Get ready for Nafeza
What the introduction of a pre-registration system means for shippers: Importers, customs agents, and other handlers need to set up an account with the Customs Authority’s new National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation (Nafeza) as Egypt is getting ready to rollout a pre-registration system at seaports around the country, according to guidelines issued by the Finance Ministry yesterday. They also need to obtain a certified digital signature from companies authorized to provide e-Token services. Egypt will trial the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system — a World Customs Organization protocol that provides shipping lines, port operators and governments real-time information on the potential arrival of goods — on 1 April and make the system mandatory in ports by July.
Once registered, importers will soon be required to submit information on shipments before loading, and obtain a unique advance registration number. This includes handing over codes identifying the seller and port and country of origin, a description of the cargo, an assessment of any custom dues, and other relevant information.
IN OTHER CUSTOMS NEWS- Importers want penalties for failing to file taxes through the government’s new unified tax platform to be waived this year as business owners transition to using the new system, Al Mal reports. The request came as part of a number of recommendations in response to the draft executive regulations of the Unified Tax Act, which were put to public discussion last month.
REFRESHER: The Unified Tax Act passed last year created Egypt’s first unified tax platform, and recent amendments have obliged companies to file their taxes electronically as of this year. The act also imposes tighter deadlines on companies filing VAT returns and imposes penalties on late filers, and is part of the government’s plan to overhaul tax administration and grant authorities better oversight on commercial transactions and tax accounts.