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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Egypt’s trading partners turn to the WTO to complain against Egypt’s import restrictions

Are we in hot water with the WTO over import restrictions? The World Trade Organisation wrote to the Ismail government last week asking that Egypt explain why it has imposed import restrictions that have negatively impacted trading partners including China, the US, the EU and Turkey, government sources tell Al Borsa. The EU and Turkey, in particular, were not convinced of Egypt’s response that the measures — especially the import registry — was meant as a quality control measure and does not violate trade agreements, the source added. The source suggests that some of these partners might move to file a formal complaint with the WTO. The situation is one that Egyptian importers were afraid of when Industry and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil imposed the measure back in January as part of the government’s bid to curb imports amid the ongoing FX crunch. The minister had consistently maintained that the decision was in line with international trade practices.

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