EGYPT

Logistic and forwarding services in Egypt

Egypt

Capital City
Kairo

Population
85 Mio

National languages
Arabic

Currency
Ägyptisches Pfund (EGP)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 324,3 Mia

GNP per person
USD 3303

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 891,47 Mio

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 76,25 Mio

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Egypt

Switzerland and Egypt have a long tradition of relations. Egypt has always played an important role in Switzerland’s trade with the Middle East and Africa, with a Swiss representation for trading purposes being opened there as early as 1909.

Economic cooperation

Egypt is an important partner country for Switzerland in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) and Africa. In 2013 and 2014 Egypt was the most important Swiss market on the African continent. In terms of total trade volume for 2014 (approximately CHF 1.13 billion), Egypt is Switzerland’s fifth largest African trading partner behind South Africa, Ghana, Libya and Burkina Faso, and the fifth largest in the MENA region (behind the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Libya).

 

Business language

Arabic, English, French. Arabic is compulsory when dealing with government agencies.
Instructions for use and catalogues for machines should be in Arabic where possible.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.

Currency

National currency Egyptian Pound (LE) = 100 piastres (P. T.) = 1000 milliémes
ISO code: EGP

Customs tariff

Harmonised system, customs clearance based on the CIF value.

Import control

Import authorisations are required to import plant or animal products, foods, pharmaceutical goods and medications, alcoholic drinks, yeast and starch.
Export certificates have been required for textile and leather products since 01/04/2012 (subject to the GOEIC Textile Certification Program); Certificate of Inspection is needed.
The direct transportation principle applies to a number of goods. There are bans on the import of certain chemicals and substances which deplete the ozone. There are temporary bans on the import of goods including live cattle, animal products, slaughterhouse waste. Financial sanctions have been imposed on certain Egyptian persons.
Standard VAT rate: 10% (General Sales Tax)
In addition to this there are ad valorem tax rates (15-50%) and mixed tax rates for certain groups of goods.
There is a reduced tax rate (5%) among other things for coffee, fertilisers and certain woods.

Conformity inspection

A certificate of conformity is required at customs clearance for a number of products. The General Organisation for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) is responsible for this. In order to avoid delays, product certification in needed before shipment of the goods. The customs clearance time decreases if this document is submitted. The transfer of foreign currencies is possible (import of EGP only to a certain amount, see message), the compulsory exchange of income into hard currency totalling 75% for exporters has been revoked.

Terms of payment and tenders

All forms of payment are permitted. An irrevocable letter of credit confirmed by a well known bank is advisable, if the creditworthiness of the client has been checked then it is possible to move to “softer” forms of payment.
There has been a tightening of the rules on money transfer to pay for imported goods: the commercial banks who transfer funds to foreign suppliers now handle all import documents, the originals of which must be submitted. Bank customers must confirm in writing that they will not pass the documents on to other banks.

Designations of origin

Must be in Arabic. A manufacturer’s declaration signed in a legally binding manner (in accordance with the commercial register) must be given on the reverse of the certificate of origin: “The goods are manufactured by … (name)”.
In general, a label with the name of the manufacturer and the country of origin must be placed on all imported goods, or if this is not possible on their packaging or external packaging.
Certain products, investment products and consumer goods and foods must have Arabic product descriptions; depending on the case the note (e.g. country of origin( should be on the goods themselves or in accompanying texts (package inserts, brochures). Obtain information from the importer in the specific case – goods lists are available from associations and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. When preparing all documents intended for Egypt, ensure that “Arab Republic of Egypt” is used as the country name. Items of clothing must be labelled if they are to be sold in Egypt. The label must have the following information in Arabic in a visible place: “Made in …”, trademark or manufacturer, size, textile proportions, cleaning instructions. Prohibition on misleading statements (Madrid Agreement).

Packaging

Seaworthy packaging, strong but not too heavy. Packages should be stitched up or in boxes. Information indicating breakable package or box content in Arabic is advisable. Packaging must be labelled in Arabic, English or French with the name of the supplier, the recipient and the country of origin. This also applies to the secondary packaging. Special regulations only need to be complied with in the case of systems, machines, devices, foods, ceramics and sanitary facilities. The date of manufacture and expiry date must be printed on foods. Where applicable information about the quality, preparation etc. The details should be agreed with the importer.
ISPM 15 since 01/10/2005: imported packaging material made of wood must be treated and labelled in accordance with the criteria set out in the ISPM, regardless of the country of origin.
A plant health certificate is then no longer required.

Product samples

Advertising material is to be labelled with the name of the supplier and the note “not for sale”. There are annual limits for the recipient.
The shipping of samples which are subject to customs duties as “product samples” and “packages” is not permitted.

Shipping and accompanying documents

In order to achieve more rapid processing of goods, accompanying documents no longer need to be legalised by the Egyptian embassy or consulate.

a) Commercial invoices, 4 copies, in English or French containing all information, net prices in EUR and GBP, net and gross weights, payment terms etc, certified by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (submit 4 copies). For textiles containing cotton, the precise percentage of cotton content must be indicated, in the case of chemical products the percentage of the individual substances. The consulate must legalise goods originating from a third country.

b) Notification of customs value.

c) 2 certificates of origin; as the origin, indicate “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods, or “European Union” for goods originating from UE. A legally binding manufacturer’s declaration must be made by the exporter on the reverse of the certificate of origin (“The goods are manufactured by …”). Consular legalisation is only require for goods originating from a third country. The certificate of origin must include the name of the producer and possibly the logo.

d) Packing lists (Kashf ‘abwa), 3 copies in French, English or Arabic containing a symbol and number for each individual box, the net and gross weight, external dimensions and content.

e) As proof of preferential origin movement certificate EUR.1 for shipments where the products come under the free trade agreement with the EUR.1 for shipments up to a value of EUR 6.000. The following declaration must be made in this case: “The exporter of the products covered by this document declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of … preferential origin”. The movement certificate EUR.1 is required for all shipments of a value of more than EUR 6.000. The exporter fills in the form, the customs office issues it. “Authorised exporters” can use the above mentioned declaration of origin on commercial documents including for shipments over a value of EUR 6.000 after they have been approved by the competent central customs office.

f) Bills of lading uncertified. Order bills of lading possible if a notify address is given.

g) In some cases certificates stating that goods are radiation-free.

Certificate from the Government of the exporting country indicating that the product has no radio-active radiation and was not produced in a place which was irradiated (ask the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the competent certification body).

h) There is currently a requirement to indicate the manufacturer on the delivery papers.

i) Postal packages up to 20 kg; place 1 international dispatch note, 3 customs declarations in English/French and 1 commercial invoice in English/French in the package, send 2 directly to the recipient. Airmail packages up to 20 kg; 1 international dispatch note with “airmail”, otherwise as for packages.

Air freight shipments: 2 commercial invoices, 2 certificates of origin, 1 international air consignment note, dispatch note in French or English, 3 copies. Freight shipments: 2 commercial invoices, 2 certificates of origin, movement certificate EUR.1 where applicable for UE goods under the preferential agreement, issued by the customs offices.