Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Customs Regulations
Last published date:

Customs Law no. 207

Egypt’s new Customs Law, Law no. 207 for the year 2020, entered into force on November 12, 2020. This new law incorporates and amends the rules and procedures of the previous Customs Law, Law no. 66 of 1963 as well as and the customs exemptions law no. 186 of 1986.

The new law aims to encourage foreign investment, unify and simplify the procedures relating to international trade, streamline customs release operations and procedures, and improve the customs tax refund process. The law also seeks to reduce corruption by clarifying the penalties on violators and smugglers. It also introduces a revised post clearance audit process aimed at controlling the import and export activity more efficiently, promoting faster release of goods at the Egyptian border.

A key provision of the new law requires the importer or the importer’s agent to present documents relating to the goods to the Customs Authority before the goods are shipped so that the goods can be marked with an initial customs registration number, or ACID. This initial registration number must be notified to the shipper for it to be inserted into all shipping documents for any goods imported, failing which, the goods will not be allowed to be discharged at Egyptian ports, and will have to be re-shipped elsewhere at the expense of the carrier. Controversially, a provision in the new law states that if the importer fails to complete the customs’ formalities to clear out the cargo, the carrier shall become liable for re-shipping the goods or dispose of them at the carrier’s own expense.

Following the passage of the new Customs Law, the Egyptian government has set out to craft corresponding executive regulations for the enactment of measures laid out in the law. This effort, led by the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) and the Ministry of Finance, has not yet been completed. However, the Head of the ECA has publicly announced his receptiveness to public consultation by the sector, including U.S. exporters and business associations. The U.S. Commercial Service in Egypt, together with interagency colleagues at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, continue to lease with the ECA as these executive regulations are finalized.

Notably, the Ministry of Finance issued a decree in June 2020 mandating the abolishment of all consularization fees.

As described elsewhere in this report, certain categories of goods may not be imported into Egypt. Specific regulations apply to additional categories of goods, which may require registration of foreign factories and the products that they produce. After reviewing these documents, Customs either clears the shipments for release to the importer directly or directs the consignment to other government entities for testing and inspection, coordinated by the General Organization for Export and Import Controls (GOEIC). In certain cases, the Egyptian military or security services may require additional laboratory tests of commodities beyond any testing previously required or performed in compliance with other laws and regulations.  Custom duties are then assigned and paid in Egyptian pounds.

Please see Standards Organizations and Conformity Assessment section, for further inspection and standards issues affecting imported goods.

Useful Resources

Ministry of Finance

Egyptian Customs Authority