Trade Policy and Market Access
In January 2003 Ethiopia officially applied for membership into the WTO. Although several challenges remain and, therefore, the process of negotiations is slow, Ethiopia is expected to meet all of the requirements set out for accession and become a member in the near future. Ethiopia is a member of the following organisations and regional markets: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); the Africa Free Trade Zone (AFTZ); African Union (AU); the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP); the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD); and the Economic Commission for Africa (EAC). However, Ethiopia its commitment to regional integration remains at the lower end. Although Ethiopia is a founding member of the COMESA since 1993, it remains as a COMESA non-FTA member country; nevertheless goods imported from COMESA countries are afforded a 10 per cent tariff preference. Ethiopia's average MFN applied tariff in 2012 was 17.3 per cent. Agricultural products face higher tariffs (22.4 per cent) compared to non-agricultural products (16.5 per cent). High import tariffs policy is adopted to protect certain industries such as the clothing and textile industries.
Standard Compliance and Other Relevant Import/Export Restrictions
process of WTO accession, the Quality and Standard Authority of Ethiopia, which
used to oversee the quality and standards accreditation and certification, were
divided into the Ethiopian Standard Agency, the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment
Enterprise, the National Accreditation office, and the National Metrology
Institute, so as to ensure a clear division of responsibilities and the
efficient handling of tasks. Among them, the Ethiopian Standards Agency was
designated as the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry in
2010. The agency aims to have ten thousand items standardized by the end of
2017. Moreover, the country has yet set up the formal relationship with the WTO
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Information Management System (SPIMS) through its
SPS Enquiry Points and National Notification Authority. Ethiopia signed the Comprehensive
African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) compact in 2009, which
targets key sub-sectors like the livestock, in which Ethiopia leads the region.
The compact underpins existing food security and nutrition programs which
relates to World Trade Organization (WTO) accession and implementation.
COMESA Secretariat, 2013, Establishing Priorities for SPS Capacity-Building Using Multi Criteria Decision Analysis in Ethiopia