Ethiopia clamps down on under-invoicing

Ethiopia’s central bank has prohibited banks from authorising import transactions featuring under-invoicing filed before December 2017 when a directive ordering banks to monitor under-invoiced imports was issued.

Following an appeal from the banks, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) had allowed the banks to clear and provide permits for imports prior to that date, even if the transaction featured under-invoicing.

Stop order

The NBE’s new circular now directs banks to stop processing all imports with under-invoicing in the transaction.

The central bank has also invalidated permits and purchase orders provided by banks for transactions that feature under-invoicing, including some that involve imports in transit that have not yet been delivered to Ethiopian buyers.

Under-invoicing curbs

Last year the central bank issued a directive to curb under-invoicing by setting minimum prices for imported items.

The directive also required banks to submit copies of import applications on a weekly basis and summary reports listing approved applications on a monthly basis.



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