The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) has issued the rules and procedures for its customs system, in coordination with the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA).
The move is an attempt to improve Egypt’s business climate through completing legislative frameworks, regulations and laws, and to help create an investment climate with more transparency in work procedures. It also meets the desires of investors working in the region.
SCZone Chairperson Yehia Zaki said that the ECA’s issuing of the customs guide comes within the zone’s 2020-2025 plan to facilitate Egypt’s investment climate and business performance. The guide will serve the region’s investment process and meet the ambitions of companies wishing to invest.
He pointed out that this customs guide will provide many advantages for investors, including reducing production costs and increasing incentives. The guide is also set to simplify and facilitate release procedures and the electronic formatting of documents, as well as the circulation between regional projects.
It does so by creating an integrated industrial community, and facilitating the export of products to the local market.
Zaki added that the guide depends on a number of aspects, the most important of which is the establishment of a developed logistics centre to support logistical services.
This will come in addition to the launch of an electronic platform to provide services to all commercial, industrial, and logistical sectors through a single electronic customs window.
He added that the guide also depends on establishing logistical areas for express shipping service for e-commerce companies. These will be set up alongside logistical areas for roll-on/roll-off (RORO) berths outside the port or storage sites for companies to trade and handle transit cars.
This helps take advantage of the RORO berths in the SCZone’s ports and their developed capabilities. The guide also depends on the establishment of specialised logistical areas for global and international shipping lines companies, and others that are specialised in ship catering companies.
Zaki said that the guide includes procedural facilitations for productive projects when selling to the local market. It also includes the establishment of the Balances and Factoring Unit within the logistics centre, to support financial and inventory settlements when reviewing the area project balances, as well as the subsequent accounting review of letters.
This review occurs through a committee represented by the ECA and in the presence of its representative to facilitate the implementation procedures.
It also includes the application of pre-clearance mechanisms on all zone projects. Moreover, it covers the principle of separating release from clearance work, establishing special customs departments outside the port, and the right to object to and settle customs cases at the dispute centre in the region zone.
The guide includes the application of the risk management system and selective programmes, and the approved economic operator programme also called the approved economic actor (AEO).
It is a global standard and one of the components of the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The guide also includes the establishment of a publishing and information unit that aims to launch a transparent information environment for the region’s clients to eliminate all points that require further inquiries.