The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) sets the US dollar price for customs tariffs on a daily basis at 3pm, based on the average exchange rates at banks, according to the head of the Central Administration of Customs at the Egyptian Customs Authority Mahmoud Issa. He added that this price is used for the following day.
Issa pointed out that Tuesday’s transactions were conducted according to a rate of EGP 17.26, while on Wednesday the tariff followed a rate of EGP 17.84 to the dollar.
He noted that some shipments have not yet been cleared, although they were charged at a rate of EGP 8.78 prior to the flotation of the Egyptian pound. He stressed that they will be cleared based on the old price, as this was the rate at the time when these shipments arrived.
He predicted that the current volatility in the US dollar exchange rate will end within weeks, highlighting similar circumstances in 2003.
Issa said that the price for US dollars used at customs is based on supply and demand mechanisms and varies each day, which affects the prices of imports accordingly.
Chairperson and CEO of Edita Food Industries, Hani Berzi, said that the exchange rate will remain volatile in the short-term, until the market absorbs the shock of the flotation and begins pricing according to supply and demand.
He stressed that until then, the dollar exchange rate at customs will remain unstable for about a month, noting that the products will, therefore, see price changes temporarily.
Moreover, Berzi, who is also the head of the Food Export Council, said that businesses will be able to get their US dollar needs through official channels. “This is a positive thing,” he noted.