Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel

Includes information on acceptable business etiquette, dress, business cards, gifts, etc.

Last published date: 2020-09-15

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Typical work hours are Sunday through Thursday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. The U.S. Embassy is open Sunday through Thursday and is closed on American and Egyptian holidays. During the month of Ramadan, local employees work seven hours per day (one hour less than normal either in the morning or in the afternoon).

Please note that Embassy operating hours are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.  For information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operating hours and services please visit the U.S. Embassy in Cairo COVID-19 information page.

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal BelongingsCustoms Regulations: Egyptian customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Egypt of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency and ivory.

Personal use items such as jewelry, laptop computers, and electronic equipment are exempt from customs fees and are allowed into the country. Commercial merchandise and samples require an import/export license issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry prior to travel and should be declared upon arrival. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Egypt in Washington, D.C. or one of Egypt’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the same protections available to the individual under U.S. laws. Penalties for breaking local laws can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Egyptian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Egypt are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. The death penalty may be imposed on anyone convicted of smuggling or selling marijuana, hashish, opium, LSD, or other narcotics. Law enforcement authorities prosecute and seek fines and lengthy imprisonment in cases of possession of even small quantities of drugs.

Consular Access: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry at least a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available. In accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Egypt is a party, competent authorities in the host country must notify a consular post of the arrest of one of its citizens without delay if requested to do so by the foreign citizen.

Photography Restrictions: There are restrictions on photographing military personnel and sites, bridges, and canals, including the Suez Canal. Please note, these locations are not always clearly marked. Egyptian authorities may broadly interpret these restrictions to include other potentially sensitive structures, including embassies, police stations, and other public buildings with international associations, and some religious edifices. Visitors should refrain from taking photographs that include uniformed personnel.

Children’s Issues: For information on international parental child abduction or other issues affecting U.S. citizen children, please refer to the State Department website on Child Abduction or telephone the Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) call center at 1-888-407-4747. The OCS call center can answer general inquiries and will forward calls to the appropriate country officer in the Bureau of Consular Affairs. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling +1-317-472-2328.

Embassy Contact Information and Egypt Country Information Updates: U.S. citizens living in or visiting Egypt are encouraged to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to obtain updated information on travel and security within Egypt. The American Citizens Services (ACS) unit of the U.S. Embassy is typically open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon Sunday through Thursday, except for American and Egyptian holidays. Those seeking routine services should schedule an appointment through the online appointment system or email ConsularCairoACS@state.gov with any questions. In an emergency event involving a U.S. citizen during and after business hours, please contact the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit via the main U.S. Embassy Cairo switchboard: (20-2) 2797-3300.The Consular Section mailing address is: Consular Section, 5 Tawfik Diab Street, Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.. Consular information for U.S. Citizen services is available on our website.

For information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. Embassy operating hours and services as well as country specific information such as entry and exit requirements, please visit the U.S. Embassy in Cairo COVID-19 information page.

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