Egypt to simplify all customs clearance and VAT refund procedures for COP27 guests

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 5 Oct 2022

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has tasked a high-level ministerial committee to simplify all procedures of customs release and Value Added Tax (VAT) refund for the thousands of guests of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27, which will be hosted by Egypt in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh 6-18 November.



This committee will have the authority to make all necessary decisions to facilitate temporary customs release for all equipment and machines accompanying the UN secretariat, official delegations, and international briefing delegations who will participate in the conference, explained Maait. 

“A simplified customs procedures’ manual has been developed in both Arabic and English that includes import customs procedures under the temporary release system; advance customs clearance procedures; and VAT refund procedures for foreign departing passengers, added Maiit.

"The manual will be circulated, uploaded, and published on the COP27 official website, the finance ministry website, and other concerned authorities' websites," he added.

As of end of August, 35,000  have registered worldwide on the UN website for COP27, putting the upcoming UN climate change conference in Sharm El-Sheikh on track to possibly become one of the most attended COPs, according to the Egyptian Earth's Climate for Sustainable Development Foundation (EC4SDF).

The committee will comprise top finance ministry officials, including the heads of the Tax Authority and Customs Authority and the VAT Affairs Department at the ministry.

It will also include the director-general of Sharm El Sheikh Customs; the director-general of Air Imports and Exports Customs at the finance ministry;  and the director-general of Public Relations at Cairo International Airport.

The committee will follow up on facilitating all customs procedures related to imported items and VAT refund to foreign departing passengers who participated in the conference, according to Maait.

El-Shahat Ghatouri, the head of the Tax Authority and Customs Authority, explained that the committee will make decisions on the temporary release of equipment, machines, devices among all items imported to the COP27.

“The committee will coordinate with the concerned officials at the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to release equipment and other items related to the United Nations Climate Conference Secretariat, items accompanying foreign media correspondents, and items accompanying all delegations participating in COP27," Ghatouri added.

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