Ethiopia collects $2 billion from legal, illegal traders

The Customs Commission of Ethiopia has collected around 56.7 billion birr (close to $2 billion) from international trade taxation, trade misinvoicing and confiscation of goods from smugglers during the first nine months of current Ethiopian calendar started July 8, 2018.

The Commission has achieved 72 percent of its target for the period. The money collected is slightly over the amount it has collected last year same period. The nine months; performance report of the Commission received shows that about 20.63 billion birr (about $724 million) is collected from value Added Tax (VAT), 18,3 billion birr ($642 million) from customs tax and around 10.6 billion birr (about $372 million) from surtax.

While 5,35 billion birr (around $188 million) is collected from excise tax and about 1.78 billion birr (about $62.5 million) is generated from nontax services such as, confiscation of contraband goods.

The custom post officers of the Commission have seized products and foreign currency equivalent to 885,04 birr (about $31 million) from people engaged in illegal trade. Out of this incoming contraband goods was worth 646.2 million birr ($22.6 million), according to the report.

The major incoming contraband goods confiscated include weapons, medicines, narcotic drugs, vehicles spare parts, electronics, tobacco products like cigarettes, clothes, food and drinks. While the outgoing contraband items were foreign currency cash in bulk, minerals including gold, the stimulant plant – tchat – and marijuana.

It is recalled that the Ministry of Revenue of Ethiopia has announced that the total revenue of the country (from tax and nontaxable incomes) in the first nine months Ethiopia’s current fiscal year started July 8, 2018, has reached 145 billion birr (about $5 billion). The about $2 billion collected by the Ethiopian Customs Commission, which operates under the Ministry of Revenue is a portion of the $5 billion revenue of Ethiopia for the past nine months.