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Muslimtrade Network members
about Egypt.

E  G  Y  P  T 


1.GENERAL PRESENTATION: 
1 - 1. General characteristics:
1 - 2. General information:
1 - 3. Legal framework of trade relations:

  
2. TRADE STRUCTURE (1996):  
2 - 1. Main exported products:
2 - 2. Main imported products:
2 - 3. Trading partners:

  
3.FOREIGN TRADE REGULATIONS:  
3 - 1. Imports regulations:
3 – 2 Exports regulations:
3 -3. Other formalities and documents:

  
4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS:  
4 - 1. Banking system:
4 - 2. Foreign exchange system:
4 - 3. Methods and means for international settlement:

  
5.CUSTOMS TAXATION:  
5 - 1. Applicable duties and taxes:
5 - 2. Special provisions:

  
6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC:  
6 - 1. International transports:
6 - 2. Telecommunications:
6 - 3. Distribution system:

  
7. USEFUL ADDRESSES: *

1.GENERAL PRESENTATION: 

1 - 1. General characteristics: 

Official name:  Arab Republic of Egypt.
Area :  1002000 square kilometers.
Population:  60.24 millions inhabitants (Midyear -1995).
Density:  60 inhabitants per square kilometer.
Capital :  Cairo. 
Climate:  The climate is mainly dry, but there are winter rainsalong the Mediterranean coast. Winter temperatures are everywhere mild, but summer temperatures are very high, especially in the South. From November to March, the climate is cool and temperatures reach about18°C. From April to October they may exceed 40°C. From April to May, the hot dusty "Khamsin" wind blows from the Sahara.
Main holidays: January 1st, January 7th, March 8th, June 18th, July 23rd, October 6th, October 24th, December 23 rd, December 24th, Eid-ul-Fitr*, Eid-ul-Adha*, Muharram 1st*, Mouloud*, Palm Sunday*, Easter Sunday* and Ascension of the Prophet Mohammed *. ( (*) Variable dates.)
Weekly days off:  Thursday p.m. - Friday.

1 - 2. General information: 

Language: Arabic is the official language. French, English and German are also spoken
Currency: Egyptian Pound (E£). 1 US$ = 3.39 E£ (End of 1996).
Local time: GMT + 3.
Working hours:

- Commercial establishments: Sunday - Thursday From 8H a.m. to 16H p.m. 

- Government offices: Sunday - Thursday From 8H a.m. to 14H p.m. 

- Banks: Sunday - Thursday From 8H a.m. to 14H p.m.


1 - 3. Legal framework of trade relations: 

Egypt is member of the following international organizations:

World Trade Organization (W.T.O); 
United Nations Organization (UN) and its main specialized institutions; 
Organization of the Islamic Conference (O.I.C);  
Arab League States and Arab Co-operation Organizations. 

Egypt signed economic and commercial co-operation agreements with several Islamic countries to establish an Arab Common Market, namely, the Arab co-operation council and the council of Arab Economic Unity.

On November 10th 1994, Egypt signed an agreement with Russia covering the Export of local goods in return for Russian spare parts and other electric equipment projects.

On April 19th, 1995 an agreement was signed between Egypt and the Palestinian authority to facilitate trade between them. 

On May 16th, 1995 Egypt and Japan signed three agreements concerning the construction of dams. 

It signed financial agreements with Switzerland.

Egypt and Jordan signed a contract with Alcatel of Norway to lay four submarine cables across the Gulf of Aqaba. 

It also signed the Inter-Arab Trade and Transit Agreement and co-operation treaties with the European Union. 

Egypt also signed investments agreements with Indonesia (19/1/1994), China (21/4/1994), Romania (24/4/1994), Hungary (23/5/1995), Turkmenistan (23/5/1995), Uganda (4/11/95), Netherlands (17/1/1996), Sri Lanka (11/3/1996) and Korea (18/3/1996).

2. TRADE STRUCTURE (1996): 

2 - 1. Main exported products: 

Spinning and weaving products; 
Agricultural goods (cotton, rice, potatoes, citrus, medicinal herbs, spices…); 
Metallurgical products; 
Chemicals; 
Pharmaceuticals, paper products, cosmetics… 
Food industries (molasses, refined sugar, canned vegetables and fruit, cigarettes and tobacco). 

2 - 2. Main imported products: 

Iron and steel; 
Petroleum and its products; 
Organic and inorganic chemical substances; 
Wood and cork and articles thereof; 
Resins and artificial plastics; 
Paper and articles thereof. 

2 - 3. Trading partners: 

Main suppliers

Main customers

Germany

Italy

United Kingdom

Holland

France

Germany

Italy

United Kingdom

United States of America

United States of America

Japan

Libya


3.FOREIGN TRADE REGULATIONS: 

3 - 1. Imports regulations: 

The Arab Republic of Egypt classifies its imports according to the harmonized commodity description and coding system. 

The negative list includes105 products and all the products that are not listed in it are imported duty-free. The negative list consists of textiles, apparel, and poultry. 

Unsalable commercial samples or those samples valued at less than five Egyptian pounds are admitted duty-free. Saleable samples worth more than five Egyptian pounds may be imported temporarily duty-free under deposit or bond.

Small quantities of printed advertising material, such as catalogues, price lists and films are admitted free of duty.

Customs duties are payable in Egyptian pounds.

At import level the following documents are required:

Commercial invoice: The original or at least two copies usually are required. Legalization by the Egyptian Consulate is required. If the instructions of the letter of credit do not specify that legalization is required, exporters should follow the advice of their importers. The Egyptian Consulate will legalize the certificate of origin only after it has been notarized and certified.  
Certificate of origin: The original or at least two copies are often required. The same formalities for the commercial invoice apply to the certificate of origin. Natural products are considered as originating in the country where the goods are grown or 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: packing list may be required by the consignee and are recommended in case. 
Bill of lading: The number of bills of lading required depends upon the carrier. Therefore there are no regulations specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for shipments. A bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, the name and address of the consignee, port of destination, description of the good, listing of the freight and other charges, the number of the bills of lading in full set and the date and the signature of the carrier’s official acknowledging receipt on board of the goods for shipment. 

The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments.

Pro forma invoice: The pro forma invoice is required by the importer for submission along with the import license. It must show the country of manufacture of goods. 

3 – 2 Exports regulations: 

In compliance with the Export regulations, the following documents must be produced: 

Sanitary certificate: an official certificate indicating that they are free of wood pests and insects must accompany Wooden-packing materials. 

Fresh meat requires a sanitary certificate stating that the locality of origin has been free of contagious diseases for at least three months prior to slaughter as well as a certificate attesting that slaughter was done according to Islamic rites. Canned meat requires a sanitary certificate showing that the health authorities control slaughtering operations.

Used clothing: a certificate indicating that goods have been sterilized must accompany used clothing. 
Radiation certificate: many agricultural imports including tallow for the manufacture of soap and other detergents are subject to a random inspection upon arrival and may require a statement that the products are not contaminated by radioactivity. 
Free sale certificate: Many imports of pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and wood products require a free sale certificate certifying that the commodities are in free circulation in the country of Export. The free sale certificate must be legalized and certified. 
Disinfection certificate: A special disinfection certificate is required for the shipments of shaving brushes and bristles. 
Food additives: Imports of food additives and other materials used in food processing must be accompanied by a certificate issued by an inspection authority specifying their precise chemical composition and stating that the products are authorized for use in the exporting country. 
Shipping restrictions: Nationalization of the insurance industry and of importing agencies virtually has eliminated use of foreign insurance services for imports by the Government. Insurance for private commercial imports depends upon the contract between buyer and seller. 

3 -3. Other formalities and documents: 

Commercial agents must register their agency with the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade’s Commercial Registry Department giving basic facts about the agreement including the amount of commission to be received on sales. Commission rates vary with the volume of sales; they range between 1 to 10%. Commission rates must be noted in the commercial registry documents signed by the Egyptian agents. 

Many foodstuffs, household appliances, transformers and consumer goods are subject to quality inspection on entry into Egypt. 

Pharmaceutical products including cosmetics, medical soaps, medicated pastilles and toothpaste must be registered with the Ministry of health. Information on chemical composition must be provided. 

There are quality standards for the manufacture, import and sale of edible vegetables and animal and oil greases, preserved tomatoes, tomato pulp, sauces and juices, molasses, salt and alcoholic beverages. Special regulations also affect the importation of butter, raw wool, cod liver, whiskey, fruit, potatoes, preserved green vegetables, plants and seeds. 

A special permit is required for insecticides. 

The importation of cotton plants, ginned or unginned cotton, cottonseed and cotton stems is prohibited. Wooden containers are subject to possible fumigation upon arrival in Egypt if any signs of woodborer infestation are found. 
Labeling: packaged items must be labeled in Arabic bearing the name of the product, its trademark, and its brand name, the product’s technical data and mode of operation, international marks and information that should be observed during transportation and handling, country of origin, production and expiry dates and the manufacturer’s name. 
Marking: Standard international shipping and handling symbols should be used, but any special handling instructions should be marked both in English and in Arabic.  
Packing: Goods should be packed to withstand rough handling, extreme heat and high humidity and packing boxes should be waterproofed. All containers entering into Egypt should be treated. 

4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS: 

4 - 1. Banking system:  

As to June 30, 1996, the Egyptian banking system was made up of the Central Bank of Egypt and of the following banks: 

28 commercial banks of which four public sector banks, and 24 Private and Joint Venture Banks which respectively form 866 and 288 branches; 

32 business and investments Banks of which 11 Private and Joint Venture Banks, 21 Off-Shore Banks which respectively own 88 and 41 branches;

4 Specialized Banks of which 1Industrial Development Bank, (14 branches), 2 Real Estate Banks (21 branches), and one Principal Bank For Development and Agricultural Credit (967 branches). 

Besides, the bank density is of about 27 per1,000 individuals and the number of banks reached 2,267 most of which are located in Cairo, Giza and Sharkia.

4 - 2. Foreign exchange system: 

There are no restrictions on the import of provided it is declared on an official customs form. The Export of foreign currency is limited and may not exceed the imported amount. The import and Export of local currency is limited to E£ 100. 

4 - 3. Methods and means for international settlement:  

Import payment in foreign exchange by the private sector is effected though the commercial banks licensed non-bank dealers, Port Said or through importers’ own foreign exchange resources. Imports by the Government are effected within the provisions of the foreign exchange budget.

Payment between Egypt and its partners with which it has not concluded any bilateral payments agreements may be made in any convertible currency or in Egyptian pounds. 

5.CUSTOMS TAXATION: 

5 - 1. Applicable duties and taxes: 
Customs duties: Customs duties range between 5 percent and 70 percent, but rates on luxury items including cigarettes, alcohol, and automobile may exceed 150 percent. 
Ad-valorem duties: most items are taxed on an ad-valorem basis. The tariff rate in effect on the date of assessment is applied to the C.I.F. value of the goods. 

Generally, the invoice price is used as the basis for duty assessment if its coincides with the fixed selling price. The fixed price is based on the commercial invoice accompanying a product the first time it is imported. If the invoice price is lower than the fixed price, customs value is the fixed price and the importers may be subject to penalties for under-voicing.

Preferential duties: Egypt is a member of the League of the Arab States and its major institutions, including the Arab Economic Unity Council. Member States concluded an agreement aiming at establishing The Arab Common Market. They agreed to remove customs duties on agricultural products, animals and natural resources in trade among themselves. 
Customs surcharges and indirect taxes: Imported items are assessed a surcharge to cover inspection, listing, classification, and re-examination of goods. The applicable rates are 3 percent for goods dutiable at 30 percent or less than 6 percent for goods dutiable at more than 30 percent. The Government had decided to eliminate this surcharge by July1995. 
Sale taxes: Sales taxes are levied at rates ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent. Excise duty is collected on the imports of alcoholic beverages, benzene, coffee, cotton yarn, and several other products. There is an additional excise duty on brandy, cognac, gin, and whiskey. 

5 - 2. Special provisions: 

Fines of 10 percent to 30 percent of the invoice value may be imposed on undervalued goods. Contraband goods are confiscated and the importer prosecuted. The owner, the owner’s agent or an authorized customs clearing agent may execute customs formalities for the entry of goods. 

General cargo (products other than tea, petroleum products, and tobacco) is permitted eight days of free storage, after which considerable demurrage charges accrue. Goods unclaimed after three months will be sold to recover storage expenses. 

Egypt is establishing anti-dumping regulations.

6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC: 

6 - 1. International transports: 

Maritime transports: The main ports are Alexandria, Port Said and Suez. There is a hydrofoil service linking Hurghada with Sharm el-sheikh in Sinai. There are two new ferries operating a daily ferry service. Nile cruises operate between Luxor and Aswan.  

Air transports: The main international airports are Cairo International 22.5 km. Northeast of the city (CAI) at Heliopolis, Alexandria International and Nuzhah International (Aly) 7km southeast of Mayden Al Tahir (Alexandria), and at Luxor Airport (LXR)is 5.5 km from Luxor. Egypt operates daily flights between and Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, New Valley and Harghada. 

Besides, Air Sinai operates services on the following routes: Cairo-Tel Aviv, Cairo-El arish, Cairo-St Catherine and Eilat, Cairo-Ras el Nakab, Cairo-Luxor and Cairo-Sharm El Sheikh. 

Land transports: Railways: The rail network links Sallom on the Libyan border to Alexandria and Cairo and operates along the Nile to Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel. There are also links to Port Said and Suez. There are frequent trains between Cairo -  Alexandria - Luxor - Aswan.  

Road networks: There are paved roads along Mediterranean and Africa Red Sea coasts.

6 - 2. Telecommunications: 

Automatic telephones are available in the large cities. Telex and telegram services exist in Cairo and at the big hotels.

6 - 3. Distribution system: 

Foreign firms can sell directly to Egyptian firms if they are registered to make direct sales. A few foreign firms use free zones or bonded warehouses to store goods, then hire their own employees to sell door-to-door. Most foreign firms resort to Egyptian companies for whole sale and retail distribution. Egyptian law requires that all commercial agents and importers have Egyptian nationality.

7. USEFUL ADDRESSES: 

ORGANIZATIONS AND PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS

ADDRESS

TEL/TELEX/FAX/

E-mail
International Trade Point. Ministry of Trade and Supply 96, Ahmed Orabi Street P.O.Box.140 Imbaba 12411 Cairo Tel : (202)3033485-8 

Fax : (202) 3033470 

E-mail:ITPEGYPT@FRUC.EUN.EG
Egyptian Export Promotion Center 106, Gamaet El Dowal El Arabia St Mohandseen Giza Tel : (202)3493920 

Fax : (202)3484142
Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce 4, El Falaky Square Cairo Tel : (202)3551164 

Telex :92645 fedcoc un 

Fax : (202)3557940
Egyptian Businessmen’s Association Nile Tower - 21, Giza Street P.O.Box.265 Orman Cairo Tel : (202)5723855 

Telex : 93550 usebc un 

Fax : (202)5737258
Central Bank of Egypt 31 Kasr El Nil Cairo Tel : (202)751529 

Telex : 223866
 



 
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