Eldib & Co launches a practice teaching base with Law School of Shanghai International Studies University



We are pleased to announce that Eldib & Co has launched a practice teaching base with the prestigious Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) law school. The launch ceremony was held on July 6, joined by deans, deputy deans and head of CPC committee of SISU law school.



The collaboration enables SISU and our firm to jointly cultivate comprehensive multilingual legal talents under law and language programs, namely to train students majoring in Arabic to know more about Egyptian law, and to actively respond to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.



Founded in 1949 and upholding the motto of “Integrity, Vision and Academic Excellence”, Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) is an internationally recognized, prestigious academic institution distinctive for its multidisciplinary and multicultural nature, committed to preparing innovative professionals and future global leaders for a wide range of international expertise to address the critical challenges of our times.





New Head of OMPIC in Morocco



Mr. Abdelaziz Babqiqi has been designated as the new director of OMPIC by the governement council on June 3, 2021.

Prior to his appointment, he has, among others, held the position of Director of Statistics, Studies, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Green and Digital Economy.

Eldib & Co becomes a member of China Chamber of International Commerce



We are proud to receive a membership certificate from the China Chamber of International Commerce.

As a member of China Chamber of International Commerce, Eldib & Co continues its mission to assist and advise Chinese companies that are interested in investment in Africa and Middle Eastern countries. We offer one stop and comprehensive legal services from pre-investment, due diligence and negotiation, to company incorporation, contracts, litigation and more.

China Chamber of International Commerce, or CCOIC, was established in 1988 with the approval of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Affiliated with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), CCOIC is a nationwide chamber of commerce aiming to promote economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between China and foreign countries.

Moving our office in Shanghai to a new location effective June 1st 2021



We are thrilled to announce that due to the expansion of our business activities in China, we will move to a new location in Shanghai.

The new office will open its doors to welcome you effective June 1, 2021.

Address: Office 225, 2F, No. 58 Taicang Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200021, China
Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/dKFLMgHnw9LhVweW6
Landline Phone: +86 21 6103 6899
Cell Phone: ‭+86 17621577862‬‬‬‬
PoC: Yizhi Zou, Business Development Manager, Eldib & Co, yizhi.zou@eldib.com

The new office will enable us to respond more effectively to the growing needs of our varied clients across the world and to continue serve as our hub in Asia.

Eldib & Co, is a global law firm headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, with 8 offices (located 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.

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

Registration of Marketing and Advertising Agencies in Egypt

Execution of Ministerial Decree no. 962 of 2021: registration of marketing and advertising agencies in the Commercial Agents’ Registry

In May, 2021, the General Organization of Export and Import Control (“GOEIC”) has announced that they will execute the Decree issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry on 4 December, 2012 (the “Decree”).

The Decree provides that all agencies and/or natural persons working in the field of marketing and advertising are required to register their company in the Commercial Agents’ Registry, even if it is not the main activity of the company.

Moreover, the Decree clarifies that any company and/or person operating in a field that includes presenting and/or the marketing of advertising materials for the purpose of publishing or broadcasting same on any kind of broadcast, whether printed material, visual, digital, etc. are subject to this Decree and therefore must be registered in the aforementioned registry.

Eldib & Co will be more than happy to provide any kind of assistance in the registration procedures in compliance with the recent regulations.

Introducing the Egyptian Competition Authority



Introducing the Egyptian Competition Authority

The purpose of establishing the Authority for Protection of Competition and Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) is affiliated to the Prime Minister (the competent minister). It was established to be the agency responsible for monitoring the market and enforcing the provisions of the Law. It ensures that market agents carry out economic activity in a manner that does not harm competition. It also aims to spread the culture of competition and support competition policies in the Egyptian society.

Establishing the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA)

The ECA was established with the enforcement of the Law on the Protection of Competition and Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices on May 16, 2005. The ECA began investigating, searching and collecting evidence as of January 2006.

Difference between the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA), the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) and the Anti-Dumping, Subsidy and Safeguard Department

Sometimes confusion occurs because there is a unified goal for those three entities, which is to protect consumers and markets from any harmful practices. However, the role of each of them differs from the other:

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) was established in order to provide a competitive environment in which people and companies can freely conduct their economic activities, which enhances competition in the market and contributes to making goods and services available to consumers with higher quality and lower prices

The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) was established to preserve consumer rights if it obtained defective, unusable or non-compliant products.

Finally, the Anti-Dumping, Subsidy and Safeguard Department was established in order to protect the markets from dumping and unfair trade practices by ensuring that the value of goods exported to Egypt matches their normal value in the country of origin. Their tasks also include taking measures to combat subsidies of any form in the event of a negative impact on the local industry. Finally, to take preventive measures in the event of a significant increase in imports of a certain commodity, that may affect the local industry.

Relationship of the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) with other regulatory agencies in the Egyptian market:

There are other regulatory agencies in the Egyptian market, such as the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, the Egyptian Electric Utility & Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, the Egyptian Insurance Regulatory Authority, and other regulatory agencies. Each of these regulatory agencies is concerned with a specific sector. The Egyptian Competition Authority’s relationship with all these agencies is a complementary relationship whose primary goal is to protect consumer rights and the public interest. The Egyptian Competition Authority realized the importance of this relationship and took the initiative to consolidate it with many of these agencies by signing cooperation protocols with each other, and continues to make efforts in this regard.

It is worth noting that the law provides that one of the functions of the Egyptian Competition Authority is to coordinate with the sectoral regulatory agencies in matters of common interest, without prejudice to the functions of the various agencies.

Functions of the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA):

The law has defined the functions of the ECA that ensure its objectives are met. These functions include:
  1. Examining complaints, conducting research initiatives and providing advisory opinions;
  2. Developing a database on the economic activity of the state;
  3. Taking the measures provided for in Article (20) of the Law;
  4. Providing opinion on draft laws and regulations concerning the Competition Law;
  5. Coordinating with similar authorities in other countries on matters of common interest;
  6. Informing the public of the contents of the law and spreading the culture of competition;
  7. Publishing a periodical containing decrees, recommendations and measures taken by the ECA;
  8. Preparing an annual report on the activities of the ECA and its future plan.


Employees who are granted the status of judicial enforcement officers and the powers granted to them accordingly:

The law identified a group of employees of the ECA, who shall have the status of judicial enforcement officers, namely the Executive Director, Legal and Economic Researchers and the Information Technology Specialist. Such employees shall be entitled to review records and documents, as well as to obtain any information or data from any governmental or non-governmental authority for the purpose of examining cases considered by the ECA.

Such powers extend to public business sector companies, and are not bound by the restriction provided for in Article (55) of Law No. 203 of 1991 pertaining to public business sector companies regarding the need to obtain permission from the Chairman of the Holding Company’s Board of Directors before proceeding with judicial enforcement actions.

The penalty for not cooperating with the employees of the ECA when proceeding with judicial enforcement actions is a fine from twenty thousand Egyptian pounds up to five hundred thousand Egyptian pounds.

Does the ECA charge fees on complaints submitted to it or services it renders?

The ECA does not get fees for examining complaints submitted to it. As for the other services provided by the ECA, the Executive Regulation identified the fees as follows:

The request for exemption provided for under Article (9) of the Law and the request of renewal of this exemption shall be subject to a fee of ten thousands 10,000 LE payable at the time of the submission of the request to which the receipt evidencing payment shall be attached.

The request for reviewing or that of issuing a certificate or an official copy of one of the documents that the Authority is allowed to circulate shall be subject to a fee of one hundred 100 LE.

Formation of the board of directors of the ECA:

In accordance with the amendments to Law No. 56 of 2014, the law specified that the ECA shall be managed by a board of directors to be formed by a decision of the competent minister, as follows:
  1. A full-time chairman with outstanding experience, representing the ECA before the courts and in dealing with third parties;
  2. A Judge from the Council of State at the position of a Vice President, chosen by the President of the Council of State;
  3. Two representatives of the concerned ministries, nominated by the competent minister;
  4. Three experienced specialists;
  5. Three representatives from the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Egyptian Industries, and Federation of Consumer Protection, with each federation choosing its representative;
The term of the Board of Directors is four years, renewable for one term.

Examination of Complaints:

There are specific steps by the ECA to examine any condition, and they start with the following:
  • Receiving the complainant, and in the event that the complaint is submitted by e-mail or fax, the ECA contacts the complainant to summon him to the headquarters of the ECA;
  • Notifying the Executive Director;
  • If the complaint is accepted in terms of its seriousness and that it is within the responsibility of the ECA, the complaint form is filled in and submitted to the Executive Director;
  • Notifying the Chairman;
  • Selecting the working group;
  • Examining the complaint;
  • Preparing the final report;
  • Submitting the final report to the Chairman, and presenting it to the Board of Directors at the first upcoming meeting to take a decision in the case.


Board decisions:

There are three types of decisions that can be issued by the Board of Directors of the ECA when examining any case, and they are as follows:

Decision in the event of a violation: In this case, there are mandatory measures taken by the ECA in all cases, and procedures that depend on its discretionary authority in each case separately. The ECA board of directors is obligated to take administrative measures to mandate the violator to remove the violation and amend its status. The ECA board of directors retains discretion to request criminal proceedings from the Public Prosecutor’s Office or to reconcile with the violator.

Decision to dismiss the complaint: It is either after studying the case and proving that there is no violation, or after reviewing the subject matter of the complaint and it was found that it is outside the responsibility of the ECA.

Decision to take precautionary measures: when the ECA board of directors issues a decision to suspend practices that the evidence shows – before the completion of the research and study – they violate the provisions of the articles (6, 7, 8) when they cause serious damage to competition or the consumer that cannot be remedied. This is according to the recent amendment to the Competition Protection Law.

Cases of non-competence of the ECA:

There are many reasons why the ECA is not competent to consider the complaint, the most important of which are:
  1. The complaint is not related to an economic activity;
  2. The complaint relates to a practice or act that does not fall within the acts mentioned in Articles 6, 7, and 8;
  3. The complaint relates to agreements or practices of a public facility directly managed by the state;
  4. The complaint relates to practices or agreements that do not directly or indirectly affect the Egyptian market;
  5. Challenging ministerial decrees that would affect competition.


What is meant by competition?

Competition in general means a number of producers or traders race to produce or market a number of goods and services by trying to attract the largest number of customers.

Competition and competitiveness:

Competitiveness differs from competition, which was previously defined. Competitiveness is the ability of companies to face the competition of others by improving the quality of their products, reducing their cost or both, in other words, finding a competitive advantage that allows them to remain in the market for a period of time. Competition is the primary driver for companies operating in the market to increase their competitiveness.

Relationship between competition and open market:

There is a close relationship between competition and the open market. The open market economy depends on the free entry and exit of people or companies to the market, in which prices are determined in accordance with the supply and demand forces of each commodity or service. This enhances competition in the market and leads to increased innovation and development of goods and services by companies, benefiting consumers in terms of quality and prices.

There is often confusion between the concept of monopoly, control and monopolistic practices, so what is the difference between them? The public usually confuses these three concepts, and they are often used as alternatives to each other, which is not the right thing.

In economic terms, monopoly means a single product of a commodity or service, and there are no practical or objective alternatives to this commodity or service from the consumer’s point of view. The producer can therefore control the market and prevent the entry of new competitors.

Control, as defined by the Competition Protection Law, means the situation that usually occurs when a person has three combined factors:
  • An increase in the person’s market share of more than (25%);
  • The person has the ability to make an effective impact on the prices of goods or services;
  • Competitors’ inability to limit the influence of the controlling person;


Finally, monopolistic practices are achieved when the controlling person exploits its position within the market to raise prices and achieve monopolistic profits, takes competitors out of the market or creates obstacles to prevent the entry of any new or potential competitor, which affects competition within the market and therefore affects the consumer. (For more information on forms of monopolistic practices, please refer to Article 13 of the Executive Regulations).

Based on the foregoing, the Competition Protection Law does not criminalize control or monopoly, but rather the misuse of the position of control.

Is every price increase caused by monopolistic practices?

There is no doubt that the price increase may be the result of monopolistic practices. However, not every price increase is a result of these monopolistic practices. Rather, the increase may be the result of several other reasons, including:
  • High cost at factories;
  • Increase in consumer demand exceeds market supply;
  • The nature of the market may be non-competitive due to government decisions that distort the competitive process in the same market.


Why does the competition protection law not criminalize monopoly?

This is because monopoly may result from several reasons that have nothing to do with incorrect activity by the company. For example, this monopoly may be the result of legal proceedings or rules, such as a judgment by the court that this company is only the licensee to engage in this activity. This is known as legal monopoly, as happened in the case of “Telecom Egypt” when the Telecommunications Law stipulated that the company alone has the right during a specified period of time to establish, operate and exploit international communication networks between Egypt and any other country. On the other hand, monopoly may be a result of the nature of the activity itself, as some activities require a person to have a large share in the market in order for the investment to be economically feasible. This is what happens in some sectors such as “the electricity sector and the water sector”, which is known as natural monopoly. Finally, the monopoly may be the result of the company’s economic efficiency compared to the rest of its competitors.

What tools does the government have to cope with the high prices?

The government has many tools to deal with the rise in prices. Among the most important and profitable ones is to facilitate the entry of new competitors into the market, and to encourage competitors to expand production. This is done by removing all legal and procedural restrictions that contribute to the high cost of operating factories and operating companies. This may lead to an increase in supply, lower prices, increase in quality, or encourage innovation, or all of them.

What is meant by merger and acquisition?

A merger is achieved when two or more persons enter into a contract that entails the union of their financial liabilities, and it is either by affiliation or by amalgamation:

Merger by affiliation: when a company affiliates one or more other companies into it;

Merger by amalgamation: It occurs when all the companies wishing to merge are dissolved and a new company is established that receives all the assets and liabilities of the companies that are merged.

An overview on the Law of Protection of Competition and Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices:

The Law on the Protection of Competition and the Prevention of Monopolistic Practices was issued by Law No. 3 of 2005 on February 15, 2005. In August 2005 its executive regulations were amended by Resolution No. 1316 of 2005, and in 2008 some provisions of the law were amended by Law No. 190 and 193 of 2008, and then the executive regulations were amended in 2010 according to Resolution No. 2957 of 2010. Finally, on July 12, 2014, the Prime Minister’s decision was issued to amend some provisions of the law pursuant to Presidential Decree Law No. 56 of 2014.

The law aims to create a competitive, free and honest environment in which all persons operating in the market abide by the provisions of the law, which will benefit the consumer and achieve economic efficiency.

Applicability of competition law:

The law applies to all natural and legal persons and entities operating in the market in general. For more details on the definition of persons, please refer to article (2.a) of the Law and Article (5) of the Executive Regulations;

The provisions of this law shall also apply to acts committed abroad if they result in preventing, restricting or harming freedom of competition in Egypt, which constitute crimes according to the Law on Protection of Competition and Prevention of Monopolistic Practices. (For more details, please refer to Article 5 of the law).

Egypt to Merge Trademarks and Patent Entities



Dr. Ibrahim Ashmawy, Ministery of Supply, Head of the Internal Trade Development Authority and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Commodity Exchange (EGYCOMEX), revealed that there is a directive from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to integrate all intellectual property entities in the Ministries of Higher Education, Scientific Research, Agriculture, Industry and Supply under one entity, the Intellectual Property Authority.

Ashmawy said that legislation of intellectual property law will be issued with the aim of controlling it and working to develop and promote it, similar to its counterparts in major countries, as Egypt is a permanent member of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the Trademarks Department of the Internal Trade Development Authority is affiliated with the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, the Contact Point Authority for Intellectual Property Rights Protection is affiliated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Egyptian Patent Office is affiliated with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in addition to the Intellectual Property Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Kindly contact mail@eldib.com for any enquiries regarding intellectual property in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East.

EGYPT – Issuance Of New Customs Law



Egypt – Customs Law number 207 for the year 2020

Introduction

With the aim of developing and simplifying trade, promoting Investment rules and procedures and aligning with the recent developments and improvements in the Egyptian economy, the Egyptian government has recently, after a long wait, issued a package of new laws, as a tangible step on the journey of Egyptian tax and customs reform; among which is the new Customs law number 207 for the year 2020 which was officially approved and published on the 11th of November, 2020 “the new Law”, repealing both the old Customs law no. 66 for the year 1963 as well as the customs exemptions law no. 186 for the year 1986.

Enforceability and settlement time-frame

The new Law came into force on the 12th of November 2020; where its Executive Regulation is expected to be issued approximately by May, 2021.

Until the issuance of the Executive Regulation, the relevant applicable current regulations and decrees shall apply in compliance with the provisions of the new Law.

Customs situation for goods released before the new law came into force shall be finally settled under the temporary release system, until consideration is given to determining their position regarding the customs tax, in accordance with the rules that were in force at the time of their release; provided that this shall be done within a year from the effective date of the new law.

Content in brief:

Generally, the new law mainly addresses the shortcomings of the previous laws; unifying customs release operations and processes, streamlining customs procedures, improving the customs tax refund process and introducing provisions that would improve the customs system in Egypt, in order to attract foreign investment thereto and facilitate the international trade between Egypt and other countries, eventually contributing in increasing the exports and imports of Egyptian goods to and from international markets.

Furthermore, the new Law sets penalties on violators and smugglers, introducing a revised post- clearance audit process, aiming at controlling the import and export activity in an efficient manner, lastly promoting faster safer goods release at the borders.

It’s worth mentioning that the application of the new Law considers the provisions of the Investment Law and the Special Economic Zones Law, as well as the international agreements and exemptions established by other laws.

Key Aspects of the new Law:

The new Law has many highlights; among the most important of which are the following:

– Implementing the single window system as well as a pre-query system to address technical queries from businesses and facilitate the customs procedures.
– Assisting the goal of abolishing the paper-based policy by a digital policy through activating the electronic invoicing system, instead of paper invoicing; enabling the Customs Authority to review customs process documents more efficiently.
– Bearing in mind that such electronic circulation of customs data, documents, and records between all competent concerned governmental authorities and foreign entities will be regulated by law; which eventually would definitely facilitate the circulation of the required information, and rapid release of goods.
– Introducing the risk management system in the implementation of the customs procedures.
– Facilitating customs procedures through the establishment of new customs system controls, and the development of modern systems that are compatible with recent developments, which in turn contribute to the country’s advancement in several international indicators.
– Exploiting modern technology at several key points, including the establishment of electronic systems that allow obtaining prior information regarding the goods imported to the country before their shipment
– Tracking services up to final release stage, with the added possibility of pre-clearance and customs duty payment before the arrival of certain goods contracted under the modern electronic commerce system.
– Introducing entirely new procedures regarding regulations on importation of goods; obligating the importer or its agent to present the documents related to the goods, to be shipped to the country, first before undergoing customs administration, so that the Egyptian Customs Authority can mark them with an initial customs registration number; where the said registration number should be passed to the Carrier by the booking parties, and the Carrier is obliged to impute the registration number into the Cargo Manifest and Bill of Lading, otherwise, the cargo will not be discharged from its vessel.
– For the time being, the necessary mechanisms and frameworks for anticipated implementation have not yet been established or at least disclosed, especially regarding how the Carrier will be able to validate the registration number which will be explicitly provided by the merchant.
– Permitting goods to be temporarily released with suspension of the customs duties and other due fees, upon submission of certain guarantees specified by the new Law. As for the temporary release of machinery, equipment, devices, containers and means of transportation, (except for passenger cars and commercial yachts for work and leasing within the country), customs duty is collected at the rate of 2% of the customs duty due on the date of temporary release for each month or part thereof, and with a maximum of 20% annually, for the duration of its stay inside the country until it is re-exported abroad or it is finally cleared. However, the new Law remained silent regarding the empty containers neither specifying nor excluding them from the application in this regard.
– Collecting a customs duty of 5% from the value of machinery, equipment, devices and production lines, which is necessary for the establishment of projects in accordance with the Corporate Law, as well as construction projects, hotel and tourism projects.
– A customs duty of 5% of the value shall be imposed on passenger cars which does not exceed EGP 400,000 and is intended for use in touristic transportation.
– Promoting Investment through applying systems for the customs tax due on machinery, equipment, devices, production lines, and their requirements for those operating in the production field for one year, in return for paying an additional tax for each month; as well as establishing new customs exemptions for certain imported goods, raw materials, and production requirements, which promotes the reduction of the prices of locally manufactured goods.
– Enhancing the provision of health care to citizens through exempting governmental hospitals from paying customs duties on equipment, medical supplies, medicines, and any similar products.
– Supporting national security by applying strict measures to combat customs evasion, imposing more severe penalties and categorizing customs evasion as a crime against honor and honesty, in addition to allowing the competent court to confiscate goods subject to customs evasion crime, as well as raising the minimum and maximum fines for customs offenses; as below clarified.
– Refund of customs duties on raw materials imported under the drawback system in case of exportation, within a period not exceeding one and a half years instead of two years.
– Refund on customs duties and other taxes relating to foreign goods that have been destroyed; in accordance with the rules stated within the executive regulations of the law.
– Acceptance of financial/non-financial guarantees as an alternative to taxes and fees in the case of the temporary admission regime.
– Exemption on the condition of reciprocity for luggage, personal tools, home furniture, vehicles of diplomatic bodies, and embassies.
– Exemption on the personal baggage of travelers whether tourists, transients, or residents of the country upon arrival and departure
– Reducing the period, through which the customs officials are authorized to sell or dispose to a governmental entity the unclaimed goods whose owners have not released, returned, or transferred them to a free zone, free market, or economic zone of a special nature, to one month, instead of four months.
– Subjecting the goods purchased through the E-commerce channels to the rules and requirements of E-commerce law.
– Monitoring the intellectual property rights associated with the goods by the Egyptian customs authority. Necessitating the retaining of customs documents for five years to be presented upon request of the Egyptian Customs Authority.
– Imposing new fees for the Egyptian Customs Authority provided services.
– Necessitating putting a distinctive mark on cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages that are already exempted from customs taxes.
– Managing the temporary admission regime and tax refund through the Customs Authority only.

Challenges:

Like most of the newly issued legislations, the new Law includes some controversial provisions basically regarding Inland Transit and the activities of Carriers (Maritime, Air, and Inland); inter alia;

a) holding the Carrier liable for inaccurate description of cargo,
b) prohibiting the Carrier from transporting goods imported by traders that are not registered in the customs system,
c) obliging the Carrier to re-ship the prohibited goods or destroy them at its own expense if the importer/cargo receiver failed to attend to with customs procedures,
d) holding the Carrier liable for any loss, shortage or alteration of such goods, or for the damage or tampering of the seals while transporting these goods in transit,
e) Requiring the carrier to mention in the manifest of their means of transport the types of goods registered with such goods’ real names, quantities, the number of their parcels and their marks, f) Restricting the shipping of any goods belonging to importers not registered with the Egyptian Customs Authority,
g) Restricting the time window that the Carrier or its shipping agent shall submit the Discharge Manifests to 48 hours prior to the ship’s arrival; implicitly applying the same period for the Loading Manifests; which if upon implementation disrupted supply chain workflow, as it does not consider several short voyages between Egypt and from nearby ports/countries where the trip takes less than 48 hours, an intervention from the Head of the Egyptian Customs Authority, through an instruction order issued thereby, would take place.

Smuggling

Smuggling, according to the new Law, is defined as the illegal entry of goods in the Egyptian customs territory; including any act committed with the purpose of fully or partially (i) evading due customs tax (ii) violating the regulations in force regarding prohibited goods within the limited prescribed examples that are considered smuggling under the new law.

Contraventions

Fines have been remarkably intensified by the new Law. The new Law increased the fine imposed on Ship Captains for violations related to manifests from EGP 500 to EGP 30,000. Furthermore, the Carrier is now liable for discharging cargoes at yards other than those designated by the Customs Authority. Moreover, as per the new Law, a fine of EGP 10,000 shall be imposed on the following acts:

– Including incorrect data in the customs declaration.
– Not preserving the seals placed on parcels, containers, or transportation means.
– Violating the established customs rules.
– Failure to enable customs employees to carry out their duties in inspecting, requesting and examining documents.

It’s worth mentioning that the fine imposed on causing damage to container seals and not following all customs procedures increased from EGP 200 to EGP 10,000.

Also, a fine equivalent to half of the customs duties value shall be imposed in the following cases:

– The unjustified decrease or increase in the imported goods.
– Providing incorrect data about the value of the goods if a deficiency exceeds 20% of the value.
– An increase in the inventory of special customs regimes such as warehouses and duty free shops, if the goods are not listed in the records.

More and above, a fine equivalent to the value of the customs duty shall be imposed in the following cases:

– Providing wrong information about the type of goods or their origin.
– Violating customs rules and procedures established in special customs regimes such as free zones, transit and warehouses.

Moreover, regarding Smuggling penalties; the new Law sets out a new procedure empowering the Public Prosecution or the Competent Court, at a Minister’s or Customs Authority’s request, to order all entities and persons accused of smuggling cases to cease all commercial activities and dealing with the Customs Administration until a final judgment has been issued by the Court.

The customs registration number of the concerned party accused of smuggling goods will be suspended until a final judgment is issued in the case. In cases where goods are smuggled with the intention of trading, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period of no less than three years and no more than five years, and/or a fine of no less than EGP 25,000 and not exceeding EGP 250,000 will be imposed. At least one of these two penalties will be applied, as well as an additional fine payable to the Egyptian Customs Authority equivalent to double the customs duties due rate. If the goods related to the smuggling are prohibited or rejected items, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period no less than two years and not exceeding five years, and there will be a compensation equivalent to double the value or double the due tax, whichever is greater, along with the confiscation of the goods.

Ultimately, the issuance of the new Law, with its presented content, was indeed an extremely essential step to reflect the technological developments taking place; exemplifying the legislative evolution occurring within Egypt in the field of modern international trade and promoting the global development system which eventually enhances the rates of customs control, Investment attraction and accordingly the national income.

We finally hope that the importers and exporters in Egypt adhere to the new Law in a compliant and efficient manner; aiming that the Executive Regulation thereof, when issued, clearly covers any challenges answering any questions currently raised by the importers and exporters, complying with the international conventions ratified by Egypt.

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 making us the first Egyptian and third African law firm to open a branch in China. Our newest addition will 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 offices (located 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 Manager, 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.