Stamp Duty in Ethiopia

Enforcement of stamp duty is required to have strong system of law enforcement to prevent the increasing incidence, from time to time, of contraband and other commercial fraud crimes which are resulting negative impact to legitimate trade, public security, government revenue and other social and economic development.

Stamp Duty Proclamation No.110/1998 DOWNLOAD
Stamp Duty Amendment Proclamation No.612/2008 DOWNLOAD

The legal instrument which regulates stamp duty in Ethiopia is Stamp Duty Proclamation proclamation no. 110/1998 and its amendment proclamation no. 612/2008.

Article 3 of the stump duty proclamation exhaustively lists instruments chargeable with stamp duty:

  1. Memorandum and articles of association of any business organization cooperative or any other form of association.
  2. award
  3. bonds
  4. warehouse bond
  5. contractor agreements and memoranda thereof
  6. security deeds
  7. collective agreement
  8. contract of employment
  9. Lease, including sub-lease and transfer of similar rights.
  10. natural acts
  11. power of attorney
  12. documents

Rates and Mode of Valuation of stamp Duty

As per Art 4 (1) (2) of Proclamation Number 110/1998: The rates might be flat or they may depend on the value of the property.

Liability, Time and Manner of Payment

Article 6 & 7 of Proclamation Number 110/1998.

Exemptions from Stamp Duty

Article 11-the following are exempt from the liability of payment of same:

  • Public bodies on which the federal government of Ethiopia Financial Administration Proclamation No. 57/1996 applies.
  • Goods imported for sale by traders having import license, when first registered in the name of the trader.
  • Documents that are exempted in accordance with international agreements and conventional approved by Ethiopian government.
  • Subject to reciprocity embassies, consulates and missions of foreign states may be exempted.
  • Share certificates are exempt from stamp duty payable on the register of title of property.

Penalties

Article 12 provides:

Any person:
a) Executing or signing, otherwise than as a witness, a document chargeable with stamp duty without the same being stamped.
b) Who, with intent to defraud the appropriate payment of duty, conceals facts bearing on the true nature of any instrument.
Shall be liable on conviction to a five not less then birr 25,000 and not exceeding Birr 35,000 and to rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than 10 yrs and not more than 15 yrs.

Any person who is:
a) appointed to sell stamps or stamp papers, disobeys regulations issued under this proclamation; or
b) not so appointed, sells or offers for sale stamps or stamped papers.
Shall be liable on conviction to a fine not less than 5,ooo and not exceeding and to rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than 5 years and not more than 10 yrs.

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