Eritrea Market Entry

By | July 23, 2022


  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

Imports of goods are usually made through an agent who acts either as an importer on his own account or as an intermediary.

According to, Eritrea is a member state of the WTO.

Imports of ivory, denatured alcohol, narcotics, old and used clothing and construction materials containing asbestos are prohibited. The import of tobacco products and matches is monopolized. The import of cars is subject to prior approval by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The importer must have an import license issued by the Business Licensing Office (BLO) under the Ministry of Trade and Industry to Eritreans only. Other required documents during importation – invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin.

Protection of the domestic market

The domestic market is protected by import tariffs. Nominal tariffs range from 2% (raw materials, investment equipment, spare parts) to 50% to 200% (luxury goods, automobiles, electronics, alcohol, tobacco, industrial goods competing with domestic production).

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

Conditions for setting up an office, representation A Business Licensing Office was opened in Asmara to assist investors in setting up a local representation or branch office. ZÚ Cairo does not have verified information about the functioning of this institution or about the detailed conditions that an investor must fulfill when setting up an office/company. A local law firm can also help with formalities.

Marketing and communication

Prospectuses in English are necessary, event. in Arabic. Marketing and advertising is still in its infancy in Eritrea. The most effective means of marketing are the distribution of leaflets and advertising in newspapers, radio and television.

Issues of intellectual property protection

The protection of intellectual property is still minimal, in practice it cannot be counted on. However, the possibility of stealing technological software applications or circumventing patent rights does not have to worry Czech entrepreneurs due to the country’s low technical level. Cases that could threaten Czech businesses have not yet been recorded.

Public procurement market

The government occasionally advertises tender offers for public sector supplies in the press, radio and television, some are allegedly only open to local companies, others also to foreign participants, ZÚ Cairo has only very sporadic information about them. The ZÚ monitors and publishes tenders announced by international organizations.

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

Even Eritrean payment ethics are no different from African customs: they can be questionable, and therefore trusted local representatives, additionally protected by (also local) lawyers, are irreplaceable. In any case, it is recommended to negotiate only the safest payment terms in the contract, such as an irrevocable confirmed letter of credit (L/C), payable immediately against the documents, or payment in advance. ZÚ Cairo does not have any relevant information about effective ways of resolving commercial disputes, in the event of a dispute, a local law firm must be hired.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

All foreigners, except citizens of Kenya and Uganda, need Eritrean entry visas, which are issued by Eritrean embassies and consulates abroad.

The Eritrean embassy in Berlin is responsible for the Czech Republic:

Embassy of the State of Eritrea Stavangerstrasse 18,

D-10439 Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 30 4467 4620;

Fax: +49 30 4467 4621


In the case of visits to countries other than Eritrea, it is probably easier to get a visa there than in Europe (e.g. Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, United Arab Emirates); however, in no case can an Eritrean visa be obtained in Ethiopia.

Required documents:

  • valid passport (at least 6 months)
  • international vaccination card (with marked vaccination against yellow fever
  • return ticket
  • photo
  • Bank statement
  • confirmation of travel insurance
  • completed form
  • addressed envelope
  • stamp worth EUR 4.50

Single-use tourist visas for 30 days for EUR 50 (the application is processed for a minimum of 30 working days!), single-use business visas for 30 days for EUR 95, for 90 days for EUR 100 and multiple for 90 days for EUR 140 are issued; in addition, a letter confirming the purpose of the trip and a document about employment/profession in the Czech Republic are required for the issuance of a business visa. Visas can possibly be extended at the Department of Immigration in Asmara, which should be contacted in time.

Please note – cash payments are not accepted at the embassy in Berlin! The relevant amount must be paid in advance by bank transfer and a confirmation of payment must be attached to the application.

Embassy of the State of Eritrea

Consular Section

Stavangerstrasse 18 D-10439 Berlin, Germany

Account number: 723 775 300

Bank code: 100 700 00

Bank name: Deutsche Bank, Berlin

Transfer from abroad: IBAN: DE67 1007 0000 0723 7753 00 SWIFT IBIC Code: DEUTDEBB

Duty-free import of 1 liter of alcohol and 200 cigarettes is allowed. Electronics such as video cameras, laptops, expensive cameras, etc., must be registered upon arrival. The import of currency is not restricted, but it is prohibited to export large amounts of local currency from the country.

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

Employing Eritreans is preferred. Investors can employ foreign workers in the event of a lack of local experts (technical and managerial positions), but they must train local citizens and then replace the foreigners with them. Work permits for foreigners are issued by the Ministry of Labor and Human Welfare.

Before arriving in the country, the employer must submit to the Ministry a certificate of the future employee’s education and work experience and a copy of a passport valid for at least one year. The consent of the Ministry must be obtained before arriving in the country.

Fairs and events

Information about international fairs or exhibitions is not available.

Eritrea Market Entry