The decision is in line with the country’s plans to develop the transportation system and provide safe and civilised vehicles to maintain the safety of citizens, Gamea said in a statement on Tuesday evening.
The minister added that the step came following a thorough study that concluded with a decision to replace the three-wheeled vehicles with minivans as part of the recently adopted presidential initiative to prioritise clean energy by depending on natural gas vehicles.
Previously, in April 2021, the tuk-tuks — significantly proliferated nationwide in recent years — were included in the initiative with the aim of preserving the environment and making use of the country’s plentiful natural gas production.
Gamea added that halting these imports will aid in legalising the status of vehicles countrywide by granting licenses to vehicles that meet the technical requirements and providing financing mechanisms for those wishing to replace their tuk-tuk with a gas-powered minivan.
Appearing for the first time as a means of transportation in Egypt in 2006, the small-sized tuk-tuks have been widely used in various areas across the country.
Despite being a cheap and alternative means of transportation for millions of Egyptians, many say the vehicle has been used to facilitate crimes such as theft, thuggery, drug trafficking, and sexual harassment.
In 2014, the country issued a long-awaited presidential decree modifying the state’s traffic law no 66/1973 to allow tuk-tuks and motorcycle owners to obtain driving licences.
Nearly 5 million tuk-tuks are currently operating in Egypt, according to unofficial estimates.