Egypt’s Customs Authority aims to tighten the regulation of ports and airports to be in full control of them before the end of this year, aiming to combat smuggling through purchasing new X-ray devices.
“We aim to reach 250 devices before the end of the year,” said Magdy Abd El Aziz, head of the Customs Authority.
Regarding the reduction of the period for the total release of goods from custom procedures, the head of the Customs Authority said in a meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) on Tuesday that a publication was prepared for the approval of the minister of commerce and industry in the coming days. This will allow customs agents to accept photocopies of documents in order to more easily facilitate customs procedures.
He added that 11% of the customs packages are currently being released on the same day and about 4% of them within two hours.
Abd El Aziz presented the most important features of the new customs law before the cabinet, which is due to be presented to the Egyptian Parliament soon.
He said that the draft includes, for the first time, clear definitions of customs terms that have been controversial in recent years, such as the definitions of “warehouse”, “concerned minister”, as well as final and advance inquiries and free markets.
The new law reduces the combined tax on capital equipment to 2% instead of the current 5%, and reduces the duration of the temporary permit system to one year instead of two, he said.
The temporary permit is a special system for the importation of raw materials and inputs of production and intermediate goods without payment of customs duties, provided they are exported after manufacture.
Abd El Aziz added that the new customs law exempts blind and disabled people’s cars, as well as the victims of attacks during military operations, including members of the armed forces and police officers from the customs tax, for two cars.
He said that the customs revenue has so far recorded about EGP 20bn, pointing out that the new draft law will aggravate the penalty of customs evasion.
“Completion of the draft customs law and executive regulations is expected within days, so they are issued together,” Abd El Aziz said.
He pointed out that the new draft law would aggravate the penalty of customs evasion, since the sanctions in the current situation were not enough of a deterrent.