Finished goods that are imported for retail sale must have the product's country of origin, the producer's name and product description in Arabic in a clearly visible place on the packaging. Special regulations exist for some items, including foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
Food imports face a number of burdensome labeling and packaging requirements. Poultry and meat products must be shipped directly from the country of origin to Egypt and sealed in packaging with details in Arabic both inside and outside the package. This requirement raises processing costs and discourages some exporters from competing in the Egyptian market. Appropriate packaging must be provided for food products. These should be clean and odorless, so as preserve the product and prevent damage occurring. Production and expiry dates must be clearly displayed on the product's packaging. The information should be printed in Arabic on the package using indelible type, but stuck on labels will normally be accepted as well.
Production and expiration dates must be clearly shown on the package. Information on the label cannot be easily erased, scratched or altered. Information must be written in Arabic as well, and weights and measures must be shown using the metric system.
Dates are accepted in English, but the words "production" and "expiry" must be written in Arabic. The label must include:
• Name and address of manufacturer;
• Brand or trade mark (if applicable);
• Country of origin
• Type of product;
• Name and address of importer;
• Production and expiration dates;
• Product use instructions (optional);
• Storage instructions or storage temperature;
• Net weight;
• Gross weight and total number of packages per case or carton;
• If preservatives are being used- percentages of each preservative must be indicated;
• If meat or poultry, the statement that the meat "is slaughtered according to Islamic ritual" or " “Halal," must be included; and
• For meat or poultry, all products must be in packaged and sealed bags. Labels must be inserted inside the package as well as on the outside. The label on the meat must include the following:
1) Country of origin
2) Producer’s name and logo
3) Name of slaughterhouse
4) Slaughter date
5) Name and address of importer
6) Name of entity, which issued the “Islamic slaughter” definition.
The above documents must be legalized and endorsed by the Egyptian consulate in the country where the product is originated
Article 74 of the Import and Export regulations stipulates that the package should be fit for preserving the product, and the product should occupy the space of the container in full. If a container is wooden, the container itself should be accompanied by an official certificate that states it is free from wood-harmful pests and insects.
Data that appears on equipment, tools and machinery should be identical to those appearing on the package. The country of origin should be indicated on each item and be non-erasable. They should be accompanied with an Arabic-language catalogue indicating the following:
• An illustrative design of the parts.
• Mode of assembly and operation.
• Maintenance procedures.
• Electrical circuits for electrical equipment.
• Safety measures.
Products prone to rust and corrosion should be painted with a special protective paint. Check that the labeling on the goods conforms to the current Egyptian labeling regulations for the product in question.
Be aware that packaging and import description discrepancies can lead to payment default.
Textile fabric was also subject to costly and complicated labeling requirements. Egypt ended the requirement that the country of origin must be identified in a continuous band along the entire length of the imported fabric. However, imported textiles are subject to quality control examination by a committee made up of members representing the domestic spinning and weaving industries. This group also has some influence with Egyptian Customs in setting the duties that are imposed. The labeling requirement for textile fabric was canceled while labeling requirements for imported garments mandate basic information on tags similar to foreign garments. In addition, fabrics are no longer subject to testing, and measures requiring that apparel labels be written in Arabic to include importer information were eliminated. Egypt also committed to expedite the customs clearance process for apparel and textile imports.