It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.
Methods of Payment
U.S. exporters typically request Letters of Credit (LOCs) from Egyptian buyers, arranged by the buyer through Egyptian banks and confirmed irrevocably by an American bank, though recent reports indicate that U.S. firms prefer payment in advance over LOCs. Wire transferring through SWIFT is another option. Tighter credit terms offered by the EU, Japan and China have required importers to seek full LOCs or cash-in-advance payments for imports. According to new regulations, the U.S. exporter must submit the invoice as well as export documentation to his/her bank and the U.S. bank should inform its Egyptian correspondent bank about a request to open an LOC. Import transaction are based on document collections between banks. Documents incoming directly to clients, will not be accepted.
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at https://www.trade.gov/trade-finance-guide-quick-reference-us-exporters
According to the Central Band of Egypt (CBE), the Egyptian banking system consists of 40 banks categorized as commercial, non-commercial public and private sector. ATM services are offered at all bank branches as well as many point-of-sale locations. In practice, the vast majority of these banks operate as commercial banks, although there are a few specialized banks (i.e. agriculture and real estate). The National Bank of Egypt, Bank Misr, and Banque Du Caire are large public-sector banks which control 40 percent of the banking sector. All banks in Egypt are subject to supervision by the CBE; however, the Arab International Bank, Nasr Social Bank and the National Investment Bank are exempted due to special provisions in law and treaty.
Citibank, formerly the only full-service American bank operating in the Egyptian market, sold its consumer and retail operations to CIB bank, though it maintains its commercial and investment banking operations in Egypt.
Foreign Exchange Controls
span style=”font-size:12.0pt”>Foreign exchange regulations fall under Law No 88/2003. According to this law, individuals and businesses can hold foreign currency in Egypt and can have local bank accounts denominated in foreign currency. Individuals can buy foreign currency and transfer it abroad. Any individual or business can engage in a foreign currency transaction but must use banks or foreign-exchange bureaus that are licensed to trade in foreign currencies. The banks and foreign exchange bureaus all submit statements of all their transactions to the CBE, which ultimately controls all foreign exchange transactions. Banks have been giving priority to imports of “essential” goods. Commercial transactions must be supported with specific documents to justify the transfer.
US Banks & Local Correspondent Banks
4 Ahmed Pasha St., Garden City, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-2791-0673, +2-02-27913-524 Fax: +2-02-2795-8056
49 Kasr El Nil St., Downtown, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-2391-3822, +2-02-2399-2000, +2-02-2393-4999 Fax: +2-02-2390-7793
9 Abdel Moneim Riad St., Mohandeseen, Giza
Tel: +2-02-3336-5818, +2-02-3336-5822, +2-02-3336-5823 Fax: +2-02-3336-5816
151 Mohamed Farid St., Downtown, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-2391-4239/0656 Fax: +2-02-2393-5381
1187 Corniche Al Nil, Boulak, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-2594-5000, +2-02-2594-5668, +2-02-2594-5600 Fax: +2-02-2574-7614
35 Abdel Khalek Tharwat St., Downtown, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-2397-0202, +2-02-2392-6749, +2-02-2391-6120/7133/2140
Fax: +2-02-2391-5922, +2-02-2395-5102
12 Al Sheikh Youssef Sq., Garden City, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-16222, +2-02-2366-2620/2700/2600 Fax: +2-02-2366-2814/2810/2811
Commercial International Bank
Nile Tower Bldg., 4th Fl., 21/23 Charles DeGaulle St., Giza
Tel: +2-02-3747-2000, +2-02-3570-2690, +2-02-3570-3043 Fax: +2-02-3568-3844
306 Corniche El Nil St. Maadi, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-2529-8000, +2-02-2529-8751, +2-02-3535-9100 Fax: +2-02-2525-8080
1191 Corniche El Nil, Floor 9, Cairo
Tel: +2-02-2614-9500/9600/9700, +2-02-2580-1200/1201/1205
Fax: +2-02-2613-5160, Fax: +2-02-2619-0574