Importing simplified: Egypt

nile river 2c egypt

Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. 

It is one of the important economies located in Northern Africa and is considered a Mediterranean country. Egypt is strategically located to serve the middle east, other countries in the Mediterranean as well as the country itself. Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Egypt is divided into 27 governorates, with Cairo as the capital. The official language of Egypt is Arabic, and the currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP). Current population 104 million and Egypt's current GDP is 5.2%.

Eqypt has the unique infrastructure to ensure the quick and safe delivery of your orders to your customers in Egypt.  Knowing the import rules and regulations are important trade issues to balance the physical movement of the orders. 

Unique geographic position: Located at the crossroads of international trade between Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Egypt is positioning itself to become a major global logistics hub. Businesses are increasingly seeking to base themselves in Egypt as a springboard to Europe and booming regional markets.  

Rising domestic demand: A growing domestic demand for imports and a rapid rise in export-oriented businesses are creating strong demand for logistics and transportation services in a market that is far from saturated.  

Egypt boasts 108,000 kilometers of paved roads and 9570 kilometers of railways. Additionally, it has globally ranked airports in all major urban centers, including an air cargo airport of five terminals in Cairo, six seaports on the Mediterranean and nine on the Red Sea.

Egypt's main container ports:

  • Alexandria/Dekheila
  • Port Said East
  • Port Said West
  • Damietta
  • Sokhna Port
cairo egypt

To ensure the swift movement of your goods into Egypt, your business must take a few steps prior to coordinating any processes. It is critical that companies understand the Egyptian customs rules and regulations that are in place. From there, you can develop stringent business practices for submission of all relevant and accurate data/documents that pertain to your imports.   

Some points of note:

  • Commercial invoice must state the full details of manufacturer (not only the supplier) and must be attested by the Chamber of Commerce
  • Any cargo free of charge is not accepted by customs and must have declared value
  • Finished products must comply with Egyptian standards and specifications, which can differ depending on the type of cargo

In case you are importing any of the below DG cargo, the consignee must provide the carrier with prior approval from public security, otherwise the carrier will not be able to discharge the containers from the vessel:

Class 1.1: 0144, 0209, 0214, 0220, 0222, 0402, 0333

Class 1.2: 0334

Class 1.3: 0335

Class 4.1: 2956, 3221, 3222, 3231, 3232, 3242, 2556, 2557

Class 5.1: 1485, 1486, 1496, 1502, 1489, 1495, 2428, 2014, 3149, 2031

dangerous goods label on drum next to pallet stacked barrels

As always, should you have any questions regarding the stated practices/warnings or if you are in need of any assistance with the movement of goods in and out of Egypt, BDP International is here to help.