Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has allowed companies operating locally to submit import documents to the customs authorities before goods arrive in the country, and to pay only 30% of estimated customs and fees, which will make customs clearance faster, and goods reach their destination more quickly.
Importers will pay the remaining customs duties after the arrival of goods, according to the customs tariff in force at the time of clearance.
According to a Sunday statement, when imported goods are re‐exported or destroyed, the importer may claim refund of customs duties paid in advance at the time.
“We are keen to provide all possible facilities to those dealing with the customs authorities, and to overcome any obstacles they may face, in a way that helps reduce the time of customs clearance, and in turn reduce the cost of goods and services in local markets,” Maait said.
He pointed out that the ministry continues to improve the investment climate in the country by digitalising the customs system and adopting the one-stop-shop system for national trade in the logistics centres that were established in the ports of Cairo, Alexandria, East and West Port Said, Port Tawfiq, Ain Sokhna, Dekheila, and Damietta.
The new one-stop-shop system covers more than 90% of Egypt’s imports, and it will extend to Safaga, Nuweiba, Ismailia, and Aswan before the end of 2021, thus establishing an electronic network between all ports, which will strengthen governance, protect national security, and prevent entry of any harmful goods to the country, according to Maait. In addition, the x-ray inspection system will be installed in about 85% of Egyptian ports nationwide by the end of 2021.
He pointed out that the trial operation of the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system will continue until September, and the mandatory application in seaports will be postponed to October instead of July 2021. The delay aims to allow more importers to register on the new system, and to extend the trial period to achieve the desired harmony between importers and foreign companies dealing with them.