E-payment regulations in Egypt

Egypt has recently been focusing on the importance of applying electronic payment methods and regulations on non-cash payments; and as a result, Egypt has issued Law no. 18/2019 in April, 2019 which obliges all state authorities, institutions and establishments, which provide services to the public, to offer electronic payment methods.

In the same context, the Central Bank of Egypt (“CBE”) has issued a framework for its fintech regulatory sandbox for its innovative financial technology lab (“IFTL”) which aims to encourage new fintech solutions in the Egyptian financial and banking sectors. The IFTL accepts applications from all companies providing financial technology services; however, priority is given to companies providing such services in collaboration with financial institutions.

The CBE regulations provide that banks which deal with Payment Service Providers (“PSP”) must comply with the CBE regulations; a bank may not contract with a PSP without obtaining the CBE’s approval.

Moreover, only financial institutions with a physical presence in Egypt will be subject to CBE’s supervision; accordingly, PSPs who target the Egyptian market from abroad are not subject to the CBE’s regulations, keeping in mind that the local banks and/or financial institutions that the PSP contracts with, will remain subject to CBE’s regulations.

According to the CBE’s regulations, banks shall supervise the PSP’s activities, including the PSP’s scope of services as well as insuring that PSPs do not engage in any prohibited activities under Egyptian Laws such as gambling, virtual currencies, lottery games, etc.

For payment facilitators who receive payments into their accounts before transferring such amounts to merchants, they must comply with the below regulations:
– Have a physical presence in Egypt and an established company with a valid Commercial Register;
– Have a physical address in Egypt;
– Have a website;

On a final note, all payments made in Egypt shall be made local currency, Egyptian Pound.

To conclude, Egypt is becoming one of the best jurisdictions in the region for relevant startups to operate in due to the focus on the importance on fintech and non-cash payment solutions.

For any enquiries in relation to fintech regulations or company incorporation in Egypt, please contact mail@eldib.com

The Belt and Road International Lawyers Association co-founded by Eldib & Co

The Belt and Road International Lawyers Association (BRILA) was established in December 2019, marking the very first international lawyer association registered in China. Eldib & Co is one of the founding members, as well as the sole representative from Egypt.

The association is headquartered in Beijing, with the purpose of enhancing the communication and practical cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road, and therefore to further provide high quality legal services for the Belt and Road Initiative.

4 missions of BRILA founding members:
1) Establish a grand network and recruit more members;
2) Amplify the international influence of the association;
3) Establish a solid communication and coordination mechanism with organisations related to the Belt and Road
4) Initiative as well as other international bar associations; Create an unique operation mode of BRILA

Eldib & Co is a regional full service law firm and are prepared to address all legal enquiries. For enquiries kindly contact mail@eldib.com.

Inauguration of Eldib & Co’s Office in Shanghai, China

We are proud to announce that we have expanded our business to a new location in Shanghai, China. Our newest addition enable us to respond effectively to the growing needs of our varied clients across the world and serve as our hub in Asia.

Our new office will serve to meet prospects, deliver high quality legal services and build credibility for the business opportunities that Eldib & Co offers.

Eldib & Co, is a global law firm headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, with 8 hub-offices (locates in Alexandria (Egypt), Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Turkey, and China), and over 60 affiliates in the region to support our clients’ business in regards to a wide variety of Legal Matters, Intellectual Property or other areas of practice.

Eldib & Co has been serving clients across the world since 1875. The firm offers a wide array of legal services including anti-counterfeit, arbitration, commercial, copyrights, corporate, criminal, industrial designs, labor & employment, litigation, patents, real estate & property management, trademarks, transport. Our Intellectual Property department boasts a worldwide reputation, and is known as the oldest and strongest IP firm in Egypt and North Africa starting in 1918 and registering the first Trademark in Egypt.

Address: 6/F-7/F,Zhenfeng Building, No.89 Jilong Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China

PoC: Yizhi Zou, Business Development Executive, Eldib & Co, yizhi.zou@eldib.com Tel. ‭+86 17621577862‬

For inquiries, information, or to request a fee schedule, please contact china@eldib.com and yizhi.zou@eldib.com.

Legal opinion regarding inquiries about the current situation in light of the economic conditions in Egypt due to COVID-19 outbreak

Under the current economic circumstances and the losses incurred by companies in combating the threat of the newly discovered coronavirus (COVID-19), we list hereunder the provisions of the Articles that the employer can proceed with.

First, with regard to the closing down the establishment wholly or partially Under the provisions of Article (196) of the Egyptian Labor Law No. 12/2003, which provides that: The employer, for economic necessities, shall have the right to close down the establishment wholly or partially, downsize it or reduce its activity which might affect the size of labor therein, according to the conditions, terms and procedures prescribed herein in the present law.

Also, Article (197) of the same Law stipulates how to implement the provisions of the previous Article: In applying the provisions of Article (196) of this Law, if Ten employees are employed by the employer, the employer shall:

1. Submit a request for closing down, downsizing or reducing activity of the establishment, to a committee to be formed for that purpose.

2. The request shall comprise the reasons it is based on in doing that, as well as the numbers and categories of employees to be laid off.

3. The committee shall issue its decision duly substantiated within at most thirty days from the date the request is submitted to it. If the decision is issued accepting the request, it shall comprise an indication of the date of its execution.

4. The concerned party may complain against that decision before another committee to be formed for that purpose. The complaint against the decision accepting the request shall result in staying its execution. A decree of the competent minister shall be issued forming each of the said two committees and determining their powers, the procedures to be followed before them, and the dates and procedures of submitting the complaint.

Article (198) of the same Law also added that in the event of a decision issued approving the closing down of the establishment wholly or partially: The employer shall notify the workers and the concerned trade union organization of the request submitted and the decision issued for closing down the establishment wholly or partially, downsizing it or reducing its activity. The said decision may be executed effective the date to be determined by the committee examining the request or the complaint, according to each case.

Also, Article (199) of the same Law regulates the method of laying off employees in the event of a decision issued approving the closing down of the establishment wholly or partially In case of partial closing down, downsizing or reducing activity of the establishment, if the collective agreement in force at the establishment does not comprise the objective criteria for choosing the employees to be laid off, the employer shall:

1. Consult in this respect with the trade union organization, after the issue of the decision and before its execution. The seniority, family burdens, age, and vocational abilities and skills of the employees shall be within the criteria that may be drawn upon in this respect.

2. In all cases, these criteria shall observe balancing between the interest of the establishment and those of the employees.

Second: with regard to reducing wages instead of closing down the establishment, the provisions of Article (201) of the Labor Law provides that:

Subject to the provisions of Article (198) of the present Law, and in the cases where the employer has the right to terminate the employment contract for economic reasons, the employer may – instead of using that right – modify the conditions of the contract temporarily, and may in particular assign the employee a non-agreed upon work even if it is fundamentally different from the employee’s original work. The employer may also reduce the wage of the employee up to not less than the minimum wages. If the employer modifies the conditions of the contract according to the previous clause, the employee may terminate the employment contract without being committed to send a notification. The termination of the contract in this case shall be considered a substantiated termination on the part of the employer.

The employee shall be entitled to the compensation prescribed in the following Clause: in terminating the contract for economic reasons according to the procedures indicated in Articles (196) to (200) of the present Law, the employer shall pay to the employee whose contract is terminated a compensation equivalent to the comprehensive wage of one month for each of the first five years of service, and one and a half months for each year after the first five years.

(In this case, the employee shall be entitled to the wage computed against the employee’s annual leave balance only. The employee shall be entitled to one month for the first five years of his employment and one and a half months for each of the remaining years of employment)

Items that the employer may not pay within the wage according to the above: Article (1) of the Labor Law provides that the following shall be considered a wage: any bonus given to the employee in addition to his wage, and all that is paid to him due to his honesty or efficiency, once these bonuses are prescribed in the individual or collective employment contracts or in the work articles of association, as well as that which has become customarily payable once fulfilling the qualities of generality, continuance, and constancy.

The bonus shall mean an amount of money or anything other than cash given to employees on certain occasions or at certain times, for example what the employer gives to the employees on holidays or at the end of the fiscal year. The bonus shall not be related to the success of the business and its profits.

As for the reward, it is a type of bonus that the employer grants to the employee in recognition of his honesty, loyalty, or competence. It is like the rewards given to the employee who achieves a savings in the use of raw materials, or who completes his work on time, or who regularly attends to work on time. It is called in business as incentive rewards. The reward for a worker may be in recognition of production increase over a certain rate, and in such a case it is called production increase reward.

The basic principle is that bonuses and rewards are a donation from the employer to the employees, and shall not therefore be considered part of the wage. However, this description changes and they become part of the wage, if the employer becomes obliged to pay them, regardless of the source of this obligation. The obligation of the employer to pay them means that the employer shall not have the choice to revoke them or reduce their value.

Periodic Annual Increase of Wages
It is an amount of money or anything other than cash given to the employee at regular intervals, often one year, and therefore is often called the annual increase. This amount may be determined by a percentage of the basic wage of the employee, 10% for example. The periodic increase is added to the basic wage, which results in this wage being increased by the amount of the increase.

The rule is that the employer shall not be obliged to grant his employees a periodic increase unless there is a provision for such an obligation in law, in the individual employment contract, the collective employment contract, or in the regulations of the establishment, or that it is customary to grant it. In other words, the increase may be based on a legal provision, a clause in an employment agreement or a customary procedure.

This is a summary of all inquiries that arise under the current circumstances by the employer.

Electronic Services for Egyptian Companies in Light of COVID-19

Due to the Egyptian Authorities’ aim to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a lot of precautionary measures have been taken by the Prime Minister and all Governmental Authorities in general; the Prime Minister issued the Decree no. 606/2020 in which all activities requiring big gatherings or travelling between governorates in big groups shall be temporary suspended until further notice. The aforementioned activities includes concerts, exhibitions, etc. Moreover, the Head of the Financial Regulatory Authority (“FRA”), issued a press release on 14 March, 2020 urging all companies operating in non-banking financial services to start using the remote voting systems in all General Assembly Meetings; this system will enable the shareholders to electronically vote on the form shared with the attendees of the meeting, containing checklist of the meeting agenda and each attendee can choose to either approve, reject or abstain from voting on each the decision in the agenda. The FRA also decided that the FRA’s Central Administration for Market Services shall operate electronically, so that any non-banking financial activities can be carried out via email and without the need to be physically present at the FRA premises.

Further, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (“GAFI”) has announced that companies can now ratify Ordinary General Assembly Meetings (“OGM”) electronically via GAFI’s official website. The company shall receive an electronic ratified copy of the OGM; the company can also request a hard copy of the ratified OGM which will be issued after 15 days from ratifying the electronic one.

The aforementioned procedure is conducted on 4 steps as follows:

– Registering and creating an account on GAFI’s electronic gate;
– Requesting to grant the rights of dealing with the company’s requests via authorized individuals;
– Submitting the OGM ratifying request, paying the fees via credit cards and signing the documents electronically;
– All OGM documents will be sent to the company’s account on the website;

Having said the above, we will be more than happy to assist our clients and colleagues with all legal procedures that can be taken whether electronically or via the Egyptian Authorities that are still in operation; we also urge all our valued clients and colleagues to follow all the precautionary procedures and stay safe during these uncertain times.

[COVID19]: Courts Closure in Egypt & Libya

In light of the WHO’s declaration of the coronavirus outbreak to be a considered as a global pandemic, all courts, including but not limited to the Court of Cassation, High Administrative Court, Administrative Courts, Commercial Courts, Economic Court, and Criminal Courts shall shut down starting tomorrow, Monday 16 March, 2020 until Saturday 28 March, 2020. Any hearings that were meant to take place during the aforementioned dates shall be postponed and shall be rescheduled as soon as the courts reopen on Sunday 29 March, 2020.

We predict that other governmental authorities and courts shall also follow the same precautionary measures. We at Eldib & Co, have taken the necessary contingency methods to ensure that our firm will continue to operate without any disruption in our services unless the Egyptian government, should decide to introduce further limitations and restrictions in regards to the outbreak.

Meanwhile, all courts, trademark office, and patent office in Libya shall be suspended until further notice.

Our entire team throughout all of our offices are equipped and prepared to work remotely, without compromising the quality of our service, should the circumstances escalate. Hence, we shall be capable of handling all ongoing and new incoming matters efficiently.

Eldib & Co stands in solidarity with those affected by the outbreak and we wish them the best during these difficult times.

Egypt – Committee formed for Compulsory licenses | Decree 251 of 2020

In accordance with article 23(4) of the Egyptian IP Law No. 82/2002 the Patent Office is entitled to grant Compulsory license if the applicant/patentee fails to exploit the invention in Egypt, himself or through his consent; or if the patent was not sufficiently exploited after the lapse of four years from the date of the application or three years from the grant of the patent, whichever comes later; or if the patent owner suspended, without a valid reason, the exploitation of the patent for more than one year.

In this regard we would like to inform you that the Prime Minister issued the following decree:

Decree No. 251 of 2020 Prime Minister’s Decree No. 251 of 2020 Prime Minister’s Decision after reviewing the constitution and Law No. 82 of 2002 for The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, and based on what was presented by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research

Article 1
The Ministerial Committee stipulated in Article (23) of the Law No 82 of 2002 will be established from: The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research (established), Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Minister of Health and Population, Minister of Trade and Industry and the Chef of the Authority for the Protection of Competition and the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices. The committee may seek the assistance of any Ministries, State Agencies, and Experts to assist it in carrying out its tasks.

Article 2
The committee referred to is concerned with the following: 1- Approving the granting of compulsory licenses to exploit the inventions in the cases stipulated in the aforementioned Intellectual Property Protection Law. 2- Determining the financial rights of the patentee when issuing the compulsory licenses referred to, based on the estimate offered by the committee in accordance with the provisions of Article (41) of the Executive Regulations of the aforementioned Intellectual Property Law. 3- Approving the expropriation of the patent in any of the cases specified in the aforementioned Intellectual Property Law.

Article 3
The committee rapporteur shall call for its convening, provided that the invitation includes specifying the date and venue of the meeting and the agenda. The decisions of the committee shall be issued by an absolute majority of its members.

Article 4
The Ministerial Committee shall have a technical secretariat to assist it in the performance of its tasks, and a decision shall be issued by its formation from the decision of the committee.

Article 5
This decision shall be published in the official gazette, and the competent authorities must implement it. By the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Dr. Mustafa Kamal Madbouly Issued on January 29, 2020

Finally we would like to point out that in the entire history of EG Patent Office they have never granted any compulsory license and if the EGPO grants it, then it will be the first time.

For more information please contact Mostafa Eissa at mostafa.eissa@eldib.com

Eldib & Co are providing preferential rates to all Crédit Agricole Egypt Bank’s customers

It gives us a great pleasure to announce that Eldib & Co are providing preferential rates to all Crédit Agricole Egypt Bank’s customers in regards to the following legal services:

– Legal consultations
– Contract review
– Company incorporation, of all types, locally or internationally (fees to be agreed upon for incorporation abroad)
– Family law (marriage/divorce, inheritance, trust/wills)
– Obtaining citizenships and residencies
– Intellectual property rights

For more information please contact mail@eldib.com

To read more please visit

Our New Brand Identity

With the turn of the decade, we are pleased to announce that we are releasing an updated brand identity, which includes a new logo, theme and font. You will notice our fresh new look anywhere we’re out in public, like our website, Facebook, and Twitter; very soon you will see it in all of our materials, as well. We believe the new look better matches what we have become since 1875: A modern and dynamic full service law firm that offers service of the highest quality across multiple jurisdictions.

We hope you enjoy Eldib & Co’s newly developed identity! Look out for more exciting news to unfold as we continue to try to better serve our clients with their legal needs.