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Advance cargo clearance available by paying 30% of taxes in advance: FinMin

Importers and their agents will be able to pay 30% of dues in advance for their cargo before its arrival to Egyptian ports as part of efforts to speed up customs procedures

By: Business Today Egypt

Sun, Aug. 1, 2021

Under new amendments to the upcoming Custom Authority’s new Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system, importers and their agents will be able to postpone paying 70% of importing taxes and fees until their cargo’s arrival.

According a statement by the Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, importers and their agents will be able to pay 30% of dues in advance for their cargo before its arrival to Egyptian ports as part of efforts to speed up customs procedures.

In the event that cargo is banned from entry or disposed of, importers will be entitled to a refund.

The ACI, also known as Nafeza, is a digital customs system, a World Customs Organization (WCO) protocol that runs on blockchain technology, to be implemented by the government in order to speed up customs and improve border security.

The new rules were approved last week by Minister Maait.

Maait highlighted that the government is eager to provide all possible facilities to importers, owners of goods, their agents of customs brokers, and others who deal with the customs authority, in the aim to  reduce customs release times, cost of goods and services, and their prices in local markets.

The platform will cover more than 90% of Egypt’s imports, Maait added, extending to Safaga, Nuweiba, Ismailia and Aswan before the end of 2021.

Originally set to launch in July, the deadline has been extended to October after calls from business groups for an extension.

As of a late June statement, Nafeza now has nearly 7.7 thousand activated accounts with approximately 2.2 thousand unregistered importers, and around 1.5 thousand currently part of the ongoing pilot phase.