Ethiopian Central Bank Limits Amount Of Cash Travelers Can Carry, Sets Foreign Currency Terms Cryptocurrency

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According to the directive from the National Bank of Ethiopia, which came into force on September 5, people entering and leaving the country in possession of local currency are now subject to new restrictions. Individuals cannot hold local currency whose value exceeds $57.00 or 3,000 birr. The directive also sets out the conditions and circumstances under which Ethiopian residents and non-residents can own and use foreign currency.

Conversion of all foreign currencies at authorized Forex offices

Ethiopia’s central bank recently issued a guideline that sets a limit on the amount of birr a “person entering and exiting Ethiopia” can have in their possession. Additionally, the directive, which came into force on September 5, sets out the conditions and circumstances under which Ethiopian residents and non-residents can own and use foreign currency.

In a statement, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) indicates the exact value of the birr and foreign currencies that residents can hold.

“According to the directive, a person entering and leaving Ethiopia can hold up to [a] maximum of [$57.00] or 3,000.00 birr (three thousand birr) per trip to and from Ethiopia. However, a person traveling to Djibouti can hold up to a maximum amount of [$190.00] 10,000 birr (ten thousand birr) per trip,” the NBE said.

For Ethiopians re-entering the landlocked African country, the central bank said they are required to “convert all foreign currency they are carrying at a licensed exchange office for the equivalent sum in birr”. Alternatively, they can deposit the currencies in a foreign currency account within 30 days of returning to the country, the central bank added. For residents holding $4,000 or more, the NBE has ordered that these individuals file a customs declaration.

Declaration of foreign currency assets

Regarding the use of foreign currencies when traveling abroad, the central bank explained:

The directive states that a person residing in Ethiopia is permitted to travel abroad carrying foreign currency if they present a bank notice issued for the purchase of the foreign currency within thirty (30) days of the bank notice. .

In contrast, when a non-resident foreign national of Ethiopian origin or a non-resident Ethiopian who owns foreign currency enters the country, the central bank directive requires them to “submit a customs declaration” if the value foreign currency held exceeds $10,000.

However, for persons holding foreign currency entering Ethiopia by land transport, the NBE requires them to make a declaration of such holdings if the value is greater than or equivalent to $500.

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What do you think of the currency holding restrictions imposed by the National Bank of Ethiopia? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning journalist, author and writer in Zimbabwe. He has written extensively on the economic issues of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide an escape route for Africans.







Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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