Required Trade Documents
Shipping documents must be authenticated at an Egyptian Embassy or Consulate, in the country of origin, or any other Arab consulate if there is no Egyptian Embassy in the country of origin
Import and export in Egypt are regulated by Law 118 of 1995. Annex (8) of the import/export regulations lists commodities subject to quality control inspection prior to admittance into Egypt. The list consists of about 135 product categories including foodstuffs, spare parts, construction materials, electronic devices, appliances, and many consumer goods. Although Egyptian authorities stress that standards applied to imports are identical to those applicable to domestically-produced goods, according to WTO/TBT agreement, they are more strict in enforcing product standards on imported food products than on local food products. Moreover, importers face the problems of ill-defined or unwritten product standards, and backlogs result from authorities having limited staff or too few inspection machines to conduct their quality inspections.
In general, inspection fees range between 0.5 piasters (PT) ($.025) per kilogram to 10 Egyptian pounds ($2.00) per container, with an average inspection fee of PT 1 per kilogram. (Note: There are 100 piasters (PT) to a pound.) The inspection fee for goods imported for industrial purposes is lower than that applied to goods imported for retail purposes.
Ministerial Decree 99/94 exempts from quality control inspection of industrial inputs imported by factories. In contrast, the same products, if imported for resale, are subject to inspection. Imports for personal or private use are exempt from quality control inspection.
Trade Zones / Warehouses
Goods exported from or imported into the free zones are not subject to normal import/export customs procedures, duties or other taxes and fees. Likewise all instruments, machinery, equipment, and transportation equipment necessary for establishments authorized within the free zones are exempt from customs and taxes. Provisions of the labor law do not apply to companies operating in free zones, nor are they subject to currency transaction controls. Commodities manufactured and/or stored in free zones are considered "imports" subject to full customs duties if they enter Egypt.
The Customs Authority supervises both public and private bonded warehouses. The Ministry of Finance authorizes establishment of the warehouses, specifying the site of the bonded area, conditions of storage, storage charges, administrative charges, expenditures, guarantees to be presented, and other conditions relating to warehousing under bond.
Warehouse companies are subject to an annual fee of 1% on the imported product’s value, and production and assembly profits are subject to an annual fee of 1% on the exported product’s value.
Imported and domestically-produced commodities, which may be bonded in either public or private sector bonded warehouses, may not be withdrawn from bond unless the necessary taxes and fees are paid or a suitable bank guarantee is provided and accepted by Customs.
In May, the People’s Assembly approved the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Law number 83 for 2002. This law allows the establishment of special zones for industrial, agricultural or service activities that are designed specifically with the export market in mind. The law allows firms operating in these zones to import capital equipment, raw materials, and intermediate goods duty free. Companies established in the new zones also will be subject to lower corporate taxes and exempt from sales and indirect taxes, operate under more flexible labor regulations, and enjoy other incentives. As with the other new laws passed in 2002, the executive regulations that will clarify details have not yet been published.
Membership in Free Trade Arrangements
Customs Contact Information
General Authority for Export & Import Control - Ministry of Trade & industry
The Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control - Ministry of
Industry and Technological Development