MPs approve changes to expat car import scheme
MPs give final nod to expat car import scheme changes: The House of Representatives yesterday gave its final approval to a raft of changes to the expat car import initiative designed to boost demand for the flagging scheme. Under the amendments, the scheme will be extended for another two months to finish on 14 May (rather than 14 March), while expats living in countries not subject to mutual customs agreements will receive a 70% discount on customs duty.
Refresher: The Madbouly government introduced the scheme late last year with the aim of drawing much-needed hard currency to help pull the country out of its FX crisis. The deadline has already been pushed once. As of last week the scheme had brought in just USD 202 mn since its launch in November, a fraction of the Finance Ministry’s USD 2.5 bn target.
Want a refund? You won’t be getting that in FX: People are able to request refunds within three months of paying the deposit but they won’t receive it in the hard-currency which they paid with. Under a last minute amendment submitted yesterday, all refunds will be paid out in EGP based on the current exchange rate, rather than the rate when deposit was paid.
Other changes: Expats now have five years to bring their vehicles into the country instead of one year. The age of vehicles imported under the scheme should not exceed three years by the time of customs clearance under the changes.
Fast-tracked exec regs: The executive regulations for the legislation will be released within two weeks of the bill being signed into law under an amendment tabled by Rep. Ashraf Rashad, the parliamentary head of the pro-government majority party Mostaqbal Watan.
NOW IN THE HOUSE-
The House received three draft bills to be discussed by committees:
- Political parties: A bill that would hand EGP 2 mn in public money to each political party and open the door to political donations;
- Bad cheques: A bill toughening penalties on writing worthless cheques.
- Education overhaul: A bill focused on overhauling the Thanaweya Amma system.