Ethiopian Central Bank Restricts Amount of Cash Travelers Can Hold, Sets Foreign Currency Conditions

The directive of the National Bank of Ethiopia, which came into effect on September 5, places where local currency is in possession are subject to new restrictions. Individuals cannot own local currency with a value exceeding $57.00 or 3,000 Birr. This directive also outlines the conditions under which Ethiopian residents can possess and use foreign currency.

Convert All Foreign Currency at Authorized Forex Bureaus

Recently, the Ethiopian central bank issued a directive that limits the amount of birr a person may possess when entering or leaving Ethiopia. The directive, which took effect on September 5, also sets out conditions under which Ethiopian citizens and non-residents can possess and use foreign currency.

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), in a statement, outlines the exact amount of foreign currency and birr that residents might have.

According to the directive, an individual entering or departing from Ethiopia can carry a maximum amount of [$57.00] birr 3,000.00 (birr 3000) per trip to and from Ethiopia. The NBE stated that a person traveling to Djibouti can only carry a maximum of [$190.00] or birr 10,000 (birr 10 thousand) per trip.

Ethiopians who are re-entering the country's territory from Africa must "convert all foreign currencies he/she has at an authorized forex bureau to convert the equivalent amount in birr" or deposit the forex into a foreign account within 30 days. The NBE required that residents with $4,000 or more in assets file a customs declaration.

Foreign Currency Holdings

The central bank provided the following information regarding the foreign currency that can be used when traveling abroad.

According to the directive, a person who resides in Ethiopia can travel abroad with a foreign currency provided that he/she has a bank certificate allowing him/her to purchase the currency within thirty (30 days).

However, if a nonresident foreign national of Ethiopian descent or a nonresident Ethiopian citizen who has foreign currency is allowed to enter the country, the central banking directive requires them "to present custom declaration" if their foreign currency exceeds $10,000.

The NBE requires foreign currency-holding persons who enter Ethiopia by land transport to declare their holdings if they have more than $500 in value.

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By: Terence Zimwara
Title: Ethiopian Central Bank Restricts Amount of Cash Travelers Can Hold, Sets Foreign Currency Conditions
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Published Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2022 09:30:04 +0000

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