Egypt's finance minister explains customs upgrade mandated by new bill



Sat, 14 Nov 2020 - 03:48 GMT


Sat, 14 Nov 2020 - 03:48 GMT

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO – 14 November 2020: After the presidential ratification of the New Customs Bill, Finance Minister Mohamed Mait told press Saturday that the customs management system is being upgraded and automated.


The minister elaborated that the introduction of the single-window system will be finished in main ports by the end of June 2021. He added that also digitalization will be carried out so that measures are simplified, costs are reduced, and clearance duration is shortened.


Such moves are aimed for the improvement of Egypt's rankings of competitiveness, doing business, and macroeconomic environment.  


Mait said that finally a tracking system will be designed to trace shipments until clearance. Moreover, the option of paying in advance the tariffs of shipments that are part of e-commerce deals before arrival so they would be cleared immediately will be available.  


The bill allows communicating information and data between the Customs Authority, and other national and international institutions in accordance with relevant agreements.


An electronic system will be designed to know information about the shipments before their departure from export ports. Another will be allocated for risk management so that shipments are cleared without inspection by taking the green route while abiding by terms and conditions.


The Green Customs Initiative (GCI) is an international initiative that targets to combat illegal trade of substances that are not environment friendly by elevating countries abilities – through training - to detect them.


With respect of customs disputes, submitting petitions to the administration of the Customs Authority will be made possible so that going to court becomes a second option. In that way, a committee having the representatives of both sides will agree on a solution.


Instead of the random pile-up of shipments, temporary storage will be allowed as well as paying tariffs in installments. That payment option applies to machinery, equipment, devices, production lines, and their spare parts that are not subject to exemption. Nonetheless, an additional tax will be imposed and calculated as a percentage of the unpaid tariff value due each month or part of a month.  


Tariff exemptions will expand to include medical devices, equipment, drugs, blood derivatives, vaccines, contraceptives, and baby formula imported by public and university hospitals.


The legal framework of free zones has been launched, and exemption rules have been aligned with other laws preserving the rights of the disabled and encouraging sports among others.



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