Shipments that have already finalized customs procedures will see goods released within the next few days, the minister pointed out
Egypt has announced a series of measures to release imports and shipments that have been stuck at customs, easing investor and importer burdens, said Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.
The measures will come into effect in the coming few days, the minister said in an official statement. The announcement has been received with enthusiasm from many in the affected sectors as many companies have been struggling to bring in raw materials and finished products.
Maait added that the measures were drafted after coordinating with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the ministries of transport, trade and industry, the shipping chamber, and shipping agents to avoid accumulation of goods in the ports.
Shipments that have already finalized customs procedures will see goods released within the next few days, the minister pointed out.
Importers and investors facing delays in finalizing their customs procedures because of paperwork will also be exempt from custom fines, Maait said. Collection of fines from investors and importers are suspended, Maait added but did not reveal for how long.
The period granted for releasing food commodities has been extended to four months, while other goods have been granted a six-month period, Maait said.
Shipments have been stuck due to a foreign currency shortage in Egypt, which has made it difficult for banks and importers to pay the letters of credit needed to release their shipments from customs. This has also affected factories and retailers who have complained that a shortage of operating supplies has led to a fall in production and sales.