Cabinet approves draft law exempting Egyptian expats from customs duties on car imports

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 12 Oct 2022

The Egyptian Cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft law allowing Egyptians living abroad or their families to have one personal-use vehicle shipped to Egypt without paying customs duties or taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT).

Imported cars. File/Reuters


Instead, an Egyptian expat can deposit the value of the customs duties and taxes that they would have paid for releasing their car from customs to the Egyptian Ministry of Finance as a five-year bank deposit without interests in foreign currency, a statement by the Cabinet read.

Five years later, the expat will be able to withdraw the money in Egyptian pounds at the value of the local currency at the time of withdrawal, the statement noted.

Egypt has been suffering from a drop in foreign currency in recent months in light of the war in Ukraine, which has applied pressure on currency and slowed down imports.

According to figures from the Central Bank of Egypt, Egypt’s foreign reserves declined over the past few months before they increased in September by $56 million to hit $33.198 billion by the end of September.

The exemptions under the new draft law will only be allowed for a four-month period starting from the day when the law comes into effect, during which expats will have to make the deposit to the government, the statement stressed.

Egyptian expats willing to have their cars shipped without custom duties should be above 16 years old and have legal residence abroad.

They must also have an overseas bank account that is at least three months old. An expat’s spouse or children are exempted from this requirement, the statement added.

Second-hand cars have to be less than three years old to apply to the new law, the statement added.

If an expat fails to import their car within a year since depositing the money to the finance ministry, they will be able to immediately withdraw the money in foreign currency, according to the law.

The draft law will be sent to parliament for approval, Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Soha Samir El-Gindy said in TV remarks.

The bank deposit must be in dollars and expats will be able to withdraw the full value of the deposit after its maturity, El-Gindy said.

Imported cars have to be less than three years old in order to not harm environment, the minister added.

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