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New Modifications to the Importers’ Register Law

قانون سجل المستوردين - Importers Register Law

In light of Country’s objective to encourage new investment opportunities and efforts to attract foreigner investors to establish their investments in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Whereby, importation is considered a vital activity which has a direct effect to the national economic system.

Accordingly, Egypt seeks to simplify and facilitate the procedures and requirements for trade and investment, in order to promote foreign investment and facilitate the international trade between Egypt and other countries.

Recently, the Egyptian legislator amended the provision of the Importers’ Register Law No. 121 of 1982.

Such new amendments have been enacted and published in the Official Gazette on the 29th of October 2023 by the Law No. 173 of 2023 to come into force on the following day of its publication (i.e., 30th of October 2023).

From a legal aspect, in order for a company to be eligible to practice and carry-out importation activity in the Egyptian territory, such company must register in the Importers’ Registry through the competent Egyptian authority, namely the Egyptian Organization for Export and Import Control.

What are the requirements for importers?

Previously, for an Egyptian Company to be able to register in the importers’ registry whether it is in a form of a Partnership Company (PS), Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Joint Stock Company (JSC), the following requirements shall be fulfilled prior to applying for the registration:

1- The Company can apply to be registered in the Importers’ Register after the elapse of a One calendar year of the company’s registration in the Commercial Register.

2- As per the company’s Commercial Register (CR), minimum capital for each company shall be fully paid:

  • Paid capital for PS and LLC shall not be less than 2,000,000 EGP (Two Million Egyptian Pounds) or its equivalent in a foreign currency.
  • As for the JSC the minimum paid capital shall not be less than 5,000,000 EGP (Five Million Egyptian Pounds) or its equivalent in a foreign currency.

3- The Company’s CR shall explicitly state within it purpose the importation activity.

4- The Egyptian participation in any Egyptian importation company shall not be less than 51% of the company’s capital that shall be owned by Egyptian shareholders or partners.

5- The manager in charge of the importation activity in the company shall holds an Egyptian nationality.

6- The applicant company shall deposit an insurance amount of 200,000 EGP (Two Hundred Thousand Egyptian Pounds), to be paid in cash or through an Egyptian licensed bank letter that proves depositing the insurance amount or through unconditional and irrevocable letter of guarantee directed to GOEIC.

7- The applicant company’s Tax Return approved by the Egyptian Tax Authority for the lapsed fiscal year from the application date shall evidence that the volume of business carried-out by the company is not less than 5,000,000 EGP (Five Million Egyptian Pounds).

The modifications of the requirement to register companies in the Importers’ Register

Previously, it was required that 51% of the capital of any Egyptian importation company to be owned by Egyptian shareholders or partners.

Recently, and in light of the country’s objective to enhance the economy and facilitate the foreign investments, the Law modified the previously stated ownership percentages for Egyptians and foreigners’ ownership of the importation companies’ capital.

The Law allowed foreign investors to fully own an Egyptian Company that carry-out importation practices and activities where it is permissible for such companies to be registered in the importers’ registry; which was not permitted earlier prior to the issuance of the new amendment.

Last but not least, the Law stipulates that the registration periods for such entities in the Importers’ Register shall not exceed ten (10) years from the registration date, provided that such term maybe renewed for another ten (10) years upon the approval of the Egyptian Council of Ministers.

Most importantly, it is to be noted that, foreign investors are eligible to practice the importation activity after fulfilling the rest of the pre-requirements and terms in this regard, and finalizing its registration in the Importers’ Register.

In conclusion, such amendment will attract more foreign direct investment to Egypt, subsequently, easing the foreign trade in Egypt, that shall lead to flourishment in the national economic and enhance the Egyptian market.