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Only 1.5% of importers registered on ACI System, set to be mandatory on July 1

Despite a request by Beshay’s division in May for an extension, importers must register on the platform by the 1st of July

By: Business Today Egypt

Thu, Jun. 17, 2021

After several statements by the Minister of Finance on the importance and necessity of the Custom Authority’s new Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system, only 1.5 percent of importers have signed on.

According to Matta Beshay, Head of the Internal Trade Committee at the Division of Importers at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), that number represents a total of 4,000 Egyptian importers.

Despite a request by Beshay’s division in May for an extension, importers must register on the platform by the 1st of July.

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has stressed that there will be consequences for those that do not register to the system, and it will be mandatory for all importers starting July.

Beshay stated that the current number of registered importers is small, and that the new system cannot be evaluated on the basis of this number, calling for speedy registration on the new system.

The importers division of FEDCOC conducts training courses to explain how to register on the ACI, he added.

Importers must be quick to register so that decision makers can avoid defects that may occur after a large number of importers enter the new ACI system for pre-registration of shipments, he highlighted.

Minister Maait issued a ministerial decision on the implementation procedures regarding the Egyptian Customs Authority’s (ECA) new digital platform, with shipping companies required to send information about their cargo electronically to the platform.

ACI is a World Customs Organization protocol, used to provide shipping lines, port operators and governments real-time information on shipments of incoming goods.

The new system will improve Egypt’s rating in global international indicators, stimulate investment climate, and maximize the competitiveness of Egyptian exports, said Maait in a previous statement on the subject.

The launch of the system’s first phase includes seaports, then it will move to the air and land ports, and pre-registration of imported shipments is required to make sure that the imported shipments matches what enters Egyptian ports.

Beshay added that one of the most important advantages of the ACI is simplifying customs release procedures for goods.

It helps customs and the concerned authorities to start the release procedures before shipments arrive by providing a prior exchange of information and documents for shipments electronically.  

In addition to this, it helps to eliminate the issue of neglected goods and stagnation in ports. This is by providing exporter, importer and commodity data before shipment and assessment of the initial risks of the shipments.