Egypt's Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea announced on Wednesday the halt of importing ceramics and porcelain that are classified under customs code number 6907 for 3 months starting officially from tomorrow, Thursday.
The decision comes within the framework of regulating imports of consumer goods including ceramics and porcelain amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry’s statement said
Gamea stressed that the decision aims to preserve the productivity rates of the Egyptian industry from any potential repercussions caused by the virus situation.
The decision to halt the import of ceramics and porcelain will be reviewed periodically, as any updates related to the pandemic emerge, the statement added.
The number of ceramic factories operating in the local market is about 33, their actual capacity reaches 240 million meters annually, and the maximum capacity is 400 million meters, according to the ceramic division of the building materials chamber of the Federation of Egyptian Industries.
Sales of Egypt’s ceramic and porcelain sector decreased this year after the government ordered municipal authorities in late May to suspend issuing construction licenses in Cairo, Giza, Qalioubiya, and Alexandria to decrease population density in these areas.
Exports of ceramic tiles, among other construction materials of porcelain, decreased by 34 percent during the first half of 2020 to record $53 million compared to about $80 million during the same period in 2019, according to the latest report of the Export Council for Building Materials, Refractory, and Metallurgy Industries.