December 5, 2018 - Ethiopia announced that it will establish customs police to fight contraband trade, according to Ethiopian News Agency.
The Council of Ministers recently approved a proclamation for the establishment of the customs police as part of the fight against illegal trade that has beenflourishing over the years.
The new customs police will operate under the Federal Police of Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Minister of Revenues, Adanech Abebe, said the new police force will specifically work to control contraband trade, which is significantly affecting the country’s economy and a threat to the country.
Contraband trade in Ethiopia accounts for major part of import-export trade, depriving the country billions in lost tax revenue.
In addition to usual consumer commodities, the country is also beginning to see a growing contraband trade for arms and weapons.
Illicit trades are also believed to be abusing Incentives that the nation introduced to attract more investments, such duty free and tax-exempt equipment.
The Minister of Revenue cited 55 international hotels using the tax-free privilege in a very small rural town in Afar regional state of Ethiopia.
Adanech Abebe said the Ministry of Revenue is working to control the problem and establishing the customs police is one of them.