Freight to Egypt

What are the rules and to regulations about exporting and importing in Egypt?

General information: how customs proceed. 

The department of Customs in Egypt is under the control of the Ministry of Finance. It is the one that authorize merchandise to clear Egyptian customs. The imported goods will only be legal on the Egyptian business when the shipment will be in the arrival port and will be passed through customs. Customs broker or import deliver the import declarations but also the document that correspond. Usually, the broker handles the entry and is like an agent for the importer.

If you want to ship agricultural goods, the importer need to make a request delivered by the Ministry of Agriculture. It takes two weeks to obtain it. The important can be done as soon as the Ministry approved.

The importer has several steps to take when the goods arrive at the port of entry. The Ministry of Agriculture has to know the goods arrived. The importer informs them and call together a committee. It is composed of three experts. They have to examine the goods before they are unload. The three experts furnish the Ministry of Agriculture an agreement Letter just for the importation. This letter is one of the document needed by the Customs to pass the entry. The import declaration required is called K 19 Import Declaration. The customs register the entry and give an entry or a serial number. The Committee of Customs Accounting determine and calculate the taxes imposed on the goods. Among the 3 experts there is the Accounting agricultural inspector (he inspects the face value of the commodity), the analyst does the appropriate testing. The third one is the senior inspector, he collects the observations of the agricultural inspector and the analyst and approve the release. After that, Customs deliver a payment Application to Customs and Receipt. The importer has then to pay duties and sales tax associated. The Customs House from the Ministry of finance deliver the duty receipt as well as the sales tax receipt. The two documents receive then a stamp from the government to close the procedure to clear customs.

If you want to have more information about Egyptian logistics industry, let’s visit the website of the Ministry of transport

Terms & Definitions

Terms Definitions
Importer Code / License A code/license that customs administration delivers to company so they can proceed to the transactions at the customs. Egyptian Customs deliver this license to traders or manufacturers that want to export or import their goods.
Customs Inspection Customs officers can inspect transport, goods and persons that are in a customs territory but also when they enter or go out the customs’ zones.
Harmonized System System with methodize code, descriptions and designations of goods. Il includes customs charges. This classification system is universally accepted for trade merchandises in order to have the product classified and find the tariff that correspond.
Representative Card System with methodize code, descriptions and designations of goods. Il includes customs charges. This classification system is universally accepted for trade merchandises in order to have the product classified and find the tariff that correspond.
Certificate of Origin Document that identifies the goods. The authority allowed to deliver it assure that the merchandises are coming from one specific country.

It is delivered and approved by the Chamber of Commerce which give the country where the product was at each step of its fabrication.

Delivery Order A permit which allows the goods to be released. Port authority, shipper or an agent provide it.
Packing List A list which details goods (quantity, weight, description), better if it is according to the Harmonized System Code.
Carrier The one that owns the means of transport.
Goods Owner Person (legal or natural) who has its name on the delivery order. The carrier issues it.
Goods Owner

Representative

Agent of the owner of the goods, he handles with the customs administration.
Goods Any animal or agricultural, natural material, intellectual or industrial produce declared codified by a tariff or in the tariff nomenclature.
Prohibited Goods If a legally recognized agency ban the export or import of a goods, it is a prohibited good. It can be written in the law, a notice or any system given by the agency.
Restricted Goods Goods that movement, export or import is restrained by a legally recognized agency.
Customs Declaration Declaration in which the importer details to the customs what are the procedures applicable for each goods and explains what customs need to grand the procedures to be applied. The importer submits it to customs manually or electronically.
Customs Value Value determined in the law used to clear customs.
Customs Duties When goods leave or enter into the territory, they go through customs and are taxed. Those duties are established in the customs tariff. The Common Customs Law determine the percentage or the amount taken on the merchandises.
Manifest Document in which goods are described in detail according to the different means of transport.

shipping thai egypt

What about importation to Egypt?

Final Release: Such declaration happens when goods from all over the world are imported on the local market. In this case we apply to Customs duty & sales taxes or duty exempted.

Documentation

  • Original BOL / Air bill
  • Certificate of origin that chamber of commerce only can legalize of the product comes from Europe, otherwise it can be approved by the chamber of commerce, as well as the Egyptian consulate. This is applicable for industrial and trading purposes.
  • Original invoice with full details of the supplier contact and stamped.
  • Original packing list with Harmonized System code
  • Import license of the imported
  • Tax card of the importer

Import in order to Re-Export: Declaration processed when goods are import in order to be re-exported. The importer has to pay 20% of customs charges and sales taxes. It can be paid by a guarantee of a letter or cash deposit. The importer will get the money back after proving the goods will be re-exported.

Documentation:

  • Original BOL / Air bill
  • Original invoice with full details of the supplier contact and stamped.
  • Original packing list with Harmonized System code
  • Letter in which relations between consignee and shipper are indicates by the importer or Egyptian authority.

Temporary Release: Cargo can be exported in the country for an industrial study but will be completely re-exported. Prior exportation it has to be allowed by customs authorities.

Documentation:

  • Original BOL / Air bill
  • Original invoice with full details of the supplier contact and stamped.
  • Original packing list with Harmonized System code
  • Permit delivered by an authority that allow temporarily release
  • A guaranty letter from the bank valid for 2 years assuring that it covers the entire taxes and duties until re-exportation

Drawback: The goods are imported for industrial reasons and are charged fully charged (duties and taxes). Re-exportation is not compulsory. It requires the same documents than Temporary release. However, taxes and duties will be returned.

Exemption:  Any exempted merchandise for industrial use, projects or diplomatic has to receive an exemption decree delivered by a competent authority.

Documentation:

  • Original BOL / Air bill in the name of exempted consignee directly
  • Original invoice with full details of the supplier contact and stamped.
  • Original packing list with Harmonized System code
  • Copy of the exemption law or decree

More information about Egyptian duties & taxes on the official Egyptian customs website

What about exportation to Egypt?

In economics, any commodity or goods transported from a country to another one in a legalized way, is an export. International trade is really carried by exportation. For local purchase or local fabrication, the importer won’t be charged of customs duty.

Documentation:

  • Original commercial invoice
  • Export clearing declaration
  • Valid export license
  • Packing list with the Harmonized System codes

Temporary Export: Declaration processed when goods are exported for repair, maintenance, used in projects, displayed in exhibitions and re-exported the same way they enter the country.

Documentation:

  • Export clearing declaration
  • Packing list with the Harmonized System codes
  • Original commercial invoice
  • Issue form 126km
  • A formal letter delivered by the company requesting temporary export
  • Original export permit delivered by the qualified agencies if you want to export restricted goods

Re-Export Export: This transaction is realized when a product has been import in order to be re-exported.

Documentation:

  • Original commercial invoice
  • Export clearing declaration
  • Packing list with the Harmonized System codes
  • A formal letter from the company requesting re- export
  • Valid export license

What about free zones?

There are portion of the territories but not considered in the customs area and products are not subject to the standard customs procedures. There is no customs and taxes, no export and import regulations. Very often, to simplify export and import procedures, Free Zones

Among the Free Zone incentives and guarantees are a lifetime exemption from all taxes and customs; exemption from all import/export regulations; the option to sell a certain percentage of production domestically if custom duties are paid; and limited exemptions from labor provisions. To facilitate import/export procedures, Free Zones are located closed to airports and ports. There are private and public Free Zone:

Licensees of Free Zone are authorized to have equipment or goods imported from other countries without having to pay customs duties. Goods can be deposit on a unlimited time-period according to the goods and the License validity of the FZ.

Documentation:

  • Original BOL / AWB
  • Delivery order issued by Airline agent or the shipping agent delivered to a licensed company
  • Form #1 approved from Free Zone authority
  • Copy and 2 originals from commercial invoice
  • Copy and 2 originals of the detailed packing list with Harmonized System code
  • Certificate of origin approved by the (EU) Chamber of Commerce in the original country given where the product is coming from and the Egyptian consulate if it is not from Europe.

What about transit

Goods imported from another country in order to go be delivered in another country. The goods have to be registered only for transit the territories to a terminal destination. To be sure that the goods will legally leave the country, the importer has to give a guarantee, with a deposit amount for instance, of the entire value of taxes and duties.

Documentation:

  • BOL / AWB showing [Shipment in transit]
  • Delivery order delivered the shipping agent
  • Copy / Original of commercial invoice
  • Packing list detailed showing Harmonized System code
  • Transit letter that guarantee the covering of taxes and duties value

 

The Egyptian International Freight Forwarding Association (EIFFA) is the official organization that is aimed at supporting, leading and enhancing this field in order to have a prosperous and successful future. Created in 1990, it is the official and the only one representative of FIATA in Egypt.

For more information, visit their website:  EIFFA, The Egyptian International Freight Forwarding Association

To conclude this article about Egypt, find just below a timelapse of sailing down the Suez Canal