Import Requirements and Documentation in Egypt

An Expert's View about Customs Procedures in Egypt

Last updated: 23 Feb 2011

For an imported shipment to be accepted at Customs in Egypt, the shipment must have the following documents:

• Commercial Invoice- 2 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- 2 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- packing list may be required by the consignee and is recommended in most cases.

 

• Bill of Lading- the number of bills of lading required depends upon the carrier. There are no regulations specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for shipment. A bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, the address and the number of bills of lading issued.

 

• 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 in March 1999 advised all banks operating in Egypt that L/Cs must be covered 100% in cash by the importer. This replaced the previous procedure whereby banks and their clients reached their own agreements and covered, usually 10-20% of L/C’s value. In general, the exporter may not ship the goods before the Egyptian bank has notified 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 of the 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 shelf-life, the delay at the 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.

 

• Content Analysis of the Commodity – Required for those products that may be subject to standards testing.

 

MINISTERIAL DECREE 619 OF 1998 - CERTIFICATION OF ORIGIN

Ministerial decrees over the past years has had an impact on U.S. trade with Egypt. Ministerial Decree 619 of 1998 required imports to be accompanied by a certification of origin and stipulated that consumer goods (durable and non-durable) be shipped directly from the country of origin. Decree 619 subsequently was adjusted in late 1999 to allow the shipment of imported consumer goods from the main branches of the producing company and its distribution centers. Regulations also were implemented to facilitate the ability of firms to meet the requirement for a certificate of origin. This requirement can now be fulfilled with a company invoice noting the country of origin and bearing the endorsement of an Egyptian overseas commercial office. Since May 1999, the Central Bank of Egypt has required 100% coverage for credit lines opened for goods imported by traders for resale purposes.

 

Egypt no longer requires import licenses for most products, although licenses are still required for some items, such as animal products.

 

 

 

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Posted: 09 June 2010, last updated 23 February 2011

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