Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it said that the new draft customs law provides many facilities for the commercial and industrial communities, in addition to mechanisms to protect the national industries besides overcoming evasions and the development of mechanisms at the Customs Authority.
The minister clarified that the draft law allows pre-customs clearance systems and pre-clearance of shipments prior to arrival at Egyptian ports other than establishing a legal basis for electronic documents to terminate customs procedures.
He said the draft law reorganizes all special customs systems in accordance with international best practices in order to boost Egypt's international trade movement.
The government aims to turn Egyptian ports into a regional center for international trade, he said, pointing out that these systems include transit goods, customs warehouses, temporary storage, free zones, special economic zones, free markets, temporary permits and temporary release.
He noted that a year will be granted from the date of issuance of the new law to resolve the status of goods released by the temporary release system.
Ma’it added that the draft law combines for the first time customs treatment and exemptions in a single law to facilitate the dealers with customs, as well as the commitment of the law to the provisions of trade agreements associated with Egypt as well as oil and mining agreements.
He pointed out that the draft law stipulates that the minister of finance issues the executive regulation within six months from the date of its operation.
On the new introduced draft of customs law, the minister stressed that the Ministry of Finance was keen to include in the law a wide range of definitions of terms amounting to 32 definitions to prevent any conflicting interpretations and to ensure the unification of customs treatment at all ports at the level of the Republic.
He added that the draft law devoted a full chapter to the regulation of special customs systems.
The minister affirmed that his ministry will carefully consider all proposals and observations of civil society organizations on the draft of the new customs law.
He said earlier this month that the new draft law was sent to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Industries and Chambers of Commerce and that they are waiting for their comments.