Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements & Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2020-09-15

For an imported shipment to be accepted by the Egyptian Customs, the shipment must have the following documents:

  • Commercial Invoice: Two copies plus the original document are required. Legalization by the Egyptian consulate in the country of origin is required in most cases.
  • Certificate of Origin: Two copies plus the original document are required. The Certificate of Origin must be authenticated by the Egyptian Consulate in the country of origin. Natural products are considered to originate in the country where the goods are extracted. The Certificate of Origin must bear a statement that the information given is true and correct to the best of the shipper’s knowledge.
  • Packing List: A packing list may be required by the consignee and is recommended in most cases.
  • Bill of Lading: A bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, the address, and the number of bills of lading issued. There are no regulations specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for shipment. The number of bills of lading required depends upon the carrier.
  • Pro Forma Invoice: This is an invoice required by the importer for submission along with the import license. It must show the country where the goods were manufactured.
  • Letter of Credit: The Central Bank of Egypt advises all banks operating in Egypt that L/Cs must be covered 100 percent in cash by the importer, except for some food items. This replaces the previous procedure whereby banks and their clients reached their own agreements and usually covered 10-20 percent of an L/C’s value. In general, the exporter may not ship the goods before the Egyptian bank has provided notification of the opening of a L/C. If the goods are shipped before the L/C is opened, the importer runs the risk of being fined up to a maximum value of the goods. If the importer does not bear the cost, then the exporter will have lost the value of such a shipment, and in the case of products with a limited shelf-life, the delay at Customs can mean that even if the exporter (e.g., a U.S. company) wanted to take back the shipment, it’s no longer of any use. According to new regulations, the U.S. exporter must submit the invoice as well as export documentation to his bank and the U.S. bank should inform the Egyptian bank about a request to open the L/C. Import transactions are based on document collections.
  • Content Analysis of the Commodity: Required for those products that may be subject to standards testing.
  • Inspection and quality control certificates from other authorities as required.

All certificates issued concerning the shipment of product, and the product description, must be countersigned by the Chamber of Commerce and notarized by the Egyptian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin.

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Export/ Imports laws and regulation