Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Temporary Entry
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In general, Egyptian customs allows for commercial samples and temporary imports for display purposes at officially recognized exhibitions or for sales promotion activities to enter the country duty-free, except for goods that are cited on the list of prohibited imports. These goods are:

  • Goods bearing marks considered sensitive to religious beliefs.
  • Chicken offal and limbs. Fowl livers.
  • Two-stroke motor bicycles not equipped with oil injection pumps.
  • All kinds of asbestos. Brake pads made of asbestos.
  • Tuna containing genetically treated oils
  • Some kinds of pesticides and chemicals

For more information on prohibited imports, see Goods suspended from importation PDF.

Certain conditions do apply, however:

Medical samples must comply with the rules for the importation of pharmaceuticals. Foodstuffs must comply with the relevant health regulations.

In certain cases, goods imported on a temporary basis may be disposed of or sold in Egypt upon payment of the appropriate customs duty plus an extra tax of 10 percent per month after clearing customs.

On re-exportation of goods imported under temporary import regulations, companies should ensure that correct documentation and return of the letter of guarantee is obtained from Egyptian customs to avoid claims against the company later.

Printed advertising materials, such as catalogs, posters, or films, may also be imported duty-free in small quantities.

Drawback System

Exporters may also take advantage of the drawback system. This procedure is different from the temporary admission system in that full customs duties are paid on the imported materials and the manufacturer does not fill out a special form with customs.  However, there is a one-year time requirement to re-export these imports as part of a final product in order to have the right to reclaim the full amount of the duties paid as well as other taxes, such as the sales tax. There are bureaucratic challenges associated with both the drawback and the temporary entry systems. Exporters have experienced long waiting times for receipt of their tax rebates.