Bilateral Agreements


COMESA TREATY


For more information visit:
www.comesa.int

Establishment of the COMESA

  • The Preferential Trade Area PTA Agreement between the countries of East and South Africa was     signed on December 21st 1981, and entered into force on September 30th 1982.

  • As a result of the success of this agreement the signatory countries decided to establish the Common Market for East and South Africa (COMESA). It is considered to be a new step closer to the African Economic Community. 

COMESA Treaty was signed on December 8th 1994, thus replacing the PTA Agreement.

 Duration

Valid unless the Heads of States and Governments Assembly decides to terminate it upon the recommendation of the Ministerial Council.

Date Egypt joined the Agreement

Egypt became a member in May 1998.

Main Objectives of The Common Market

Objectives of the common market are:

  1. To attain sustainable growth and development of member States by promoting a more balanced production and marketing structure. 

  2. To promote joint development in all fields of economic activity, in addition to jointly adopting macroeconomic policies and its programs to improve the welfare of the citizens and encourage close relations between member States.

  3. To co-operate in the creation of suitable environment for domestic, foreign, and cross border investment.

  4. To collaborate in strengthening the relations between the common market and the rest of the world.
  5. To cooperate in driving peace and security process between member States so as to strengthen the economic development ties in the region.

Member States

COMESA constitute of 20 States members as follows:
Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius,  Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia , Zimbabwe and LIBYA .
 Tanzania withdrawn  from the COMESA in September 2000 and Namibia in July 2003.

The Organizational Structure of COMESA

The structure of COMESA consists of the following bodies:

  • The Authority (Heads of States and Governments)

  • The  Council of Ministers

  • Inter-Governmental Committee

  • The Committee of Governors Of Central Banks.

  • Court of Justice

  • Technical Committees

The following organizations are subsidaries to the COMESA:

  • Eastern  And Southern African Trade And Development  Bank (PTA Bank) , current headquarter in Nairobi.

  • Clearing House, current headquarter in Harare.

  • COMESA  Bankers  association, current headquarter in Harare.

  • Leather And Leather Products Institute, current headquarter in Ads-Ababa

  • Reinsuring COMESA Company, current headquarter in Nairobi.

Goods eligible for preferential treatment

exports of originating goods from member states  (with a minimum local value added of 45% ) should be exempted from customs duties and other fees and duties having similar effects when imported into the other member States.

  Procedures to be adhered to by member  states of COMESA

  1. Exempting exports of originating goods from member States from customs duties and other fees and duties having similar effects.

  2. Removing all non-tariff barriers on imports from member States within one year of joining COMESA

  3. Participating in the preparation of a unified custom tariff (customs union) by December 2007.

  Status of Member states in dismantling tariffs  on imports from other member states.

  • 9 States members of COMESA have joined the  FREE TRADE AREA (FTA) in 31 october2000, so they dissimilated all customs duties and other fees and duties having similar effects on originating imports from other members of the FTA.

  • Those States are : 1- Egypt 2- Kenya3-Mauritius  4- Sudan  5-  Zambia   6- Zimbabwe  7- Djibouti  8- Madagascar 9- Malawi and in January 2004 Burundi and Rwanda joined the FREE TRADE AREA.

  • Uganda and Eritrea currently applies 80% reduction on tariffs on its imports from COMESA  members .

  • Ethiopia currently applies 10% reduction on tariffs on its imports from COMESA  members.

  • Angola and republic of the Congo democratic did not apply any kind of reduction on its imports  from COMESA members .

  • Libya not yet applying reduction on imports  from COMESA member states.

  • Swaziland is still negotiating with SACO to agree on how to implement its obligation under COMESA.

 Dumping, Subsidies and Safeguard measures

Provisions similar to those of the WTO on  Anti-dumping, Countervailing and Safeguard measures are applicable  in COMESA to insure fair competition.

Egypt - EU Partnership Agreement

Signature Of The Agreement

The Agreement was signed on June25,  2001. 

Entry Into Force

The trade provisions of the Agreement entered in to force on January 1, 2004 and the other provisions of the agreement entered into force on  June 1, 2004  after being ratified by the Egyptian people’s assembly .

Objectives of the Agreement

 

 

 

  1. Establishing an adequate framework for a political dialogue to develop close political ties between the parties.

  2. gradual liberalization of trade in industrial goods and agricultural products as well as, services and capital movement.

  3. Developing balanced economic and social relations through mutual cooperation.

  4. Contributing to the process of economic and social development in Egypt.

  5. Encouraging regional cooperation to promote peaceful coexistence and economic and political stability.

  6. Promoting cooperation in other fields of mutual interest.

 Free Trade Area (FTA)

According to the Agreement, FTA to be established during 12-year transitional period, from the date of entry into force of the Agreement .
During the third year of the implementation of the agreement the two parties shall determine the measures to be applied from the fourth year  to further liberalize their trade in agricultural, fisheries and processed agricultural products. 
The Agreement permits Egypt to take certain exceptional measures for specific periods during the transitional stage, if and when certain domestic industries face a threat as a result of liberalization of imports of similar goods from the EU.
The Agreement includes implementation of WTO and GATT regulations against anti-dumping, subsidy and safeguard measures. The Agreement allows each party to receive Most Favorite Nation treatment from the other party in trade in services. 
The Agreement aims at increasing the flow of foreign capital, expertise and technology to Egypt.
Egyptian exports of manufactured goods to the EU will be exempted from tariffs from the date the Agreement entered into force, meanwhile, EU exports of manufactured goods to Egypt shall be tariff-exempted  according to the lists and time frame specified in the Agreement.
Agricultural products and agricultural processed products shall be treated according to the provisions stipulated in the agreement which defines certain quotas for specific goods with tariff privileges .

Benefits from the Establishment of  FREE TRADE AREA ( FTA ) between Egypt and the EU

Manufactured Products

Both parties shall benefit from  trade liberalization of tariff and non tariff barriers within the Agreement.

 Exempted Egyptian Exports

Egyptian exports of manufactured goods to the EU shall be exempted from tariffs or any other duties and fees having similar effects from the date the Agreement entered into force. 

Exempted EU Exports 

Manufactured goods exported from EU to Egypt are to be exempted from all tariff and non tariff barriers having the same effect according to the following time frame:

  • ( GOODS IN ANNEX 2 ) Tariffs are to be gradually eliminated over 3 years. A reduction of 25% has been applied on first of January 2004, 2005, 2006and 2007.

  • ( GOODS IN ANNEX 3) Tariffs will be reduced gradually in the following manner: 10% after 3 years from the date the Agreement enters into force to be followed by an annual tariff reduction of 15% over 6 years until tariffs are fully eliminated.

  • ( GOODS IN ANNEX 4) Tariffs will be reduced gradually in the following manner: 5% after 5 years from the date the Agreement enters into force to be followed by a 10% reduction on the following year,  followed by a reduction of 15% annually for 5 years and 10% reduction in the final year.

  • ( GOODS IN ANNEX 5)  Tariffs will be gradually reduced by 10 % annually after the elapse of 6 years from the date the Agreement enters  into force, until tariffs are fully eliminated.

Liberalization of Trade In Agricultural Commodities

Agricultural  Products

Egypt and the EU agreed on preferential treatment of certain quotas of agricultural products.
Egypt and the EU have agreed to start negotiations in the near future on  the liberalization of agricultural and agro-agricultural and fisheries products in accordance with Rabat road map.
 

Arrangements Applicable to Imports into the EU of the Egyptian Agricultural Products 

Egypt and the European commission shall progressively establish a greater liberalization of their trade in agricultural, fisheries and processed agricultural products of interest  to both parties. During the third year of implementation of the association agreement, both parties shall examine the situation in order to determine what further liberalization measures can be applied .

Egyptian agriculture products for several products get a 100% reduction of customs duties, (annex to protocol 1 and annex II to protocol 3) European agriculture products: reduction of customs duties between 25% and 100% for a list of products, ( annex to protocol 2).

European processed agricultural  products: gradual reduction depending on the products ( annex I to protocol 3) .

Processed Agricultural Products

A specific number of European processed agricultural products shall be exempted from tariffs in Egypt after two years from the date the Agreement enters into force.

EU Treatment of Processed Agricultural Imports from Egypt

The agricultural products used in the production of agricultural commodities are subject to CAP (Common Agricultural Policies) to attain the domestic prices higher than those prevailing in the international markets (especially products like grains, sugar and dairy products). The EU imposes the following duties on its imports of processed agricultural commodities:

  1. Relative custom fees (between 2% and 12%) are applicable based on the processing operations of those commodities. Egyptian exports will be exempted from this custom fee.

  2. A tariff fee on the agricultural components, equivalent to the difference between their international prices and domestic (EU) prices. A list of Egyptian processed agricultural products will be exempted from the relative custom fee while the tariff fee on the agricultural component will remain unchanged , whereas a number of other Egyptian processed agricultural products will enjoy a 30% exemption of the tariff fee on the agricultural component in addition to the complete exemption from the relative custom fee.

  3. An additional fee shall apply on commodities whose component includes ingredients of grains, rice, sugar or dairy products.

Treatment of EU Exports of Processed Agricultural Products to Egypt

EU exports of processed agricultural products to Egypt will be treated according to the following categories:

  1. Products that will be exempted of all tariffs and other fees with a similar effect after two years from the date the Agreement enters into force.

  2. Products whose tariffs and other similar fees will be reduced according to the following timetable:
    A reduction of 5% of the basic fees after two years from the date the Agreement enters into force.
    A reduction of 10% of the basic fees after three years from the date the Agreement enters into force.
    A reduction of 15% of the basic fees after four years from the date the Agreement enters into force.

  3. Products whose tariffs and other similar fees will be reduced according the following timetable:
    A reduction of 5% of the basic fees after two years from the date the Agreement enters into force.
    A reduction of 10% of the basic fees after three years from the date the Agreement enters into force.
    A reduction of 25% of the basic fees after four years from the date the Agreement enters into force.

Duration

Valid until terminated by either party  by notification to the other party. The Agreement shall cease to function after the elapse of  12 calendar months from date of notification.

For  more information visit: http://www.eu-delegation.org.eg

 What is QIZ

Qualifying Industrial Zones is a preferential trade protocol allowing Egyptian products customs-free access to US markets, provided these products satisfy certain rules of origin requirements, and satisfy an Israeli content requirement.

 The protocol applies to four geographic areas in Egypt that contain a large percentage of Egyptian industry, which are Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Central Delta region, and the Suez Canal region. Further areas may be added at the approval of the US government.

 In light of Egypt's developed infrastructure, highly competitive production costs, and well established business and regulatory environment, Qualifying Industrial Zones present a strong export base to US markets.

 For more information, please visit the QIZ website http://www.qizegypt.gov.eg .

 QIZ Trade Statistics 

QIZ Trade Information 2005

  No of Companies Exports to US (m USD) Imports from Israel* (m USD)
Feb 22 – June 30 54 61.6 8.2
July 1 – Sept 30 70 116 14.7
Oct 1 – Dec 30 ** 85 110.7 13.5

* The import statistics are the numbers reported by the companies and do not necessarily reflect their total imports because some companies buy large amounts and only report what is needed to cover the required percentage of Israeli content.

** The decline in QIZ exports during the last quarter is a reflection of US apparel buying patterns, as Egyptian exports have usually declined during the last three months in previous years.

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Free and Preferential Trade agreements between Egypt and the Arab countries

  • Tariff and Trade Agreement between Egypt and Libya (signed on 3 December 1990).
  • Trade Agreement between Egypt and Syria (signed in 19 July 1991).
  • Free Trade Agreement between Egypt and Tunisian Government (signed on 5 March 1998).
  • Free Trade Agreement between Egypt and Moroccans Government (signed on 27 May 1998).
  • The Executive program to support trade between Egypt and Lebanon (signed on 1 January 1999).
  • The Executive program to support trade between Egypt and Jordan (signed on 10 December 1998).
  • The Executive protocol to establish Free Trade Area between Egypt and Iraq (signed on 18 January 2001).

Agreement with Libya

Duration

5 years renewable automatically

Implementation

This  agreement enters into force as of the date of exchange of the ratification documents.  Done on December, 3rd 1990.

Enforcement

This agreement entered into force on 18/6/1991.

Exempted Goods

Commodities and products of domestic origin.

Exempted Egyptian Imports

Resins and artificial plastics, cellular esterates.

Exempted Egyptian Exports

Textile materials and manufactured textile products, foodstuff products.  
 

Egyptian imports not exempted from tariff

All commodities are exempt.

Egyptian exports not exempted from tariffs

All commodities are exempt.

Preferential Privilege

Exempting goods of domestic origin from tariffs and taxes applied in both countries, in accordance with the provisions of this agreement and foreign trade regulations in both countries.

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Agreement with Syria

Duration

One year, automatically renewable

Implementation

This agreement enters into force as of the date of exchange of ratification documents, according to the constitutional requirements observed in both countries.
Done on 19/7/1991.

Enforcement

This agreement entered into force on 1/12/1991.

Exempted Goods

Commodities of Egyptian and Syrian origin, as stated in the lists agreed upon.

Exempted Egyptian Imports

Sheep, potatoes seeds, lentil, salted viscera, fruit trees’ transplants, barely, castor seeds, bran, seed cakes, salt, cement, human medicines, raw wool, cotton lint, cotton yarn not prepared for retail sale, filters for the cement industry, printing machines and gear boxes for tractors.

Exempted Egyptian Exports

Glucose, human medicines, inks, cotton yarn not prepared for retail trade, aromatic oils, aluminum sheets, tires, saws, razors, shaving instruments, handles, automobile filters, powder, frozen or liquid soup, plastic syringes dyeing and finishing materials for the textile industry, carton materials for the textile industry, carton components and aluminum containers for filling with gases. 

Egyptian imports not exempted from tariff

Data being prepared.

Egyptian exports not exempted from tariffs

Data being prepared.

Preferential Privilege

Commodities of Egyptian and Syrian origin aforementioned shall be exempted from tariffs and the related taxes (except for domestic and sales tax).

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Agreement with Tunisia

Duration

Valid until terminated by either party.

Implementation

This agreement is considered an integral part of the Free Trade Agreement concluded between Egypt and Tunisia on March, 5th 1998.
Done on 5/3/1998.

Enforcement

This agreement entered into force on 15/3/1999.

Exempted Goods

Commodities of Egyptian and Tunisian origin.

Exempted Egyptian Imports

Olive oil, tomato paste, paper paste, child nutrition preparations, fungicides and pesticides for agricultural purposes, tyres, raw wool, paper, crystal and glass, steel wires, pipes and hoses, spraying machines, cooling rooms (units) ploughs, cement mixers, poultry-raising equipment, electric wires and fixtures, medical and surgery furniture, automobile spare parts.

Exempted Egyptian Exports

Dried legumes, spices, rice, sugar molasses, human medicines, veterinary medicines, movie films, tyres, raw cotton, ceramic pricks, flat glass, aluminum, school books, spinning and weaving equipment, washing machines, pipes, dry batteries, electronic spare parts, railway compartments, musical instruments, fans, medical and surgery furniture, photocopying machines and tractors.

Egyptian imports not exempted from tariff

Textile and manufactured textile products, shoes and shoe parts, ceramics, automobiles and lorries.

Egyptian exports not exempted from tariffs

Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and tobacco products, textile and RMGs, automobiles.

Preferential Privilege

Tariffs, fees and taxes of similar effect, operative in both countries (Exemption Limit)  on Jan., 1st, 1997, shall be eliminated for commodities of Egyptian and Tunisian origin over a period not exceeding Dec. 31st, 2007 (maximum), according to the following timetable:

The following gradual tariff, fee and tax reduction plan shall be implemented to commodities of Egyptian and Tunisian origin:
- Commodities with tariff fee and tax rate ranging between 0-20% shall   be reliable to an even annual reduction to eventually become fully exempt after 5 years from date of agreement enforcement.
- Commodities liable to tariffs, fees and other taxes of more than 20% shall be reliable to an even annual reduction until they become fully exempted no later than December 2007.
- Lists (3) & (4) specify commodities to be considered, for a reduction scheme in the future, by the joint committee.
- In exception to the provisions of Article (2), trade in agricultural commodities will be studied later according to the provisions of the coordinated tariff stipulated in chapters 1-24.

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Agreement with Morocco

Duration

Valid until terminated by either party.

Implementation

This agreement enters into force as of the date of exchange of ratification documents, according to the constitutional procedures in both countries.
Done on 27/5/1998.

Enforcement

This agreement entered into force on 28/4/1999.

Exempted Goods

Commodities of Egyptian and Moroccan origin.

Exempted Egyptian Imports

Iron ores, cooper ores, lead and zinc ores, vaccines, fishery products, whole milk powder, beans, lentil, prepared anchovy, table margarines, enfant milk, tomato paste, fish powder, natural graphite, sugar industry waste, barium soleplates, cork and fibers.

Exempted Egyptian Exports

White cement, ammonium nitrate, sodium soleplate, seeds of aromatic plants, tomato paste and ketchup, coke charcoal, gelatin, ceramic pricks, iron bars, sheets, rude aluminum, pumps, air conditioners, farm machinery, motors, vacuum cleaners, electric lamps and tubes, photocopying machines and buttons.

Egyptian imports not exempted from tariff

Poultry products, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and tobacco products, textile and RMGs, automobiles iron or steel bars and sheets.

Egyptian exports not exempted from tariffs

Powder, explosives and products of ferrochrome, textile and RMGs, automobiles, tyres and iron or steel bars and sheets

Preferential Privilege

Tariffs, fees and taxes of similar effect, operative in both countries (Exemption Limit)  on Jan., 1st, 1997, shall be eliminated for commodities of Egyptian and    Moroccan origin over a maximum period of 12 years according to a    timetable. There tariffs, fees and taxes of similar effect are eliminated for the abovementioned commodities of Egyptian and Moroccan origin.

Gradual reduction of tariffs, fees and taxes of similar effect on commodities of Egyptian and Moroccan origin shall take effect according to the following:- Commodities with tariff rate ranging between 0-25%, for which fees and other taxes are charged in both countries, shall be liable to an annual reduction until they become fully exempted in 5 years as of the date this agreement enters into force.

  • Commodities to which a tariff rate of more than 25% is applicable, together with other fees and taxes in both countries, shall be liable to    annual reduction rate for 5 years as of the date of enforcement,    according to the scheme stipulate in tables (3) & (4) attached to this   agreement to eventually reach a level of 25% inclusive of tariffs, fees   and other taxes.
  • After 5 years of enforcement, a time-frame shall be laid to liberalize   the remaining 25% rate over a maximum period of seven years, starting   from year six of this agreement’s enforcement.

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Agreement with Lebanon

Duration

Valid until terminated by either party.

Implementation

This agreement enters into force after one month of the date of exchange of ratification documents according to the legislations in both countries.
Done on 10/9/1998.

Enforcement

This agreement entered into force on 15/3/1999.

Exempted Goods

Commodities of Egyptian and Lebanese origin

Exempted Egyptian Imports

Commodities exempted during specific market windows for each individual commodity: apples, grapes and pears.

Commodities exempted all the year round: Cherries.

Commodities liable to a 25% gradual reduction annually: All the products stated under exempted Egyptian exports.

Exempted Egyptian Exports

Commodities exempted during specific market windows for each individual commodity: Potato, garlic, salt and water melon.

Commodities exempted all the year round: guava, mango, dates and dried dates.

Commodities liable to a 25% gradual reduction annually: Dairy products, pineapple, kiwi fruit, avocado, papaya, mineral water, gaseous water, varnish, paints, frozen vegetables, prepared vegetables, jams and    fruit juices.

Egyptian imports not exempted from tariff

Textile, RMGs, automobiles, tobacco, alcoholic, beverages, poultry meat, cement, wires and cables.

Egyptian exports not exempted from tariffs

Ceramics, home furnishings, textile, RMGs, tobacco, bulbs and cut flowers, taps and prepared poultry meat.

Preferential Privilege

Products of Egyptian and Lebanese origin are exempted from tariffs, (Exemption Limit) fees and other charges of similar effect, as of 1/1/1999.

Sales tax is calculated in Egypt and Lebanon for goods, to which the provisions of this present agreement are applicable, when imported according to the operative laws in both countries.

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Agreement with Jordan

Duration

Valid until terminated by either party.

Implementation

When ratified, this agreement shall replace the Free Trade Zone Agreement concluded in May 1996. This agreement enters into force as of the date of exchange of ratification documents according to the operative legislations in both countries.
Done on December 10th 1998.

Enforcement

This agreement entered into force on 21/12/1998.

Exempted Goods

A gradual reduction, and not exemption, of tariffs, fees and taxes has been agreed upon, on goods of Jordanian and Egyptian origin.

Exempted Egyptian Imports

Transport equipment and metal products.

Exempted Egyptian Exports

Plant products, minerals and mineral products and chemical industry’s products.

Egyptian imports not exempted from tariff

Textile and RMGs, automobiles, tobacco and tobacco alternatives, construction steel, edible salt, tomato paste and mineral water.

Egyptian exports not exempted from tariffs

All commodities previously stated under the Egyptian imports.

Preferential Privilege

a) It has been agreed upon that the two parties will gradually establish a free trade area no later than with the provision of this agreement and with WTO Founding Agreement.

Tariffs, fees and taxes of similar effect shall be reduced for commodities of Jordanian and Egyptian origin, according to the following scheme:

  • 25% in year one, as of 1/1/1999.
  • 40% in year two, as of 1/1/2000.
  • 55% in year three, as of 1/1/2001‏.
  • 70% in year four, as of 1/1/2002.
  • 80% in year five, as of 1/1/2003.
  • 90% in year six, as of 1/1/2004.
  • 100% in year seven, as of 1/1/2005.

b) Without prejudice to the provision of paragraph (a) above, commodities that are not liable to the gradual exemption scheme are hereby excluded.

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Agreement with Iraq

Duration

Valid until terminated by either party .

Implementation

This protocol enters into force as of date of  exchange of ratification documents, in accordance with  the operative legal procedures in both countries. 
Done on 18/1/2001.

Enforcement

This agreement entered into force on 8/7/2001.

Exempted Goods

Commodities of Egyptian and Iraqi origin.

Exempted Egyptian Imports

 

Exempted Egyptian Exports

 

Egyptian imports not exempted from tariff

 

Egyptian exports not exempted from tariffs

 

Preferential Privilege

 

Egypt and the WTO