Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said that the country is set to take the management for 90% of its external trade online by the end of January 2021.
The electronic management will be handled via a nationwide network of logistics centres, some of which have already begun operating in Cairo, West and East Port Said, and Ain Sokhna. Further logistics centres are scheduled to commence operations in Alexandria by the end of this month, Damietta in November, and Dekheila city in January.
Maait said that this step will contribute to boosting the movement of international trade and improving Egypt’s ranking on logistic services performance indexes.
He added that the government intends to reduce the customs release time in the ports of Ain Sokhna, and East and West Port Said to less than three days by the end of 2020, and the rest of Egypt’s ports before the end of next year.
Maait said that the operation of the one-stop-shop customs system will be completed at the country’s largest ports before the end of next June.
He also said that there will be a reduction in the number of required documents and procedures, alongside the merging of a number of supervisory approvals. This will occur at the same time as expansions to the pre-release system, and applying the prior information system, all of which will also take place before the end of next June.
“The one-stop-shop will be implemented, with a coverage rate of 100%, at Alexandria Port within a month and a half, as it is one of the governorates most ready to transfer to the new system in terms of manpower and infrastructure,” Maait said, “This will take into account the benefits from the experiences of Cairo and Port Said in the speed of overcoming challenges when moving to other ports.”
The minister said that a unit has been established, under the direct supervision of the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) that will undertake daily monitoring of discarded goods. It will also monitor hazardous containers and neglected items in Egypt’s ports and customs warehouses, and establish mechanisms to raise the efficiency of their disposal.
This is projected to facilitate procedures for the disposal of these containers, and preventing their accumulation in ports.