Egypt flag Egypt: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Egypt

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
International Economic Cooperation
Egypt is a member of the following international economic organisations: WTO, Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), ICC, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone (BSEC) (observer), G-15, G-24, G-77, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), IMF, Arab League, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Egypt click here. International organisation membership of Egypt is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
There is no licensing system, although importing some products requires the prior authorisation of the Treasury Department.
One of the difficult principles governing imports is the obligation to ship the goods directly from the country of origin (decree 619/98, November 1998), thus preventing the goods from being regrouped. This law has however been relaxed for companies having subsidiaries in other countries by permitting them to ship from the country of their registered office or from their overseas subsidiaries. Together with this the obligation to get the certificates of origin legalized in the country of origin of the goods has been introduced.
In fact, some products are still banned, especially in the field of textiles and poultry, and automobiles must be imported in the year of their manufacture.
Packaged goods must have an Arabic instruction booklet and all handling instructions must be written in English and Arabic.

As of December 2015, Egyptian importers may be required to register their foreign suppliers with the Government. The Ministry of Trade and Industry approved a list of 50 commodities that require import registration at the General Organisation for Exports and Imports Control (GOEIC). The list of products to register includes garments, furnishings, home appliances, carpets, textiles, shoes, steel, blankets, bikes, motorbikes, watches, mineral/natural waters and soda. In addition, overseas suppliers must allow Egyptian technical teams to inspect their imported products to ensure that environmental and labour standards are met. They may be also required to provide a certificate of quality control from a recognised body of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs duty rates on imported goods generally range from 5% to 40%.
According to the World Ban, the effectively applied weighted average tariff is 8.19%.
Customs Classification
Egypt applies the Harmonized Customs System.
Import Procedures
Egypt joined the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonisation of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention) in 2007. Thus, it aligned the country’s customs procedures with those of the World Customs Organisation. The convention is an instrument for the harmonisation of customs techniques. It also aims at ensuring that customs system is not a barrier to international trade and growth.

Egyptian law requires that all commercial agents and importers have Egyptian nationality. If it is a company, the chairman and all members of the board must be Egyptian, and it must be 100% Egyptian-owned. However, distributor-type companies with any foreign ownership can market goods under certain conditions that limit flexibility of the foreign entity.

There are significant document restrictions; the original sales invoice, in duplicate, the original certificate of origin, in duplicate, are required. These two documents must be certified and authenticated by the Egyptian consulate in the country of origin. For the certificate of origin, it is necessary to specify that the information given is exact and accurate. Further, the package list, the bill of lading with the name and address of the sender and the number of bills of lading sent are required. Since 1999, The Central Bank of Egypt requires all letters of credit to be paid 100% in cash by the importer. A complete description of the product content is also required for products that need to go through a content analysis.
Importing Samples
Customs accepts the entry of samples exempt from all duty for the purpose of sales promotion or exhibition. The value of these samples must not exceed EGP 500 or it should not be possible to sell them as such. These conditions must be repeated specifically in the accompanying documents. If they do not meet these conditions, a deposit must be made to Customs with a file which will ensure a re-export of the product. The deposit will be returned on proving the re-export of the goods. For medical samples, health regulations must be met.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Official website of the European commission delegation in Egypt.

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Latest Update: June 2024

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