a better position in terms of administering their profession. The introduction of law firms will also create partnerships that better serve clients and contribute greatly to the economy.

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Certificates of Appreciation

The World Bank Ease of Doing Business has awarded DMLO’s partners both Mahlet Mesganaw and Dagnachew Tesfaye a Certificate of Appreciation 2021 for the contribution made in the research of employing workers.
We thank you The Employing Workers Team

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The House of Peoples Representative on its session on 25th March 2021, has approved the revised Ethiopian Commercial Code, which has been in place for the last 62 years.
The revised Ethiopian Commercial Code has included new ways of doing business, that will enable the private sector to engage widely, in a less bureaucratic manner with transparency.

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Online Trade Registration and Licensing Services(OTRIS)

The Ministry of Trade and Industry of Ethiopia has commenced an online business registration portal. The online business registration enables interested traders to find a unique name for their company, registration of the same, acquiring commercial registration and business licenses and renewal of various licenses. Physical appearance will be required at the Federal Document Registration and Authentication Agency for Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association authentication for companies, with Tax Authorities for acquiring Tax Identification Number, Value Added Tax or Turn Over Tax certificates and Competency Offices for business that require competency certificates. Such a measure by the Ministry will contribute a lot to ease of doing business in Ethiopia.

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Foreign Currency Saving Account in Ethiopia

The National Bank of Ethiopia has issued a directive Directive No FXD/68/2020 effective from November 19,2020 that allows establishment and operation of foreign currency saving account for Residents of Ethiopia, Non-Residents of Ethiopians and Non-Residents of Ethiopian Origin.
You can find the Directive by this link:

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Entry Restrictions to Ethiopia

Ethiopia entry requirement in relation to Covid-19 effective 23 September 2020: All passengers traveling to Ethiopia MUST present a negative PCR test certificate for COVID-19 before boarding a flight. The certificate validity shouldn’t exceed 120 hours on arrival from the date sample is given.
Children less than or equal to 12 years of age are exempted from the PCR test certificate requirement.
There shall be no COVID-19 test to be done on arrival at Addis Ababa.
Rapid diagnostic test (RDT antibody test) certificate is not acceptable.
The above requirement does not apply to transit passengers.

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