Ethiopia: New commercial code

Ethiopia: New commercial code

A new commercial code replaces the 62-year old commercial code that has governed business operations since 1960.


The repealed Commercial Code Proclamation No. 166/1960 consisted of six “books” covering:

  • Part I. Traders and businesses
  • Part II. Business organizations
  • Part III. Carriage and insurance
  • Part IV. Negotiable instruments and banking transactions
  • Part V. Bankruptcy and schemes of arrangement
  • Part VI. Transitory provisions

The new commercial code repeals articles under Parts I, II, and V. Provisions of Parts III and IV continue to apply pending the issuance of financial services code and subject to any clear contrary stipulations in other laws.

The new commercial code is expected to usher in changes in the ease of doing business, company restructuring, ownership options, bankruptcy management, and board-executive management relationship. The new commercial code consists of the following books:

  • Part I. Traders and businesses
  • Part II. Business organizations
  • Part III. Bankruptcy (new provisions on bankruptcy)

Read an April 2021 report [PDF 453 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Kenya

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