Dry Ports in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has moved to establish various inland dry ports. The first of these dry ports in Ethiopia is to start opertaions in the first half of 2009. It is located at Modjo, nearly 75 km East of Addis Ababa. The other one will be located at Semera. This move will help the country save foreign currency and increase efficiency in import export operations; we have here included the establishment proclamation of the Dry Port Administration Enterprise and its liabilities. The Dry Port Services Enterprise has now merged with two other state owned companies to form the mega-company Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise.

  1. Dry Port Administration Enterprise Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation No. 136/2007 or 136/1999EC (according to the Ethiopian calendar - EC).
  2. Proclamation to Define the Liability of Council of the Dry Port to the consignee Proclamation No. 588/2008 or 588/2000EC.

These documents can be purchased at Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise Shop at Arat Killo.

Highlights of the Proclamation and the regulation

The highlights of the above mentioned proclamation and regulation are listed below; however, it’s advisable that a reader gets the documents for a comprehensive understanding of the existing proclamations and regulations.


Establishment and Purpose (Regulation No. 136/2007 or 136/1999EC)

  • The Dry Port Service Enterprise is established as a Public Enterprise for indefinite duration and it shall be supervised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications; the enterprise’s head office shall be in Addis and it may have branch offices elsewhere, as may be necessary.
  • The Purposes for which the Enterprise is established are to operate dry ports and
    • To provide the services of loading and unloading and storage of imported and exported goods
    • To provide the services of stowing and unpacking (stuffing and destuffing) of containerized export and imported goods
    • To provide container depot services
    • To engage in other related activities conducive to the achievement of its purposes.


Dry Port’s Basis of Liability (Proclamation No. 588/2008 or 588/2000EC)

1. Basis of liability

  • The Dry Port shall be liable for the loss, damage or delay in delivery of the goods while under its custody.
  • Unless otherwise there is an agreement or regulation, without contradicting the provisions of this proclamation, the delivery of goods shall be deemed delayed where the dry port cannot deliver the good within three days from the day required within the period provided under the agreement or regulation.
  • The Dry Port shall be exempted from liability if it’s proved that the loss or damage of the good or delay of the good was caused by. The wrongful act of the consignee or transporter or the inherent nature of the goods of force majeure.

2. Limits of liability

  • With respect to the loss or damage of goods, the extent of liability of the dry port shall be equal to the price of the goods (the total sum price of transportation, insurance, tax, customs duty and related expenditure added to the selling or buying price of the goods); where the price of the goods was not expressed in the document at the time of delivery, the extent of liability shall be on the basis of the weight of the good per KG SDR 2.5.
  • With respect to delay of delivery of the good the liability of the dry port shall be equal to 2.5(two and haft) times the charges payable to the port service in respect of the goods delayed.

3. Abandoned goods

  • The manner by which good stored in the dry port is deemed as abandoned good with in a limited period and the consequent measure shall be determined by the appropriate provisions of the Re-establishment and Modernization of Customs Authority Proclamation No. 60/1997 (as amended).
  • The dry port shall have the right to pay with respect to abandoned good after deducting the amount payable to its services from the proceeds of the sale of the good pursuant to Sub-Article 1 of this Article.


Period of Limitation

  • Any action with respect to delivery of good or claim of payment under this Proclamation shall be barred if not instituted with in a period of two years.
  • The limitation period shall commence:¬Any action by a person is respect of the remaining amount of the proceeds of the sale of abandoned good after deducting customs duty and tax, and dry port service fee and expenditure, shall be barred if not instituted within a period of two years.
    • on the day the dry port delivered or has to deliver the goods in whole or in part to a person entitled to take delivery of them, or
    • in cases of total loss of the goods, on the day the dry port notifies the person entitled to make a claim as to the loss of the goods.
  • The day on which the limitation period commences shall not be included in the period.

Inapplicable laws

  • Any laws, regulations or directives that contradicts with the provision of this Proclamation (588/2008 or 588/2000EC) shall not apply in the execution of this Proclamation.