Finance Minister Hani Qadri Dimian has said that proposed amendments to the current customs law would involve concessions, as well as toughened penalties, stressing that his ministry is eager to engage in dialogue with various business sectors over the planned changes to the law issued in 1963.
Despite several changes made to the current law since that date, it needs further amendments in order conform to Egypt’s international obligations, particularly the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention) said Dimian.
The minister added that the existent law cannot cope with the current digitized business environment and it also fails to specify penalties for certain customs violations.
Speaking on the concessions offered by the proposed amended law, Dimian pointed out that they include unprecedented compromises, such as permitting the payment in installments of customs duties for industrial and agricultural production equipment.
The amendments also filter customs exemptions by removing “unnecessary” exceptions.
In addition, the amendments enable customers to inquire beforehand about customs laws and decisions before engaging in export and import activities, as well as legalizes the digitalized payment of taxes and duties and the exchange of relevant documents.
The proposed law also toughens penalties and fines for customs evasion and smuggling, setting fines between LE5,000-50.000, as well as prison terms between one and five years.