Egyptian customs duties aim to protect the local economy. According to the Encyclopedia of the Nations, under-invoicing is a common concern in the country, which prompts customs officials to actually add about 10 to 30 per cent of invoice value when calculating duties and taxes. Travellers and businesses can benefit from a number of free zones around Egypt. Many of these are located in the country's key tourist areas.
Import Shipment Documents
Importing items to Egypt requires complete import documents. The original commercial invoice must be included in the shipment. This document should be issued in a minimum of three copies. It should also include all pertinent details about each item, its price details including all freight, packing, and other charges and discounts, its net and gross weights, its country of origin and the full name and address of the item's manufacturer. The Bill of Lading containing the terms "Consignee" and "Notify Party" should be presented to the customs to release imports, along with other documents that may be requested from the sending party. Other documentary requirements that should be presented depend on the type of item being imported.
Import Information for Travelers
Travellers are entitled to bring the following items prior to paying duties and taxes: up to 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco; up to 2 litres of alcohol; personal effects including electric appliances, electronic goods, fishing and diving equipment and other general items for personal use; up to 1 piece of perfume for personal use; and non-commercial articles up to the value of EGP500 (Egyptian Pounds). All of the said items should be documented with the person's official travel documents. Customs taxes and duties shall be levied if any of these imported items are not exported upon exit of the country.
Additional Regulations and Travel Information
For the currency import regulations, a passenger can travel with up to EGP5,000 of local currency and up to USD10,000 or its equivalent of foreign currencies. All monetary items meant for personal use or as gifts in the form of cash, traveller's checks, cash cards and gold that are more than EGP500 in total value should be declared upon arrival. There is no airport tax levied on travellers upon embarkation at the airport. Pets brought to the country must be accompanied by a valid government veterinarian good health certificate, which must be issued at the point of origin. This certificate is considerd valid within two weeks from the date of issue.
Free Ports and Trade
Travellers can take advantage of free zones in Egypt, which are exempt from customs duties. These free ports include Port Said, Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Damietta, Safaga, Sohag and Suez. The country's free trade zones are divided into two categories. The first one is established by the central government administration, while the other is controlled by the local state government. A company must secure a permit from the Egyptian government if conducting business activities in free trade zones.