Trade Ministry Reviews Import Procedures To Reduce Smuggling

The Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade is currently reviewing all import procedures for the systems of temporary admission and drawback in the free zones in order to eliminate smuggling, said Minister of Industry and Commerce Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour during a press conference held Sunday.

Abdel Nour said the biggest problem threatening domestic industry is smuggling, and the ministry, in collaboration with the Customs Authority and the Ministry of Finance, intends to seriously confront the issue.

Abdel Nour pointed out that among the amendments being considered is linking imports to production capacity of the importer, and reducing the period they can be in the free zone to one year.

The temporary admission and drawback custom systems are particular to the free zones in Egypt and allow for importing production requirements without customs for the purpose of manufacturing and re-exporting the products, provided they are not re-sold on the domestic market. There are, however, some violations among companies operating in the free zones, which sell these goods on the market and fabricate false invoices to show they have manufactured and exported the goods.

Abdel Nour said the government intends to take all measures to facilitate investment in Egypt and attract new investments through the development of legislation, and by unifying procedures for obtaining prepared industrial lands. This is being done, said Abdel Nour, through the Industrial Development Authority rather than the conflicting duties of the ministry and the New Urban Communities Authority.

The Ministry of Commerce is targeting increased Egyptian non-petroleum exports during the coming period and is beginning a new programme to support exports at the start of July, according to Abdel Nour.

Abdel Nour added that the ministry will be focusing its support for exporters, which are looking to open up new markets, particularly in Africa and the COMESA states, on raising employment, supporting innovation, and supporting production in remote areas such as Upper Egypt and Sinai.

Source: Daily News Egypt

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