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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Finance Ministry mulls automating Egypt’s ports

Gov’t mulls automating Egypt’s ports to streamline customs procedures: The Finance Ministry is looking at potentially using ACI pre-registration systems at Egypt’s ports in a bid to cut red tape and streamline customs procedures, according to a cabinet statement. The new system, which would reduce the time needed for customs procedures to a maximum of three days, would create an online portal allowing customers to follow the status of their shipments. The news comes as Chinese goods have been piling up at Egypt’s ports as a result of manual paperwork delays that exporters in China have left unfulfilled in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak that has stalled much economic and business activity globally.

Other customs updates: The ministry has set up a specialized committee to create a unified set of customs procedures, and has created a customs fast-track for pharma, industrial inputs, and transit ships. The government has also established a one-stop shop system for customs in several airports and seaports, according to the statement. This comes as the Customs Act — which would expedite clearance through a white list of importers, among other things — is currently with the House of Representatives and expected to come into effect in 1H2020.

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