If goods are to be shipped to Egypt, they have to go through Egyptian customs. The import customs clearance is carried out by a state-licensed customs broker (Customs Broker). This is usually determined by the recipient of the goods. But the sender of the goods on the German side is also involved in the success of import customs clearance. Philipp Küffner, deputy branch manager in Bremen, explains what needs to be considered.
Mr. Küffner, which documents are required for import customs clearance in Egypt?
An original commercial invoice is generally required. It must be certified by the IHK. If the shipment's collide details are not listed, a packing list is also required for a shipment with several packages. Customs privileges are granted for certain goods. These are based on a formal proof of preference, the movement certificate EUR1. In order to be able to take advantage of the customs benefits, the original EUR1 must also be submitted.
And beyond that? Are there differences in what documents are required?
Yes. Which documents Egyptian customs want to see also depends on the type of goods to be imported. In addition, there are differences in the import of goods into Egypt depending on the recipient of the goods: Is it a dealer (Trading Company) or a producer (Manufacturing Company)?
In Egypt, in some cases stricter import customs regulations apply to recipients who are classified as “traders”. For example, a proof of origin of the goods in the form of a EUR1 or a certificate of origin is required for them.
And how do I know which documents I need for my shipment?
The safest way is to ask the recipient's Egyptian customs agent. We usually do this by checking with our partner in Egypt beforehand which documents are required for the respective shipment. The team at Blue Flag Freight Logistics, our partner, contacts the recipient's customs agent directly. This approach has proven itself. In this way, we can, among other things, prevent delays in import customs clearance as effectively as possible. This is important when it comes to "storage fees, demurrage and detention costs in the receiving country".
What do you mean by this?
When the goods arrive in the Egyptian port and are deleted, the clock ticks. For FCL shipments, storage money is only due after a few days - in the break bulk area immediately. Storage money is a fee that the container is on the terminal premises. Delays cost money here. Therefore, the document dispatch should also be well planned. Egypt has issued a procedure for sending documents.
And how must the document dispatch work when importing goods into Egypt?
If the value of a consignment does not exceed US $ 5,000 as before, but now US $ 2,000, the banks of the business partners on the German and Egyptian side must regulate the document transfer. The process now looks like this: The exporter now transfers all relevant shipping documents to his bank instead of sending them directly to his Egyptian business partner. The exporter's financial institution then contacts the Egyptian recipient's bank and transmits the papers. When all the papers are available to the bank in Egypt, they contact the importer and issue him a document that he needs to complete the import customs formalities.
Perhaps still good to know: In general, the document transfer is handled by the banks through which the money transfer for the respective business is carried out.
Can I speed up the customs procedure?
Not that, but the exporter can do a lot to make it as efficient as possible. We recommend our customers to coordinate closely with the importer in advance of shipping. It is usually known which banks are involved, but which branch or possibly which department is often not. The exact address is of course important for sending documents. We recommend that you clarify in advance with your own bank how long it will take to send the documents to Egypt, including the shipping time. Here we recommend shipping by courier service.
Does this rule apply to all shipments without exception?
Certain air cargo shipments and Egyptian recipients with foreign participation are exempt from this rule. If in doubt, it should be checked in advance of an upcoming shipment whether the regulation applies. Our customers often call us in such cases. We can then quickly clarify what needs to be done.