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Money and duty free for Ethiopia

Currency and Money

Currency information

Ethiopian Birr (ETB; symbol Br) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 1 Birr, as well as 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.

Credit cards

Visa and MasterCard are accepted at major hotels.


ATMs are widely available in Addis Ababa and other major towns. Always get a receipt for every transaction, and immediately let your bank know if the ATM does not give you the amount you have entered.

Travellers cheques

Travel cheques are not popular nowadays but if you want to buy some, you’re advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1730 and Sat 0800-1600

Currency restrictions

The import of local currency is limited to 3,000 Birr. The export of local currency up to 3,000 Birr is permitted, provided the traveller holds a re-entry permit. The import and export of foreign currency is limited to US$10,000 or subject to declaration on arrival.

Currency exchange

US Dollar bills are the most convenient currency to exchange.

Ethiopia duty free


The following goods may be imported into Ethiopia by passengers aged 18 and over without incurring customs duty:

• 200g cigarettes, 20 cigarettes and 250 grams of tobacco.
• 2 litres of alcoholic drinks.
• 500ml of perfume.
• 500ml Eau de toilette.
• Clothes for personal use.

Banned Imports

Prohibited imports include narcotics, firearms, explosives, counterfeit currency, pornography and materials which infringe upon intellectual property rights.

Restricted imports requiring permits include hunting guns, air guns, swords, endangered plants and animals, live plants and animals, fruit and vegetables, seeds, ivory, medicines and satellite cameras.

Banned Exports

Prohibited or restricted exports include ivory (even if already processed into jewellery), precious metals, precious gems, religious artefacts, antiques and animal hides.  

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