The Ministry of Trade and Industry affirmed that there is no intention to ban imports of finished goods that are ready to be distributed.
Several media outlets reported Monday that the government is considering a ban on the import of 15 finished goods worth up to $10bn—with the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) blessing.
According to reports, the government began to apply the decree for registering foreign factories that export to Egypt at the General Organisation of Exports and Imports Control (GOEIC).
The ministry stressed that Egypt is committed to all international trade agreements, especially in light of its WTO membership.
Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said that any actions taken by the government comes in the framework of international obligations stipulated in the WTO agreements and rules of free trade.
Kabil noted that the decision to register factories that export to Egypt is not done with the aim to import restrictions, but is rather a procedure applied in most countries. Moreover, this is applied on Egyptian products in various foreign markets.
The minister added that the goal of this is to ensure the quality of products exported to Egypt in order to preserve the health and safety of consumers.
The WTO agreement allows the government to take identification procedures for import [tariff] rates higher than allowed in the agreements, and allows them to cease the import of goods if these restrictive measures do not achieve the government’s aims, according to an official.
At the end of last year, the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) demanded that the Ministry of Trade and Industry increase tariffs on imports of finished goods according to the percentage stated in the WTO agreement.
The FEI said that many imported goods were subjected to custom tariffs much lower than those allowed for Egypt in the agreement, which leads to a high volume of imports of various commodities.