Over $6.8 billion stranded imports released from Egyptian ports as of December: Cabinet

Mohamed Soliman , Wednesday 4 Jan 2023

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said more than $6.8 billion worth of imported goods have been released as of early December as part of the government's ongoing efforts to resolve the imports backlog.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and cabinet members during a tour of Alexandria port on Saturday 31 December 2022 to follow up on customs clearance of commodities and goods. Photo: Egypt's Cabinet.


Madbouly’s remarks came during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday where he affirmed that a meeting will be held every two days to review customs clearance procedures, especially with regard to food commodities and production needs.

On Tuesday, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi instructed the government to speed up the release of all goods held at the country's ports.

A dollar shortage resulting from the war in Ukraine has made it harder for importers to secure the liquidity to cover the letters of credit that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) introduced in March to limit imports.

As a result, vast quantities of goods, including production inputs valued at multi billion dollars, had been accumulating at Egyptian ports.

The government responded by formulating a plan in cooperation with the banking sector to accelerate the clearing of the ports to keep the country’s production processes functioning at full capacity.

The prime minister had previously said that the government gives priority to the release of food products, food manufacturing components, medicines and production requirements.

He stressed that the government aims to increase supplies to ensure that commodities are steadily available in the market during the coming four months, and especially before the advent of the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Egypt cancelled last week the use of letters of credit (LCs) for imports.


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