Finance Ministry Mohamed Moeet (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's finance ministry has launched new facilities for customs clients, including reducing the time for releasing shipments and customs clearance, and simplifying other procedures.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the new facilities aim at decreasing the prices of commodities in the domestic market, boosting manufacturing, reducing production costs, and enhancing the competitiveness of Egyptian products in the external markets, especially with the global move toward co-existing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new facilities also target improving the Economic Operator Programme that adopts the “white list” in order to help small and medium sized projects, as the driver of Egypt’s economic growth.
The white list is a system that includes companies that are committed to the customs rules and measures.
Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said that the Egyptian Customs Authority will be responsible for giving the “accredited economic operator” licence for companies and individuals who practicing industrial, commercial and service activities providing that they have suitable solvency without considering their workload.
He added that other incentives and facilities will be extended to the companies that are engaged to the Accredited Economic Operator programme through enrolling them in the golden or silver lists, which involve 14 advantages, according to their commitment.
These companies’ status will be revised and assessed every three years, according to Maait.
Minister Maait explained that the incentives aim to build bridges of trust with development partners, support small and medium sized projects, stimulate investments, maximise production, increase exports, and restore economic activity to maintain the gains from Egypt’s economic reforms.
In November 2019, the finance ministry implemented the “green channel” system, which whitelisted the committed companies to enjoy expedited customs clearance and a number of incentives that result in decreasing the prices of commodities in the domestic market.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, global trade is expected to plummet by a third in 2020, according to the World Trade Organisation, which says that COVID-19 has completely upended that global economy and international trade.
The organisation projected the global trade to witness a sharp drop followed by a recovery starting in the second half of 2020.