Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has revealed that the country’s land, air, and sea ports will be linked to the electronic customs one-stop-shop platform by the end of June 2021.
Maait’s remarks came as he reviewed the executive position of the national project to modernise and automate the country’s customs administration system.
He emphasised the commitment to the timetable set for the new system’s implementation, with the system aiming to simplify procedures and facilitate internal and external trade movement.
It also looks to improve Egypt’s ranking in three important international indicators, namely: global competitiveness; doing business; and the macroeconomic environment. The improvements will take place in a way that helps stimulate the country’s investment climate, maximise productive capabilities, and broaden the export base.
The minister added that Egypt’s new customs law is an unprecedented legislative move that allows goods to be tracked through a modern e-commerce system until the final release stage. It comes with the possibility of pre-clearance and the payment of customs duties before the goods arrive.
The new law also allows the exchange of secured information and data electronically between the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) and state or foreign entities. The introduction of a comprehensive risk management system leads to the release of the goods without detection or inspection via the green path, in accordance with the established controls. This will ensure that procedures are simplified and reduces the customs release time to less than three days.
Maait added that the state is keen to encourage the export sector and remove any obstacles to economic activities.
He noted that any challenges that arise at customs ports during the new customs law’s practical application are dealt with immediately, until the executive regulations are issued, in line with the legislative principles.
Al-Shahat Ghatwari, Head of the Central Administration for the Affairs of the Head of the Customs Authority’s Office, said authorisations approved by banks for customs brokers or company representatives will remain in effect for one month or until the executive regulations of the new customs law are issued, whichever is earlier.
This is due to their currently being unable to issue the authorisations due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the precautionary measures that have been put in place to curb its spread.