The new import procedures to Egypt are causing some confusion in the freight forwarding industry. In today’s blog, we have talked about the new ACID procedures for import shipments in Egypt and what foreign exporters need to do before shipping to Egypt. Wassim Magdy, the Managing Director of MGL Cargo Services, Conqueror Cairo, has provided us with much practical information about the export/import regulations in Egypt.
The confusion generated by the new freight forwarding regulations is resulting in complications and even re-export of the shipments. As Mr. Magdy has pointed out, the confusion is resulting from two important changes:
To begin with, all import shipments to Egypt for both air and ocean freight must be under LC. However, goods under USD 5000 value as well as some strategic commodities are exempt from this rule. As per the new rules, the banks need to accept letters of credit to ease the purchase of imports. Additionally, the banks no longer need to accept documentary collection from the exporters. The letters of credit will make sure that the banks will compensate the exporters in case of non-payment by the importer. In other words, the new rule seeks to offer more protection to the exporters.
The importer needs to register to Customs Authority for ACID (Advance Cargo Information Declaration) for all cargo imported to Egypt. They need to do this via the platform NAFEZA. Any cargo that isn’t registered with an approved ACID number, importer TAX number, and exporter registration number will not be discharged. The customs authority will return this cargo to the POL on the shipper party account.
As Mr. Magdy explains, “Agents must register in CARGO X, as all HBL & MBL shipments have to go through ACID procedures. Moreover, the new customs regulations announced by the Egyptian customs make it mandatory for all back-to-back shipments to have Master ACI and House ACI.”
The House ACI is the one made by the consignee. Here the two concerned parties are the consignee and the shipper. The Master ACI is concerned with freight forwarders. For example, it will concern MGL and any other Conqueror agent. “All our partners have to do is register and verify their account, make the payment and revert back with their registration type and number. In the next step, we “MGL” will create the Master ACI number to be included in the MBL after their account gets verified,” clarifies Mr. Magdy.
How the ACI will benefit the freight forwarding industry in Egypt
ACI makes use of an incorporated platform for the seamless coordination of all required shipping documents involving the importers in Egypt and the exporters from any other part of the world. The Egyptian importers need to submit all necessary shipping info including the port of entry, customs duties, import controls, etc. through an online platform. This will ensure the smooth release of the importer’s shipments from the Egyptian ports. As stated by the Customs Authority in Egypt, the new platform- NAFEZA, will allow the government to conform to the global standards of import procedure and customs requirements.
The customs authorities will apply the NAFEZA “Single window system” for all commodities. The risk-based system will indicate separate pathways in keeping with the identified risks. A ‘green’ pathway will suggest no inspection and the cargo will get accelerated clearance. Nevertheless, even after getting a green pathway, the shipment might be subject to a random audit.
Documents needed for filing the ACI
The foreign exporters need to submit the following documents for filing ACI.
- A copy of the Bill of Lading
- Packing List
- Commercial Invoice in PDF format
- The invoice should come with a tax/VAT ID for both importer and exporter and the data must tally with the data entered by the importer
- Commercial invoice in XML or Excel format
- Certificate of origin
Additionally, they might also ask for other paperwork depending on the nature of the shipment.
The new notice from Cargo X
The Cargo X platform allows exporters to prepare for the Egyptian ACI. They provide a very easy way for documents uploading. Additionally, they offer the tools for safe and instant transaction. They recently issued a notice that all accounts must be verified starting from 15-2-2022. As Mr. Magdy says, “I would request my Conqueror partners to verify their accounts ASAP as without this we won’t be able to issue the Master ACID number.”
As stated in their notice: Foreign exporters exporting to Egypt who haven’t completed their verification process will be barred from uploading and sending cargo-related documents to the Egyptian importers via CargoX/ NAFEZA. Therefore, the importers will not be able to start the customs clearance process for releasing the shipment in spite of the issuance of the ACID for the cargo. This could imply heavy losses for both parties. For this reason, the Customs Authority in Egypt will stop issuing ACID for cargoes from any exporter who doesn’t comply with the new regulations of the ACI system from 15th February 2022.
For any further information on the new import regulations kindly reach out to MGL Cargo Services: firstname.lastname@example.org