The Egyptian Cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft law penalising unlicensed vendors at railway stations or railcars by up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine reaching EGP 10,000.
The new draft law is set to amend railway regulatory law 277 of 1959, which already criminalises unlicensed vending in railway facilities.
The amendment aims to “regulate the phenomenon of street vendors at railway stations, at train depots and in trains, to limit its spread in a haphazard manner,” a statement by the Cabinet read.
The draft law penalises the selling of goods in railway facilities without obtaining a license from the Egyptian National Railways, the statement explained.
Violators face a prison sentence ranging from one to two years and/or a fine of EGP 1,000 to EGP 10,000.
The decision comes a year after former MP Mohamed Al-Ghoul submitted a proposal to the government on legalising street vendors in railway facilities in exchange for fees.
Over the past few years, Egyptian authorities have been keen on providing street vendors with well-organised markets to sell their products. However, street vendors remain common, especially in busy areas nationwide.
The Cairo Metro currently imposes an EGP 100 fine on street vendors and panhandlers at metro facilities.