Import refers to all transaction related to purchase of commodities, machineries, materials, etc from abroad and allowed to enter Ethiopian territory. Banks in import transactions deal only in documents. "Documents" in import transactions refer to the following set (item no. a is optional but b is compulsory.)

a. "Financial documents" means bills of exchange or promissory notes used for obtaining the payment of money.

b. "Commercial Documents" means commercial invoices, transportation documents [like Bill of Lading (B/L), Air Waybill (AWB), Truck Waybill (TWB), Rail Waybill (RWB), Parcel Post Receipt (PPR)], Packing List, Certificate of Origin, documents of title or other similar documents, or any other documents whatsoever, not being financial document.

The three methods of payment allowed by the regulation for import activities are listed here below based on risk level (starting from less risky) to Ethiopian importers.