Egyptian customs regulations are very strict on paper, but they are often unevenly enforced. If importing items, be sure that all paperwork is in order and prepare for delays when obtaining permission from the proper government authorities. If entering as a visitor or other private individual, prepare to go through custom formalities.
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Very few items are allowed into Egypt duty free. Diplomatic, oil company and aid project personnel are allowed to bring in household and personal items duty free. Visitors are allowed to bring valuable personal items into Egypt with out paying duties but may have to prove that they are exiting Egypt with the same personal items to avoid being charged when leaving the country. Some electronics, such as photographic and video equipment and computer accessories, can be dutiable in any quantity.
Many items will be allowed into Egypt only after customs officials collect high tariffs. Alcohol, for example, is subjected to a 3,000% duty and a 100% sales tax. Items deemed new by customs officials are subjected to duties determined by the customs officials. Telecommunications equipment and media may be screened by censors and held by customs in order to obtain approval for entry or import from the Ministry of Culture. Similarly, animals and seeds must be approved by the Ministry of Agriculture to enter the country.
Egypt prohibits anything that could be deemed pornographic or anti-Islamic. Furthermore, no weapons (firearms and ammunition, swords, daggers and explosives) are allowed into the country. Gold and silver are very heavily restricted; anything not for obvious personal use or not in very small quantities is not allowed. Antiquities more than 100 years old are not allowed out of the country, except in certain circumstances requiring special permission, certification and documentation.
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