By Abdel Qader Ramadan
Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry, and Investments Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour has issued a ban on the export of solvents, essential in paint manufacturing and comprised mainly of diesel fuel.
Nour said: “This decision is targeted at maintaining subsidised Egyptian petroleum products, as an increase in smuggling operations, under the cover of solvents, has been observed recently.”
He pointed out that the Customs Authority was recently informed of the decision to tighten customs procedures in various ports to tighten control and take actions to deter violations.
Coordination is also taking place with security agencies to increase control at border crossings and add more inspections so materials are not smuggled outside of the country. A shortage in these materials would have a negative impact on meeting citizens’ needs for petroleum products like fuel and diesel.
Waled Hilal, Chairman of the Export Council for Chemical Industries, expressed approval at the move, which he said will encourage local factories to produce paints rather than exporting the raw solvents. The move will also further contribute to value of products.
Hilal said that these solvents do not represent a large proportion of petrochemical exports. Any deficit that may result from the export ban will be made up for through a rise in paint exports.