DHL Deliveries to Ethiopia

dhl logo with ethiopia land of origins

How to Use DHL to Deliver to Ethiopia

I frequently get questions from people wanting to know more about having packages delivered to Ethiopia from countries across the globe. Therefore, I wrote the following to help with the DHL shipping and receiving process in Ethiopia.

Keep in mind that DHL is not the only company providing operations in Ethiopia but due to the high level of professionalism and quality in their service, we shall stay with DHL deliveries to Ethiopia for now.

Ethiopians began spreading out to locations all over the world, after the fall of Emperor Haile Selassies' reign. During his rule, it was common for Ethiopians to shed tears and refuse to leave their motherland even for beneficial things such as a foreign education.

It was deemed highly undesirable to leave "emama" Ethiopia.

Today, we Ethiopians have migrated to more countries than I can list here. I even heard of Ethiopians living in North Korea. That should give you an idea of how spread out we are.

We can view our predicament in a positive light, saying we now have connections in almost every country on the planet. This has benefited us economically and has also put Ethiopia on the proverbial map.

We now hear or see Ethiopia being mentioned in popular media like never before. Where in the past Ethiopia carried a negative image as a country in the midst of famine, today we might catch the Simpsons eating in an Ethiopian restaurant on their TV show in the United States.

So, before I get carried away, let's get back to the main point.

DHL Deliveries to Ethiopia

Firstly, the receiver in Ethiopia should choose a branch of DHL in Ethiopia. I have compiled this list to make it easier to locate them: DHL Branches in Ethiopia.

Since most cities in Ethiopia only have one branch to service the whole populace, it might be a good idea to stop by their office and get further information. Ask them questions to make sure your package would reach you on time as opposed to choosing a branch in the capital city of Addis Ababa.

Once the location is chosen, the receiver informs the sender. The sender then fills out the forms indicating the Ethiopian branch address and phone number. When the package arrives at the Ethiopian office, they call the receiver to come for pick up.

In some instances they might ask the receiver to write a "mamelkecha" or a signed statement declaring that the goods are not for a commercial purpose. Most DHL deliveries to Ethiopia are documents and are not subject to much scrutiny, but make sure you refer to the following sections first.

DHL Express Import Guidelines for Ethiopia

The following are the list of standard prohibitions, shipping guidelines, and restrictions to consider when sending express shipments to Ethiopia.

Prohibited Commodities for Ethiopia

Live animals

Hunting (Animal) trophies, animal parts such as ivory and sharks fin, animal remains, or Animal-by-Products and derived products not intended for human consumption, prohibited for movement by the CITES Convention and/or local law.

Human remains or ashes

Bullion (of any precious metal)

Cash (current legal tender)

Loose precious and semi-precious stones

Complete firearms, ammunition, explosives / explosive devices

Illegal goods, such as counterfeit goods and narcotics

Property, the carriage of which is prohibited by any law, regulation or statute of any federal, state or local government of any country to or through which the shipment may be carried.


Dangerous goods, haz. or comb. mats



Counterfeit Goods are Prohibited

DHL's security policy states that it is not allowed to transport counterfeit goods via the DHL network.

If you are offered very low prices for branded goods that are sold on shopping websites or via other channels, you can normally assume that the goods are counterfeit. High quality branded goods that are often copied are:




Expensive Watches

CDs and DVDs



Shipping Commodities - What You Need to Know

Certain commodities are considered as "Non-Document" and need to be accompanied by an invoice and, in some cases, additional customs documentation. Other commodities are considered simply as a "Document" and only require a DHL Waybill to be completed. The following list explains what you need to do in order to ship various commodities.

Document Commodities (Require only DHL Waybill)

Advertising brochures/pamphlets

Airline tickets, issued/validated

Annual reports

Artwork inc.drawings/proofs/layouts

Blank forms


Booklets, brochures (non-adv.)

Books: hardbk/paperbk non-comm. use

Business cards


Cash letters (NI)



Cheques, cancelled (NI)

Cheques, cashier (NI)

Computer printouts



Documents, general business

Invoices, not blank


Magazines, periodicals, journals

Manuals, technical



Money orders (NI)

Music, printed or manuscript




Personal mail


Photos as part of business reports

Plans/drawings-arch/indust/eng. pur

Price lists

Price tickets for garments

Publication not for public resale

Ship manifest-computer generated

Shipping schedules


Visa applications

Commodities where you should contact your local Customer Service advisor to clarify shipping requirements

Alcoholic beverages

Communications equipment

Drugs: non-prescription

Drugs: prescription

Films: 8mm, 16mm & 35mm

Films: entertainment

Films: promotional, training


Personal effects


Radar equip.-transmitters/receivers


Telecommunications equipment

All other commodities are Non-Document in nature and should be accompanied by a DHL Waybill and an Invoice.

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