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.

PARLIAMENT APPROVES THE REVISED ETHIOPIAN COMMERCIAL CODE

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.

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.

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: https://nbebank.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/directives/forex/fxd-68-2020.pdf

Telecommunication Tender Notice

On November 27,2020, The Ethiopian Communication Authority has floated a Tender Notice for THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR TWO NEW TELECOMMUNICATIONS LICENSES IN THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA. The ECA has launched the Request For Proposals for the award of these licenses, targeting world class telecommunications operators to become the new license holders within Ethiopia’s rapidly growing economy. All details and instructions pertaining to the submission of proposals, including the qualification criteria and conditions for eligibility to participate, are described in the Request For Proposals. To show interest in receiving the Request For Proposals, please send a written request, before December 10th 2020 to: contact@eca-ethiopia.com or telecomlicensebid@gmail.com. A proposal made in accordance with the guidelines presented within the Request for Proposals documentation must be physically delivered to the address mentioned on the website of the ECA, no later than 10:00 a.m. East Africa Time (GMT+3), on March 5th, 2021. For further information click https://eca.et/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/ECA-RFP-Public-Notice.pdf

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.
Source: www.evisa.gov.et

Council of Ministers Endorsement of Draft Proclamations

The Council of Ministers on its session of 26 September 2020 has passed two major decisions in the legal reform context. One of the key decisions passed was on the Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence law Proclamation. This draft proclamation will substitute the 1961 Criminal Procedure Code of Ethiopia. The need for the reform was the gaps in the 1961 Criminal Procedure Code, to conform the criminal procedure to the international conventions Ethiopia has accepted, to the respect and protection of victims of crime and the respect for the human rights of suspects, defendants and criminals.

The second key decision passed was on the draft proclamation to provide for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Working Procedure. The latter draft proclamation aims at settling disputes out of court, expanding the areas of settlement of disputes for commercial and investment areas and recognizing culturally accepted dispute settlement options implanted in the society. The Cabinet sent these two draft proclamations for the Parliament for their deliberation and endorsement.

Moreover, the Council of Ministers has issued into law the Accreditation Service Fee Regulation.

NBE Directive No 2/2013

The National Bank of Ethiopia Directive No CMD/2/2013 aim at implementation of the new printed Birr notes. The new Birr notes shall have the same value as the previous Birr notes. The exchange rate between the former one Birr note and the new one Birr note is equal. The deadline for expiry of the old Birr notes shall be 90(Ninety) days and the NBE shall inform the public. Any exchange above Birr 5000 shall be done through one’s own account. Those who have more than Birr 100,000 should do the exchange within one month time. Transaction of sale of cars, houses or minerals and all other transactions above Birr 50,000 should be made through bank transfer. The Directive shall come into force as of 05/01/2013 E.C.