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President Al-Sisi issues new custom tariff, to be applied at present at all custom outlets, announces Finance Minister 
   

In the same context, Finance Minister has announced the following:

 

·         Unprecedented facilities offered in the new tariff to boost national industries and  ease burdens on citizens.

·         Total custom exemptions applied to all medications for infectious, chronic, psychiatric and neurological diseases, and surgery bags.

·         Discounts effected on fees of natural-gas operated vehicles, and fee exemptions granted to environment-friendly vehicles with electric engines.

·         New tariff items introduced to tighten control over circulation of dangerous chemical substances and timber products.

·         Modifications and additions made to the International Harmonized System (HS) have been considered in more than 275 tariff items to facilitate matters for business community and to increase Egyptian exports.

 

State President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi has recently issued a new custom tariff under decision no. 419/2018, within the framework of Egypt's engagement to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, via HS code 2017.  

Finance Minister, Dr. Mohamed Maait, states that the new custom tariff, currently on effect through all the nation's custom outlets, comes within the government's policy to protect  national industries.  This shall be done through eliminating  all custom distortions, keeping on exemptions and discounted tariffs for raw materials and production supplies, achieving a tariff-based balance between intermediate inputs and end products, as well as capitalizing on tariffs to ease burdens shouldered by citizens thanks to new tariff exemptions made to strategic products top listed by medications, adds Dr. Maait.  

Custom tariffs   cover 5791 items, 60% of  which (i.e. 3495  items ) are  custom-related items on raw materials, capital and strategic goods for citizens. Thus, in attempt to give momentum to national industries, such items haven't been subjected to any change in their custom tariff categories. Based on such stability maintained in custom fees, the government aims to lure more internal and external investments into the Egyptian market, states Dr. Maait.

Intermediate products include 994 items, covering 17% of the new tariff structure, and likewise haven't been modified by any means on terms of their tariff fees. As for consumer goods, they represent less than 20% of the new tariff's structure, undergoing a change in their applied fee categories ranging between 20% to 60%, illustrates the minister.     

The new tariff has considered applying modifications and additions made to the international HS in more than new 275 items so as to conform with international applicable systems in a way to facilitate procedures for the Egyptian business community and support plans for increasing Egyptian exports, stresses the minister.

Addressing key modified items in custom fees, the minister notes that total custom exemptions have been applied on all medications related to infectious, chronic, psychiatric and neurological diseases. A new tariff item has also been introduced covering sterilized and polymer-ethylene manufactured surgery bags.

Moreover, agricultural and nutritional products have received a lion share of facilities offered by the new custom tariff; namely, by sticking to the international coordination system in fish products, fishery goods, fruits (tangerine, in particular) and other plentiful goods in a way that reflects FAO standards for food safety, and without prejudice to discounted custom tariff category or custom exemptions applied on them.

On the side of the agricultural sector,  a medical plant called "ince", used in manufacturing drugs related to psychiatric diseases, has been categorized on the international level among the tariff category of 2% in attempt to instigate national pharmaceutical industry. Other products such as pesticides (e.g. DDT substance) have been added but still with a 5% custom tariff  to boost Egyptian agricultural exports.

With respect to automotive products, custom fees have been reduced for 1600 CC  engine power vehicles operating both with oil and electric engines from 40% down to 30%, and for higher engine power ones from 135% down to 100%. Fee exemptions are applied only to electrically operated vehicles; whereas discounts in tariff category  for natural gas operated vehicles have increased to 35% up from 25%, the minister notes.

Under the new custom tariffs, fees have been also decreased on other miscellaneous products:  a decrease from 60% down to 40% on personal care and hygiene products (e.g. toothpaste, shaving creams, medical soaps) and sportswear; from 40% to 20% on protective uniforms made of cotton and synthetic fibers; and from 30% down to  20% on baby strollers.

Moreover, aiming to shield national industries, slight discounts are made within the new tariff on fees applied on pens; namely, a fee decrease by 50% down from 60% is made on plastic-manufactured pens, and by 40% from 60% on ink-filled pens and pencils, adds the minister.

In attempt to eliminate custom tariff distortions, a unified tariff of 40% has been applied on TV screens and monitors. Fees have also been decreased on Egyptian imports from stained-glass windows and glass panels used in manufacturing process from 50% down to 20%. New 10% discounted tariff categories have been introduced for tires of Tuk tuk vehicles and  fire proof lockers and drawer units, and a tariff decrease is made on empty cabins used in electrical appliances and communication devices, to reach 5%.

In addition, a new totally exempted tariff category has been introduced for silkworm eggs, and for LED bulbs and their components of light emitting diodes, while a fee of 5% is made on their plastic and glass components.  For more tariff reform, fee increases are made on plastic-made shower sprayers to reach 60% up from 40%, and Zinc made ones to 40% from 30%.

With respect to tightening procedures adopted by Egypt for safety against hazardous substances, the minister stresses that new items covering them have been introduced in the new custom tariff, instead of falling under chemical items category, without making any change in their tariffs given their importance in chemical industry. The aim of the said procedure is to specify an item for each chemical substance  (e.g. chlorides and halides oxides, anti-oxidants)  so as to tighten control over  their trading. New international items have also been added for medications such as vaccines, blood components, immune products, antibiotics in a way to better control circulation of narcotic drugs.

Given the increase witnessed in timber trading and wood products worldwide, the new custom tariff has considered modifications of the HS 2018 system on the international level; whereby new tariff items have been introduced for such timber products and wood industries in an attempt to have a clear perspective on systems and patterns of timber trading all over the world, illustrates the minister.

The aim of the presidential resolution for the new custom tariff is to conform with the latest versions of the international harmonized system, to reform and eliminate distortions in tariff system, to safeguard national industries and to abide by international standards, notes the minister.