The eagerly awaited Regulations for the Execution of Customs Law (“Customs SE”) Was recently released by the Ministry of Finance, advancing Egypt’s plans to unify and simplify international trade procedures, streamline customs clearance operations and procedures, and improve the refund process for goods. border taxes. The Customs RE also details the mandatory procedures and documents to be submitted electronically in order to obtain an Initial Customs Registration Number, or ACID (Advance Cargo Information Declaration) for pre-registration of shipments before entry into force. scheduled for October 1. , 2021. In pursuit of the Egyptian Customs Authority’s goal of reducing cargo clearance times, the Customs RE also details the conditions that must be met for shippers / carriers to take advantage of the new temporary release mechanisms cargoes.
Customs RE Context
The Customs ROE entered into force on the first day following its publication, on September 1, 2021, following the promulgation of Customs Law No. 207, promulgated in 2020. The Customs ROE repeals the previous executive regulation, in force since 2006 .
Pre-registration of Advance Cargo Information (ACI)
At least 24 hours before shipment to any Egyptian customs point, importers must electronically provide all data and documents specified in the Customs ROE, which includes the exporter’s data. The electronic signature of the customs declaration takes place through the new electronic portal, nafeza.gov.eg, designed to serve as a national one-stop-shop for foreign trade. Once the customs authorities assign the cargo an ACI number, the ACI number must appear on all shipping documents.
A separate set of cargo document and data obligations must be fulfilled through the nafeza electronic portal by the carrier or the master of the vessel.
The Egyptian Customs Authority reserves the right to reject any incoming cargo that does not have a clearly assigned ACI number, among other additional documentation requirements. In such cases, the cargo will be returned to its origin on the same vessel at the expense of the cargo owner.
Customs RE allows the importer / his agent to clear the cargo before it arrives by paying the initial fee and later paying any assessed customs duties after the cargo arrives and inspects it.
Additional mandatory customs procedures should apply after shipment and before arrival, as well as after shipment of cargo.
It is expected that all customs taxes due will be paid online, in line with the Egyptian government policy to eliminate cash transactions and set up an electronic system for the entire international trade process.
The Customs ROE also provides for the right to pay the customs tax in installments and defines the data and documents required by the customs authority in order to take advantage of the installment payment options. Certain goods may be eligible for reimbursement of customs duties.
Customs exemptions may be applicable to certain imports by certain Egyptian government agencies and for certain companies / authorities related to these ministries, for example any import by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Military Production, the General Directorate of Intelligence, the Ministry of the Interior, etc. .
Customs brokers (customs clearance agents)
The Customs RE gives the possibility for a person to become a customs clearance agent after obtaining a license from the customs authority, defining their obligations and capabilities.
Ministries, public authorities, public entities, public sector companies, embassies and consulates may also have their own customs agents after obtaining specific licenses and completing the required documents. These licenses can be canceled in specific cases, as detailed in the customs ROE.
Customs procedures on inbound / outbound cargo:
A set of requirements is listed for specific customs procedures relating to the following:
- Logistics areas,
- E-administration (DATA CENTER),
- Incoming / outgoing freight via the postal service – respecting international postal conventions and prohibiting any entry of Egyptian or foreign money via the postal service, and
- Consolidated freight package shipped in containers or airplanes.
Additional key provisions of the Customs ROE
The lengthy Customs ROE governs a number of additional matters which may be of significant interest to those dealing with import / export activities, ranging from temporary storage of cargo; goods in transit; conditions of customs warehouses; free zones and special economic zones. Customs RE also allows for simpler and faster resolution of any customs grievance or dispute.