Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Egypt

Posted on: 11 Aug 2010

Following the sharp increase in rough rice prices in the first quarter of 2008, Egypt decided to halt rice exports for six months beginning April 1, 2008.

Required Report - public distribution Date: 7/28/2009 GAIN Report Number: EG9014 Egypt Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Narrative FAIRS Country Report Approved By: Cynthia Iglesias Prepared By: Salah Mansour Report Highlights: Section I : New and updated information Section II: Updated information Section III: No change Section IV: No change Section V: No change Section VI: No change Section VII: Updated information Section VIII: Updated information Section IX: No change Section I. Food Laws: Recent laws: Tariff: In April 2008, Presidential Decree No. 103 for 2008 was issued to reduce the customs tariff for some imported products including: butter, dairy spreads, cheese, milk for nursing infants, milk substitutes, rice, and soybean oil. Appendix III shows the updated tariff schedule for 2009 for the most important agricultural and food products. Rice Exports: Following the sharp increase in rough rice prices in the first quarter of 2008, Egypt decided to halt rice exports for six months beginning April 1, 2008. In Feb. 2009 the Minister of Trade and Industry issued a decree allowing traders to export rice only if they deliver an equivalent quantity to the government agency, ?General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC)? as part of its food subsidy scheme. Export duties were raised from LE 300 /ton to LE 1,000/ton at this time. The move led to the creation of a market to buy export licensees from traders who supply GASC with rice but do not export by themselves. As a result, some traders have offered rice to the state buyer for as little as LE 1 per ton, a tiny fraction of the export price, in a bid to secure export licenses. In July 2009, the minister decided to double this export duty and raise it to LE 2,000/ton. Under the new export tax scheme (LE 2,000 per MT), traders will deliver rice to the government at LE 500 per MT instead of LE 1 per MT. The LE 500 will go to the Ministry of Finance instead of the Ministry of Trade (GASC). Exporters obtain rice from the market at 1,500 LE per MT and delivered to the government at LE 500 per MT. So exporters will lose only LE 1,000 (price differential between market price and procurement price). Accordingly, the cost of exported rice will be 4,500 LE (~ $18) per MT. The export price for Egyptian rice currently averages $1,000 per MT/FOB. With that, traders can still make a good profit exporting Egyptian rice under this scheme, as long as the world market price holds up. Biotech Corn: In March 2008, the Ministry of Agriculture approved decisions made by the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and Seed Registration Committee to allow for commercialization of a genetically modified BT Corn variety (MON810). This marked the first genetically modified crop approved for domestic planting in Egypt. The Egyptian government allowed the importation of about 28 tons of the transgenic corn seeds in to the Egyptian market for the purpose of the use as silage. In the spring of 2009, the NBC stopped importation of all transgenic corn seeds with the purpose of completing the Biosafety framework in the country. However, NBC allowed planting of locally produced biotech seeds in the new reclaimed areas. Cotton A. Despite evidence that the ginning process destroys the pest, GOE will only allow U.S. cotton imports from areas free from boll-weevil, Arizona and California. B. In May 2007 and for the first time, field trials of the new GM long staple cotton varieties namely Giza 86, 89,90,91,96 - have been cultivated under the supervision of Agricultural Genetic Engineering research Institute (AGERI). The mount used is 22 kilograms of cottonseeds planted in two areas: Bani Suief and El-Gemaiza, both are demonstrated plots at ARC working stations, one is 2 acres and the other is six acres. Live Cattle: In 2007, the Egyptian government lifted the ban on imports of pregnant heifers from Canada and Denmark. Trade in live cattle has been restored, after a new protocol for testing for bovine leucosis was agreed upon, which allowed the first shipment of live U.S. dairy cattle to come to Egypt after many years. In early 2009, Egypt imported 2,000 heads of pregnant dairy cattle from the U.S. Beef and offals A. In 2005, Egypt partially lifted its Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) - related import ban by allowing boneless beef and selected bovine offals (e.g. livers, hearts, and kidneys) from animals less than 30 months of age. All imported meat must be certified halal. The beef must come from plants on an approved list. In addition, with the exception of the United States, Egypt required that beef come from countries free of BSE. This ban had been in place since December 2003, when a single case of BSE was discovered in the United States. In addition, the GOE eliminated its restriction on the imports of frozen beef cuts with a fat content of more than seven percent. The restriction had been in place since 1995 as a health protection measure, although this requirement was not applied to local producers. The Minister of Agriculture decided to send a committee from the General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS) to inspect each shipment of frozen beef or beef products before it is shipped from any where in the world starting October 2009. B. In October 2007, Egypt opened its market to Canadian boneless beef and offals under 30 months of age. C. In 2008, Egypt announced that it will accept beef offals from animals slaughtered in the U.S. but originating in Canada and Mexico. Pet Food Egypt only allows pet food imports that are certified to be free of ruminant material due to BSE concerns. Egypt?s importers are having difficulty in obtaining U.S. suppliers that can conform to this requirement. Poultry & Products: A. Broilers: Due to concern related to AI, the GOE banned all poultry imports in November 2005. In July 2006, GOE allowed for imports of whole broilers at zero duty, and day old chicks. As the U.S. is not generally competitive in whole broilers, only trade in Brazilian product has occurred. Furthermore, the requirement that GOE officials review for halal all shipments at processing plants further erodes opportunities for U.S. whole broiler exports to Egypt. Egypt specifies that the maximum moisture content of frozen poultry be 5%, which is ridiculously low. In an attempt to control AI in Egypt, the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation issued a decree in July 2009 to move all licensed poultry farms to the desert-away from the inhabited areas. In addition, all licensed poultry farms will be shut down. According to the Minister, 70 percent of poultry farms are unlicensed. During that period, these farms must apply the bio-safety measures. The time frame to achieve this plan is five years. Egypt will depend on imports of frozen chicken and day old chicks. B. Poultry parts: Due to concerns over halal certification, imports of U.S. poultry parts are banned. The ban is in fact in place to protect local producers. C. Poultry by products: In 2008, Egypt agreed to allow the import of poultry byproduct meal, which had been banned for several years due to concerns about Avian Influenza in the U.S. and the possible contamination of BSE. Sugar The Minister of Trade and Industry issued decree #21 in 2009 imposing LE 500/ton tax for one year on imports of refined/white sugar (except what is used for medical industries). In July 2009, the Minister eliminated the duty but he may impose it again after the end of the holy month of Ramadan. General conditions: A. The process of inspection and certification of imported goods is centralized under the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) located in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. There are representatives from other ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health monitoring the inspection process. Release certificate is not issued unless all authorities approve the consignment and hence GOEIC issues a release or approval certificate. A. It often takes about two weeks for the product to complete all customs formalities. The rejection of a product for any reason quickly throws the consignment ?off track,? or as one importer puts it, ?into a loop?. Getting the product out of the loop and back on track is both time consuming (occasionally in excess of 3 months or more) and expensive. There are no guarantees or assurances in appealing a rejection. In the end, authorities may still refuse to clear the product. A. The Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality (EOSQ) issued its decree # ES: 2613-2/2008 determining a new shelf life for the food products (fish and its products, dairy products, meat and its products, and other food products namely: salt, yeast, margarine, mineral and natural water, soft drinks, and vegetable seed oils). A. According to Ministry of Trade and Industry decree # 285 for 2006, product must arrive at the port of entry with the following periods remaining of its established shelf life, otherwise the consignment will be rejected: 3 months minimum for products that have shelf life of more than 6 months One month minimum for the products that have shelf life of 3-6 months One week minimum for the products that have shelf life of less than 3 months 3 days minimum for the products that have shelf life up to 10 days. The shelf life of a product is calculated from the date of production until the date of completion of all customs procedures and import certification at the Egyptian port of entry. Exceptions to the above include corn seeds and green coffee, as long as the seeds being imported were harvested during the same year of importation. A. The Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control (EOSQ) in the Ministry of Trade & Industry has sole responsibility for establishing, adopting and publishing food standards and codes of practice. While the EOSQ issues all product standards, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Trade and Industry to apply those standards. Anyone who wants to have a new specification established and included on the list of approved Egyptian specifications must present proof that the desired specification standard already exists and is approved for use in some other ?acceptable? country. It is expected that EOSQ will shortly issue new standards for dairy products. A. In cases where no mandatory Egyptian standard exists, the Codex standards are acceptable. In the absence of an Egyptian or international standard, authorities often refer to the Analysis Certificate accompanying the product. If no suitable standard exists for a product, a committee may be formed to develop a new standard. However, it may take up to two years or more for the new standard to be implemented after it is approved. A. Egyptian authorities claim that all product standards and requirements applied to imported food are identical to those applicable to domestically produced products. In fact, Egyptian authorities are stricter in enforcing product standards on imported food products than on locally produced food products. If a local product standard for a specific imported item does not exist, Egyptian authorities may apply the standard for that product used in the country of origin. Importers report that they frequently encounter problems because of ill- defined product standards. All product specifications used in Egypt include the following information: - Name of product - Ingredients - General provisions governing the condition of the product - Specifications - Packaging and labeling statements - Means of testing and analysis - Production dates - Authorities setting the standard for the product After a product standard is approved, the Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control assigns it an identification number. The number also includes the year in which it is announced (e.g., 1812/2008). Some modifications to regulations are announced in the ?Official Gazette.? Others are implemented without official notification. Once a ministerial rule (e.g., decree, law, etc.) is issued, importers are strongly advised to periodically check with the various government clearing authorities to see if it has been amended (for example, by internal memoranda). Laws often change and invariably take effect as soon as they are announced. The Institute of Nutrition under the Ministry of Health is responsible for registering and approving all specialty and dietary foods. Importers are required to submit a form in order to obtain a license for dietary products. The validity period of the license varies from 1 to 5 years depending on the product. After the expiration date of the license, the importer has to submit a new request for license renewal. It takes 4 to 6 months to register a product. The renewal of the license costs about $500. However, if a similar local dietary product is available in the market, registration for an imported product is not approved. G. The following tests are mandatory on all imported food products upon arrival: - Laboratory tests and analyses by the Ministry of Health - Ministry of Agriculture veterinary inspection of dairy, fish, meat, and poultry products - Labeling and product compliance with the Egyptian Standards enforced by the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. All tests are conducted in government laboratories. Tests and analyses by private laboratories are not permitted or acceptable. Tests and analysis are conducted to assure that the product is fit for human consumption, free from contagious diseases, and in compliance with Egyptian product specifications. Since inspection is now centralized in GOEIC, a committee is formed with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Health, and GOEIC. Each ministry performs its analysis on the same product sample and issues its results to GOEIC. If one ministry rejects the product, GOEIC, in turn, also rejects the product. The number of samples withdrawn has been reduced as a result of centralizing the inspection process with GOEIC. Importers are supposed to be notified of all test results within 7 days after samples have been drawn. However, for canned products, mineral water, and frozen products, tests results must be submitted within 14 days after samples have been drawn. H. A product may be rejected for the following reasons: - Not fit for human consumption - Incorrect labeling - Prohibited colors, additives, or preservatives - Incorrect or missing certificates (however, authorities usually allow importers extra time to submit corrected documents) - Failure to comply with Egyptian product specifications - Less than 50 percent of the established shelf life remains for the product If a product is rejected, it may be: re-exported from the port of entry. or confiscated at the port of entry. If the rejection is due to unsatisfactory laboratory tests, the importer has the right to have the product re-tested three times. The appeal for reconsideration should be submitted to GOEIC within seven days. Section II. Labeling Requirements: Egypt requires restrictive labeling for imports of food products. In addition to the foreign language, all information must also be written in Arabic. Arabic language is mandatory. Any contradiction between the English and Arabic dates may lead to product rejection. Labels can be printed on the package or be of a permanent adhesive type. Products cannot show more than one date of manufacture or expiration on the package. For example, goods have been rejected if the inside package has a different date than the outside carton. Information on the label cannot be erased, scratched, or altered in any way. Requirements are more restrictive for meat and poultry products. All labels must include the following information: - Name and address of manufacturer - Brand or trademark, if appropriate - Country of origin - Type of product and grade - Name and address of importer - Production and expiration dates. These dates may be mentioned separately on the top of the package. They can be applied by laser, imposed, or printed. In such cases, there is no need to repeat them on the label. - Product use instructions (optional) - Product ingredients - Storage instructions or temperature - Net weight - Gross weight and total number of the packages per case or carton - If the product contains preservatives, the percentage of each preservative should be indicated - If the product is meat or poultry, the following statement must appear: ?slaughtered according to the Islamic ritual? or ?Halal slaughtered? However, the following items are exempted from the labeling obligation: - Small items whose greater surface is 10 cm square or less. - Milk and beverage packs whose quantity is 200 milliliters or less. - Wrapped dried sweets (candy, jelly candy, toffee, etc. and fun size chocolates sold by weight (kilogram or lb.) not by bar as these are considered unpacked product. Requirements for Frozen beef In Feb 2006, the Minister of Trade and Industry issued decree No. 120 for 2006 stating that products for frozen beef must be packed in sealed bags according to sanitary standards. A printed label must be inserted inside the poly bag with the following information in Arabic language: a- Country of origin b- Producer?s name c- Name of the slaughterhouse d- Date of slaughter e- Importer?s name and address f- Name of the entity that supervised the slaughtering process according to Islamic rules. Such entity must be approved by the Commercial Office of the Egyptian Embassy (or Consulate) in the country of origin. After the complaints of the importers that such requirements will increase their cost by $50/ton, the Minister issued new requirements to simplify the labeling requirement for imported frozen beef and beef products. Imported products no longer have to be packed in labeled plastic bags. The new guidelines now only require that a label be inserted into clear plastic bags. The inserted label should include country of origin, date of production, and expiration date. Labels can be printed on the package or be of a permanent adhesive type. Products cannot show more than one date of manufacture or expiration on the package. Information on the label should not be altered in any way. The package label must show the production and expiration dates without the use of codes. For example, Day -- Month ? Year may be used for food products for which the expiration period is 6 months or less. Month -- Year may be used for food products for which the expiration period exceeds 6 months. There are no specific size or placement requirements for labels. However, labels with all required information must be placed on every package weighing 50 grams or more. Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations: Egypt has no special packaging or container size requirements, regulations, or preferences. There is no special Municipal Waste Disposal Laws or product recycling regulations and there are no restrictions or limitations on the use of any packaging materials like PVC. Section IV. Food Additives Regulations: A. Artificial Colors The Ministry of Health issued decree number 73 of 2001, which mandates that colors used on the inner and outer package should not be harmful to human health and should be fixed. If the color could be easily altered, its use is not permitted. On October 1997, the Ministry of Health issued Decree No. 411 increasing the number of artificial colors allowed in food products. The following colors are permitted: - Curcumin - Riboflavin: lactoflavin - Riboflavin-5-phosphate - Tartrazine: FD & C yellow no. 5 - Quinoline yellow - Sunset yellow FCF: FD&C yellow no. 6 - Carmines: cochineal extract - Carmoisine (azorubine) - Ponceau 4 R: cochineal red A, new coccine - Red 2 G: azogeranine - Allura Red AC: FD&C, red no. 40 - Indigotine: FD&C, blue no. 2 - Brilliant blue FCF: FD&C, blue no. 1 - Chlorophylls and chlorophyllins: - Chlorophylls - Chlorophyllins - Copper complexes of chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins - Copper complexes of chlorophylls - Copper complexes of Chlorophyllins sodium and potassium salts - Fast green FCF: FD&C, green no. 3 - Plain caramel - Caustic sulphite caramel - Ammonia caramel - Sulphite ammonia caramel - Brilliant black PN - Brown HT: chocolate brown HT - Carotenes - Mixed carotenes - Beta carotene - Annatto extracts (bixin, norbixin) - Paprika extract, paprika oleoresins - Lycopene; gamma carotene - Beta-apo-8-carotenal - Ethylester-beta-apo-8-Caro - Lutein: xanthophylls - Beetroot red (beet red) - Anthocyanins - Grape skin extract - Calcium carbonate - Titanium dioxide Acceptable artificial colors are not always allowed in all food products. Exporters should check with the Ministry of Health to verify the acceptability of any food coloring. There are no exceptions to the regulations governing food colorings. The scientific name of the color ingredient and the percentage of concentration must be indicated on the Analysis Certificate. Egyptian authorities will not allow a product to be imported if it contains an unauthorized color, even if the use of the color is acceptable in another country. Natural Colors The following natural colors extracted from fruits and plants are approved: For fruit juices, concentrate, powders: - Berries, currants (black currents) - Citrus fruits - Drupes (cherry, plum, and prunes) - Melon family - Rose hips (hipberries) - Tomato - Pineapple, mango, kiwi For vegetables, vegetable juice and powder: - Pulses (pea flower) - Carrot - Cabbage - Beetroot - Spinach - Netles (Utrica) - Alfalfa - Yellow and red turnip - Sweet potato - Capsicum varieties (cayenne pepper) For cereals, fermented and roasted: - Maize - Purple corn - Rye - Barley For spices, herbs, and flavorings: - Saffron - Sandelwood (red) - Carthamus red, yellow (safflower) - Paprika - Sage - Parsely - Shallots - Violets - Burdock Others: - Malt - Molasses - Yeast - Cocoa - Coffee - Egg yolk - Carob flour - Liquorice - Honey - Burnt Sugar - Hibiscus - Tea - Mate - Crustacea - Nuts - Mushrooms B. Preservatives All preservatives must be identified along with the allowed concentration expressed as a percentage in parts per million calculated on the acid base. Ministerial Decree No. 478 of 1995 issued by the Ministry of Health lists all acceptable preservatives and concentrations levels. C. Flavorings The Ministry of Health does not maintain a list of approved flavorings. However, all flavorings accepted under CODEX or WHO also are approved for use in Egypt. Section V. Pesticides and Other Contaminants: Regulations governing pesticides, pesticide registration and use are the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Central Laboratory of Residue Analysis of Pesticides & Heavy Metals in Food is charged with analyzing pesticides and chemical contaminants in foods. The Lab also makes recommendations to the Ministry of Agriculture on matters pertaining to pesticide legislation and regulations. Following are the registration Procedures for Pesticides in Egypt: All pesticides must be registered before they can be used. The registration process includes the following: - An application submitted to the Pesticides Committee (PC) of the Ministry of Agriculture showing the following information: - Registration certificate valid for the country of origin. - Toxicological data prepared by the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR). - Copies of all environmental impact studies. - Field and laboratory evaluation results and recommendations. - Label. Upon review, the PC refers the application to the Recommendation Committee, which sets the recommended usage rates. The Recommendation Committee then forwards the application to the Research Station for field evaluations and monitoring. The Pesticides Committee includes representatives from: - The Ministry of Health - The Central Laboratory for Pesticides - The Environmental Affairs Agency Egyptian standards for pesticide residues in food are derived from FAO and WHO standards. It is a criminal offense to sell food or bottled drinking water containing pesticides, heavy metals or mycotoxin in excess of the Maximum Residues Limits (MRL) set by these organizations for those products. Section VI. Other Regulations and Requirements: A number of certificates are required for all imported food products: Certificate of Origin Health Certificate Veterinary Certificate (for meat, poultry, fish and dairy products) Islamic Halal Certificate, ?if applicable? Temperature Certificate (for frozen, deep frozen and chilled products) Analysis Certificate, ?if applicable? Weight and packing certificate The above certificates should be countersigned by the Chamber of Commerce and notarized by the Egyptian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin. Importers must present ONE set of all import documents to the General Organization for Export and Import Control. The certification requirements for imported food products differ according to the product. For example, special veterinary certificates are required for meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. If the product is further processed in another country during transit, the appropriate certification may be executed in the country where additional processing is done. On July 10, 1997, the Ministry of Agriculture issued a Ministerial Decree No. 1647 stipulating the following (additional) conditions related to the importation of meat and live animals: An importer must submit a request to the General Administration for Veterinary Services indicating: a) the number of animals or type of and meat being imported; b) country of origin; c) shipping port; d) expected date of shipment arrival; and e) means of transportation. The General Administration for Veterinary Services examines the request according to the epidemiological status of the country of origin. If the epidemiological status permits importation, the importer is issued a permit. The permit is valid for one month. The importer can renew the approval if importation does not occur within one month. No fees are charged for the approval permit. Also, in November 1997, the Ministry of Trade and Supply issued Decree No. 465 adding new requirements to the importation of poultry and meat products. Special Requirement for Poultry and Meat Products: - Products must be shipped directly from the country of origin to Egypt. - Products must be packaged in appropriate bags as required by the Egyptian standards. Labels must be inserted inside the package as well as on the outside carton (see Labeling Section). Release by the veterinary authorities depends heavily on the veterinary pre-approval license. If there is any discrepancy between the pre-approval license and the shipping documents, the product will be rejected. Importers should be completely familiar with all of the information required for the pre-approval license and instruct their suppliers accordingly. Importers should check with the Veterinary Authority of the Ministry of Agriculture for more information and instructions. A number of other certificates are also required for animal products: - Islamic Halal Certificate - A Certificate of Origin showing the name of the exporting country, number of parcels, type of meat, date of inspection, production and expiration dates, name of exporter, port of entry, and name of consignee. - A Veterinary Certificate issued in the country of origin indicating that the animals used in making the product were examined before and after slaughter, and that they are free from contagious diseases. - In the case of frozen meat, a certificate assuring that a temperature of -18 degrees Centigrade was maintained before export, and that each piece was wrapped in accordance with accepted international packaging standards. Batch Number Certificates Batch Number Certificates (BNC) are required for all food products in order to facilitate product sample withdrawal. Each batch will be considered as a different item for sample withdrawal purposes. Samples will be drawn from each batch having different production and expiration dates. Products with different dates are considered to be different items and should be identified as such on the Release Certificate and Batch Number Certificate. Product Sampling All product samples should be representative of the consignment and should be drawn during the unloading process. A committee is formed to withdraw random samples (i.e., the Physical Examination Committee, see Section 3.4). One representative sample (specified in size) is drawn from each consignment and respective inspection agencies have that sample for testing. However, each agency conducts its own laboratory tests. Tests maybe conducted by 3 different laboratories. Cleanliness must be assured when samples are taken to avoid contamination. Also, the committee is supposed to take the necessary steps to assure the soundness of the product samples while they are being transported to the laboratory for analysis. All sample information is indicated on the Form of Examination Results. According to Decree No. 232 of 1996 issued by the Ministry of Health, the following provisions are to be taken into consideration when samples are withdrawn: - The consignment should be treated as a single shipment; - The samples should be divided according to batch sizes and type of product; - The samples should be distributed among the laboratories so as to avoid repetition; - All label information should be presented on the ?Sample Analysis Form.? If a consignment is imported from various origins or product sources, each should have a distinctive and confidential number. Section VII. Other Specific Standards: The following is a partial list of ministerial decrees and laws, which affect the importation of food products: PRESIDENTIAL DECREES Presidential decree No. 103 of 2008 reducing maximum tariff rates on some products. Presidential decree No. 39 of 2007 reducing maximum tariff rates. Presidential Decree No. 106 of 2000 centralizing the process of inspection and certification of imported products under GOEIC. Presidential Decree No. 250 of 1999 banning some products from the EU. Presidential Decree No. 243 of 1998 reducing maximum tariff rates. Presidential Decree No. 619 of 1998 for importation of durable and non-durable goods. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE Law 82 of 2002 for Plant Variety Protection - Ministerial Decree No. 3007 of 2001 for Plant Quarantine Ministerial Decree No. 1073 of 1998 for Leucosis Ministerial Decree No. 9 of 1997 for meat importation. Ministerial Decree No. 1647 of 1997 for issues related to the importation of meat and live animals. Ministerial Decree No. 874 of 1996 forbidding testing, importation, usage of pesticides classified as ?B? and ?C.? Ministerial Decree No. 25 of 1982 for product sampling. MINISTRY OF TRADE & INDUSTRY Ministerial decree No. 2613 of 2008 Parts A&B regarding the general conditions of the shelf life periods for food products (part A) and shelf life periods (Part B) Ministerial Decree No. 434 for 2008 for shelf life periods for the food products Ministerial decree No. 285 for 2006 for the periods remaining in the established shelf life for the imported food products. Ministerial Decree No. 120 for 2006 for new labeling requirements for frozen beef. Ministerial Decree No. 130 of 2005 concerning compliance with technical regulations in production according to the standard specifications. Ministerial Decree No. 524 of 2000 for Inspection and Samples Withdrawal. Ministerial Decree No. 552 of 2000 for inspection certificates. Ministerial Decree No. 423 of 1999 amending Ministerial Decree No. 619 of 1998. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Ministerial Decree No. 73 of 2001 for packaging materials. Ministerial Decree No. 118 of 2000 for canceling radiation inspection except for Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Ministerial Decree No. 411 of 1997 for food colorings. Ministerial Decree No. 53 of 1996 for product sampling and test analysis. Ministerial Decree No. 354 of 1996 for product rejection. Ministerial Decree Nos. 232 of 1996 and 349 for product sampling. Ministerial Decree No. 478 of 1995 for food preservatives. Ministerial Decree Nos. 302 of 1986 and 782 of 1984 for product sampling. MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY Ministerial Decree No. 163 of 1999 for labeling canned, frozen and packed food products. Ministerial Decree Nos. 179, 180, and 181 of 1996 issued by the Ministry of Industry listing Egyptian product specifications and mandatory standards. Ministerial Decree No. 107 of 1994 and Egyptian Standard No. 2613 for shelf-life standards. Egyptian Standard No. 1546 of 1984 for labeling requirements. MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY (Previously MINISTRY OF SUPPLY and INTERNAL TRADE) Ministerial Decree No. 286 canceling Decree No. 250 for prohibiting importation from EU countries. Ministerial Decree No. 619 of 1998 mandating that all consumer goods be shipped directly from the country of origin. Ministerial Decree No. 553 of 1998 permitting to store products of the customs area provided that the shipment is in accordance to all labeling conditions. Ministerial Decree No. 465 of 1997 for import requirements of slaughtered birds, poultry and meat. Ministerial Decree No. 227 of 1997 lifting the ban on whole poultry. Ministerial Decree No. 55 of 1996 for pesticide residues. Ministerial Decree No. 178 of 1996 for the importation of meat and dairy products. Ministerial Decree No. 57 of 1939 for product and brand registration. Section VIII. Copyright and/or Trademark Laws: Ministry of Trade and Industry is responsible for the registration of brand names and logo. It was under the responsibility of Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, which became Ministry of Social Solidarity. The responsibilities of each ministry have been changed and the registration of trade marks and logos became under the responsibility of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. MINISTRY OF TRADE and INDUSTRY Commercial Registration Office General Administration for Trademarks Contact: Mr. Mostafa Mohamed Abu El-Einein, Chairman of the Commercial Registration Office and General Administration for Trade Marks Commercial Registration Office: Address: Intersection of Makram Ebeid and Nasr road, Nasr city, Cairo, Egypt Tel: (202) 2918-6018 (D.) / 2918-6174 Fax: (202) 2918-6014 General Administration for Trade Marks Address: Bldg. 109 El Fostat El Gedida Cairo, Egypt Old Cairo behind Amr Mosque Tel: (202) 2275-9812, 2672-0452 Fax: (202)2672-0453 It takes approximately from 9 to 12 months to register a logo or a brand name. Once approved, it is announced in the ?Trademark Newspaper.? A number of certificates and documents including the following items must be submitted during the registration process: - A sample of the logo and brand name - A certification of the company's incorporation in the home country - A certificate issued by the Commercial Register in Egypt affirming that the proposed name of the company or logo has not already been registered in Egypt. The company must apply for a ?Trademark Examination Form? to check whether a similar trademark for the product already exists in the market. If a foreign company wishes to protect its logo, the company has to supply the General Administration for Trademark with an example of its logo as registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The foreign company should employ an agent in Cairo to follow the trademark registration process. Section IX. Import Procedures: Any product not in compliance with Egyptian import requirements will likely be rejected. It is the appeal process, which accounts for the added time and expense involved in clearing the product through customs. The initial import procedure entails the assignment of a shipping agent (a GOE entity and separate from the vessel shipping agent); arrival of the consignment at port and a comparison of the invoice and bill of lading with the ship?s manifest; issuance of a title transfer document to the importer; the unloading of the consignment; the purchase and completion of the ?Importation Form? and registration of the consignment with customs in the so-called ?No. 46 Book;? and initial tariff classification of the product. Egyptian companies often rely on customs brokers, or their own staff to check on shipments and to clear products through customs. The following documents must be presented to the customs office in order for a shipment to be released: - Bill of Lading - Commercial Invoice - Certificate of Origin (countersigned by the Chamber of Commerce and notarized by the Egyptian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin) - Health Certificate - Packing List - Weight List - Insurance Policy - Import/Export Permit of the importer - If the importer is an agent of a U.S. (or other foreign) manufacturer, the latter has to present an Agency Authorization Certificate for the products being imported. - Form 11 from a local bank advising that payment has been transferred to the supplier. This form guarantees payment to the supplier. The following documents are optional: A letter from the bank indicating that all administration fees have been paid. If this letter is not submitted, all administrative expenses must be paid at the port. - Radiation Certificate. Appendix I. Government Regulatory Agency Contacts: MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE LAND RECLAMATION (MALR) Address: 71 Wezaret El Zeraa Street Dokki, Cairo, Egypt Tel: (202) 3337-3388 / 2677 Fax: (202) 3749-8128 Contacts: Mr. Amin Abaza Title: Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Dr. Safwat El-Hadad Title: First Undersecretary, Head of the Agricultural Services and Follow up Sector Tel: (202) 3760- 0893 Fax: (202) 3748-8671 Website: www.epq.gov.eg E-mail: safwat@epq.gov.eg Dr. Hamed Samaha Title: Chairman, General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS) Tel: (202) 3748-1750 Fax: (202) 3748-1763 Dr. Fatouh Mostafa Darwish Title: Undersecretary for Preventive Medicine Tel & fax: (202) 3337-2638 Dr. Ali Soliman Title: Head, Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine Tel: (202) 3335-1625 Fax: (202) 3760-8574 CENTRAL LAB of Residue Analysis of Pesticides & Heavy Metals in Food Address: 7 Nadi El Seid St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt Tel: (202) 3748-6163 Fax: (202) 3761-1216 Contact: Dr. Soheir Ahmed Gad Title: Director Regional LAB FOR FOOD AND FEED (RLFF/MALR) Address: 9 El Gamaa Street Giza, Egypt Tel: (202) 3573-1989 Fax: (202) 3573-2280 Contact: Dr. Mohamed Emara Title: Director AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER Address: 9 Gamaa Street, Orman Giza, Egypt Tel: (2-02) 3572-2069 / 572-3906 Fax: (2-02) 3572-2609 Contact: Dr. Ayman Abu Hadid Title: President Tel: (2-02) 3572-0944 Fax: (2-02) 3572-2609 MINISTRY OF HEALTH (MOH) Address: 3 Maglis El Shaab Street Cairo, Egypt Tel: (2-02) 2795-7689 / 2794-3462 Fax: (2-02) 2795-3966 Contact: Dr. Hatem El-Gabaly Title: Minister Dr. Nasr El-Saied Title First Undersecretary for Preventive and Endemic Affairs Tel: (2-02) 2794-8555 Fax: (2-02) 2792-4156 Dr. Mohamed Said Title: General Manager of Food Control Division Food & Quality Control Tel & Fax: (2-02) 2794-8152 CENTRAL LABORATORY (MOH) Address: 3 Maglis El-Shaab Street Cairo, Egypt Tel: (2-02) 2794-7271 Fax: (2-02) 2796-2248 National Nutrition INSTITUTE (MOH) Address: 16 Kasr El Aini Street Cairo, Egypt Tel: (2-02) 2364-6413 / 3522 Fax: (2-02) 2364-7476 Contact: Dr. Azza Gohar Title: Chairman D. Lobna Kar?ash Vice chairman Dr. Mervat Ahmed Fouad Title: Dietary and Specialty Food MINISTRY OF TRADE & INDUSTRY Address: 2 Latin America Street Garden city, Cairo, Egypt Tel: (2-02) 2792-1188 Fax: (2-02) 2795-5025 Contact: Mr. Rachid Mohamed Rachid Title: Minister of Trade & Industry EGYPTIAN ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION AND QUALITY CONTROL Address: 16 Tadreeb el Motadarebeen Street Ameriya Cairo, Egypt. Tel: (2-02) 2603-1348 Fax: (2-02) 2603-1351 Contact: Dr. Hany Barakat Title: Chairman MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY Address: 99 Kasr El Aini Street Cairo, Egypt Tel: (2-02) 2794-6165 / 2794-6777 Fax: (2-02) 2795-6835 Contact: Dr. Ali Moselhi Title: Minister GENERAL ORGANIZATION FOR EXPORT AND IMPORT CONTROL (GOEIC) Address: Cargo village, Airport building Cairo, Egypt Tel: (2-02) 2266-6847 Fax: (2-02) 2266-9668 Contact: Mohamed Abdel Hameed El Banna Title: Chairman Dr. Nour Abu El-Ela Title: Undersecretary for Food Imports Tel: (2-02) 2266-9609 Fax: (2-02) 2266-9668 Osama Abdel-Moniem Title: General Manager, Food Lab. Affairs Tel: (2-02) 2266-9557/48 Fax: (2-02) 2266-9668 Appendix II. Other Import Specialist Contacts: For further help, please contact the Office of Agricultural Affairs, American Embassy, Cairo, Egypt, Tel: 011 (20-2) 2797-2388 / 2389; Fax: 011 (20-2) 2796-3989. E-mail: Agcairo@fas.usda.gov
Posted: 11 August 2010

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