Maait explained that the postponement will give the business community – including exporters, customs extractors, air freight agents, companies that export to Egypt and multinational firms – more time to prepare for the new system given the pressure they are facing from ongoing global and local economic challenges
ACI system is a World Customs Organisation protocol that provides real-time information on transactions and operations before, during and after the arrival of goods through a unified digital customs portal.
It feeds public and private trade operators with holistic electronic cargo information prior to the arrival of shipments in the country in order to speed up processing and clearance.
Egypt adopted ACI as part of its digital transformation strategy in line with the country's Vision 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda.
ACI rules mandate importing companies to register all cargo data - including the name of the company, the original documents, the name of the owner, a detailed bill, the price and label of the products, and the quantities imported - on the finance ministry’s digital customs system National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation (Nafeza).
Egypt launched its own ACI System at seaports in October last year.
During a trial period in air freight in May, suppliers and imports were required to upload all data related their shipments.
The ACI was initially set to go into effect in all Egyptian ports starting 1 July, 2021, but the government put off the official application date to 1 October 2021 due to negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the export and import sectors.
Maait stated that the ACI system will contribute to the early release of imported goods from the airports and lower costs of shipping.