Egypt's parliament to discuss new laws toughening penalties on illegal migration, real estate brokerage offences

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 5 Mar 2022

Following a two-week holiday, Egypt's House of Representatives – the lower house of parliament – will reconvene this week, holding plenary sessions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Egyptian parliament

The House's legislative agenda this week will include discussing amendments to three laws on ship safety, illegal migration and commercial brokerage businesses.

On Sunday, the House will open a debate on the amendments to a law regulating the safety of sea ships and vessels (Law 232/1989).

A report prepared by the House's Transport Committee said the amendments aim to make it obligatory for owners of Egyptian ships, vessels and maritime transport units to report commercial handling of their assets (selling or renting) to concerned agencies.

"In other words, it will be mandatory for owners to tell concerned authorities whether they sold or rented their ships, vessels or any maritime transport units and that violators of this new legislative amendment will face tough penalties," said the report, indicating that "the objective of this amendment is helping concerned authorities closely follow the commercial handling of ships, vessels and maritime transport units, build a good database on these operations, and closely supervise the performance of owners to prevent the use of vessels, ships or any maritime transport units in any illegal operations."

Also on the House's schedule of debate on Sunday are amendments to the law regulating the business of commercial agencies and brokerage (Law 120/1982).

A report by the House's Economic Affairs Committee said the amendments aim to cope with the ongoing expansion in the field of commercial agencies and commercial and real estate brokerage works.

"The amendments seek to introduce new rules and objective procedures necessary to regulate the new developments in this sector in detail and in a way that will impose stricter control, particularly on the business of real estate brokerage works, and also stand up to money laundering operations in this respect," said the report, also explaining that "right now there is a lot of chaos and indiscipline on the Egyptian real estate market, and that the new legislative amendments come to tackle this."

To meet the above objectives, the report indicated that the amendments would set up a registry for licensed brokers and regulate their fees, require brokerages to register their businesses electronically, and set rules for the activities they carry out and for the fees they charge, and how these fees are collected to prevent any money laundering operations in line with the law in this respect.

On Tuesday, the House is scheduled to discuss new amendments to the law on illegal migration and the smuggling of migrants (Law 82/2016).

A report prepared by the House's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee said the amendments will impose tougher penalties on illegal migration crimes.

"Egypt is committed to fighting the phenomenon of illegal migration in terms of toughening penalties and raising public awareness of the dangers of this crime," said the report, adding that "in this respect, a national coordination committee was set up to draft an integrated strategy reflecting the state's vision and future measures against illegal migration to go in line with the state's plan for sustainable development (2020-2030)."

The House's schedule this week also includes a discussion of three foreign agreements, the first of which is between Egypt and Burundi on exemption of holders of diplomatic passports in the two countries from entry visas.

The second is an agreement between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Swedish International Fund, by which Sweden will grant five million krone to Egypt to spend on modernizing the country's urban transport and highway buses.

The third agreement is on Egypt's EGP three million contributions to the International Fund on Agricultural Development (IFAD).

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