Egypt Market Entry

Egypt Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

By Decree No. 43/2016, the Egyptian government established the obligation of manufacturers of 25 categories of consumer goods, from dairy products to cosmetics to electrical appliances, intended for import and retail distribution in Egypt, to register the brand and the relevant manufacturing plant. For registration, it is necessary to document, among other things, the legal form of the manufacturer, a list of products, licenses required for their production and a quality management system certificate issued by an accreditation company recognized by the Egyptian authorities.

Registration administration is provided by the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC), which is subordinate to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). The minister is the last instance of the registration process, and in many cases its lengthyness is not caused by the GOEIC apparatus, but the prepared certificates wait a long time for the decisive signature of the minister.

According to cheeroutdoor.com, Egypt expanded the mandatory inspection, which previously covered textile goods and footwear, by decree 991/2015 to include 23 other commodity groups, from chocolate to cosmetics, dairy products and motorcycles to washing machines. However, the Egyptian government greatly complicated the situation for exporters when in July 2019 it unexpectedly canceled the accreditation of several foreign inspection companies, including renowned multinational companies, which also affected a number of Czech exporters. For some production branches, no inspection company was accredited in the Czech Republic, while Egyptian regulations did not allow the use of the services of state-recognized companies operating in other EU countries. Under the pressure of the diplomatic representation of the EU in Egypt, the GOEIC office proceeded to ease the conditions for the recognition of inspection certificates.

In February 2022, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Egypt issued Regulation 96/2022 amending Regulation 991/2015 on the inspection of imported food by Egypt’s General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC).

The regulation stipulated the obligation to inspect selected products upon their importation by both the National Food Safety Authority and the GOEIC – resulting in double inspections and long delays in customs clearance at Egyptian ports and airports. Now food products will only be inspected by the National Food Safety Authority. The regulation is to enter into force in May 2022. This regulation does not change Regulation 43-2016 on the mandatory registration of importers of selected products.

The Egyptian Ministry of Finance has announced the obligation for all importers importing goods into Egypt to use the Advance Cargo Information system/ACI from July 2021. ACI is a new electronic customs system that requires importers to upload all necessary documents on a designated portal before dispatching cargo from home port/airport/or other platform. The electronic system will allow Egyptian authorities to monitor goods and apply a risk management system. When registering with ACI, importers receive a unique pre-registration number. ACI obliges companies to submit codes identifying the seller, port and country of origin (EURO1 form), cargo description, customs duty payment form 4 and other relevant information when importing into the country. More information about the NAFEZA system here https://www.nafeza.gov.eg/en/.

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

Basic registration data includes:

  • company name, address in parent country
  • extract from the commercial register of the parent company
  • extract from the articles of association of the parent company
  • capital information about the parent company
  • type of activity
  • office address in EAR
  • the name and address of the legal representative in the EAR with a note confirming the activity for the established company
  • name of office representative
  • office representative’s residential address
  • power of attorney of the representative of the office to establish a bank account in the EAR for currency transfer

All documents must have an Arabic translation and superlegalization from the EAR embassy in the respective country. Subsequently, the government investment agency General Authority for Investment (GAFI), Companies Department, carries out the approval procedure. More information can be found at: www.gafi.gov.eg. To facilitate the procedure of setting up an office or companies in Egypt, GAFI introduced the concept of a single point of contact (One-Stop-Shop), which will enable the applicant to implement the necessary administrative procedures in one place and which will thereby significantly speed up the bureaucratic process. The One-Stop-Shop central office is located in Cairo (see below), regional service coverage branches are located in 4 governorates, and two more are in the works. Since it is a new service, they are not yet familiar with its practical functioning incl. time saving experience.

GAFI – Investment Services Branch in Cairo

Phone: +20-2-2405 5452 Fax: +20-2-2405 5424

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.gafi.gov.eg

Marketing and communication

Recommended advertising and PR and HR agencies in the country (if any)

What advertising channels do successful companies mostly use (FB, TW, Instagram, TV, Radio, Web, printed materials, billboards and other advertising areas)

What to never use in marketing under any circumstances.

The state-owned and widely distributed daily al-Ahram has the biggest impact in terms of advertising. A strategically placed newspaper or magazine ad can yield good results. Television is watched by all residents (96%), regardless of education, and television advertising is therefore very effective. Another form of promotion is often used billboards, neon advertisements on roofs, painted walls and roofs of houses advertising various goods, fax advertising and advertising mail campaigns. In Egypt, there are frequent exhibition events aimed either specifically or for the public. They take place mainly on the grounds of the Cairo International Exhibition Center (organized by the General Organization for International Exhibiton & Fairs – GOIEF) or in the Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Center (CICEC).

Although electronic media is expanding rapidly in the country, the quality of telecommunication lines and Internet connections is generally poor. Therefore, local institutions and companies often have their internet presentations quite neglected, confusing and out of date, they are often only in Arabic and there is no English translation. In recent years, as in the rest of the world and with a response to a significantly young population, the influence of social networks, especially Facebook, Instragram and Twitter, has been rising sharply.

Some selected dailies and weeklies suitable for newspaper advertising:

  • Al Ahram 750,000 copies – Sunday to Thursday, the most widely circulated and widely read daily, 1,000,000 copies – Friday
  • Al Akhbar 550,000 copies – less economic information
  • Al Gomhouriya 400,000 copies – more local and sports news
  • Al Wafd up to 120,000 copies – opposition newspaper
  • New Wafd Opposition PartyEgyptian Gazette 40,000 copies – English version

weeklies:

  • Akhbar Al Yom 1,200,000 copies – Saturday edition of the daily
  • Al AkbarAl Ahram Weekly 20,000 copies – English version, summarizing the main articles published in Al Ahram
  • Akher Saa 50,000 copies – Current Affairs, Sports, Economics, History, Arts, Cinemas, Theaters
  • Rose al Youssef 50,000 copies – political magazine
  • Al Ahram Hebdo 15,000 copies – French version
  • Nosf al Donia 100,000 copies – Women’s Weekly
  • Hawaa 30,000 copies – Women’s Weekly since 1892

economic publications:

  • Al Ahram Al Iktisadi 20,000 copies – Leading Econ. a British-style magazine read by academic and government staff
  • Al Alam Al Yom 10,000 copies Egypt – economic daily, 50,000 copies Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt Today and Business Today 17,000 copies – published by Mezinár. trade. association
  • Business Monthly 5,400 copies – published by Amer. business chamber in the EAR
  • Cairo Times 10,000 copies – fortnightly in English with a substantial business section

Issues of intellectual property protection

WTO in brief, basic legislation, what are the risks and how to defend yourself.

The Act on the Protection of Intellectual Property, in its valid version from 1 January 1995, fully covers all the requirements imposed on such an Act also from the point of view of foreign entities.

  • patents and utility models
  • drawings of integrated circuits
  • protection of classified information
  • trademark, trademark and geographical indication
  • industrial design copyright and related rights
  • protection of plant species

Egypt is a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property as well as the Madrid Agreement on the International Registration of Trademarks.

In general, any person, whether of Egyptian or foreign origin, who is active in the territory and whose country is a member of the WTO or has a reciprocal relationship with Egypt, has the right to apply for a patent, trademark or other intellectual property protection within the meaning of the law. Patents, trademarks or confirmation of copyright are issued by the Egyptian Patent Office or individual competent ministries, usually within one year after the application and payment of the fee. When approving applications, it is checked as a matter of priority whether anything contradicts public order, morality, or if the applications are not in accordance with the protection of the environment, human health, etc.

Patents – protection is granted for 15 years from the date of application and can be extended for another 5 years. The patent holder has the right to do whatever he wants with his patent.

Trademarks – here, protection is granted for 10 years, with the possibility of applying for an extension of another 10 years.

Copyright – is granted for 50 years, when it automatically expires. The author can, of course, grant the right to dispose of his property to other persons.

Industrial designs and models – after registration, protection is ensured for 6 years, with the possibility of extension for an additional 5 years.

Despite some progress in the recent period, all kinds of copyright are being violated in Egypt. These are mainly the illegal reprinting of books, forgery of trademarks, infringement of patents, theft of trade secrets, etc. The protection of intellectual property rights in Egypt is only at the beginning of the path to their enforcement, which Egypt is forced to do by all the recently concluded treaties and agreements with the EU and other world organizations.

Public procurement market

General operation of tenders, rules for registration, financing, documentation, important links to relevant authorities.

Public contracts – tenders – are issued in accordance with Act No. 89/1998 and Executive Decree No. 1567/98, which replace the former Act No. 9/1983 and apply to all government-run institutions in the civil and military sectors – ministries, departments, governorates, public organizations, etc. – unless they are exempted from this law.

The aforementioned law mandates foreign entities to submit a bid to the tender exclusively through an Egyptian commercial representative. This means that tender conditions can only be obtained (purchased) from issuing government institutions through commercial agents. In the tender conditions, the obligations of the supplier are specified in great detail, while the obligations of the other party are quite general. Therefore, it is necessary to pay increased attention to the study of the tender documents, including the general conditions. When signing a contract, provisions under force majeure, final takeover of equipment, drawdown of performance guarantee, dispute resolution, etc. must be carefully considered.

In practice, however, Egyptian state institutions are able to secure exemptions from the aforementioned provisions of the law, and appealing against these exemptions is often very problematic, although not completely pointless. Information about tenders issued by state authorities and companies is usually published in the daily press, or by some institutions announced on their websites.

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

A brief description of the payment terms, the average period of maturity of the invoices and their reimbursement, who to contact in case of non-payment, information whether the residents of the country are prioritized in case of these disputes.

From 22/02/2022, it is not possible to import goods from abroad via documentary collection (documentary collection) based on a new regulation of the Central Bank of Egypt. The regulation was issued on 13/02/2022. According to the new regulation, it will be possible to import goods into Egypt only through a letter of credit (L/C). An exemption from the regulation applies to goods not exceeding $5,000 in value.

The exception also applies to business transactions of the company’s own branches. The exemption also applies to drugs, vaccines and related chemicals and the following food commodities: tea, beef, poultry, fish, wheat, oil, milk powder, infant milk, beans, translation, butter and corn.

In general, it can be stated that the payment morale in Egypt is good, but it is always necessary to have the supply of goods secured in some way and not to rely and only on the solidity of the customer.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

Documents

To enter the EAR, a passport valid for at least six months after the visa is issued is required. The visa can be obtained by the applicant at the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Prague or purchased at the airport in Egypt for USD 25. The visa is in the form of a sticker that is stuck in the passport.

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Prague

Pelléova 14 160 00 Prague 6 – Bubeneč

phone: +420 224 311 506

fax: +420 224 311 157

email: [email protected]

Customs and foreign exchange regulations

The importation of food, alcohol, pornography, weapons and all kinds of drugs into the EAR is prohibited. It should be remembered that the export of monuments and gold in unprocessed form is strictly prohibited. Penalties for selling and possessing drugs are severe and range from tens of years in prison. The death penalty can also be imposed for illegal drug possession. Many medicines and aids are subject to a strict control regime, especially when it comes to their export from Egypt.

Professional cameras and cameras

Photography and filming is prohibited at military and police personnel and strategic objects, bridges and canals. It is generally not recommended to walk around cities with a large visible camera. A tourist arriving in the EAR has the right to purchase goods from duty free shops (Duty Free Shop) at the airport and selected locations in Cairo and Alexandria within 48 hours after arrival in the cumulative amount of USD 800 per year (4x per year at USD 200).

Currency exchange

There is no mandatory currency exchange in the EAR. In addition, local foreign exchange regulations allow exchanged but unused Egyptian pounds (EGP) to be converted back to the convertible currency with minimal exchange rate loss. The exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against the USD has been floating since January 2002. Tourists are not asked to prove sufficient funds for their stay at the border. Funds can be exchanged at designated locations (banks, exchange offices of international hotels, private exchange offices).

Services:

Hotel accommodation

Prices in Egyptian hotels are set depending on their level, tradition and quality. It is usually stated that with respect to the European standard, hotels marked as four stars and above are acceptable. Prices at these accommodations range from $70-$90 per day per bed, depending on the hotel, location, and season. In Cairo, Alexandria (and in the season in seaside hotel complexes such as Hilton, Meridien, Marriott, Sheraton, etc.) they reach double the amount. Restaurants Similar to hotels, prices in restaurant establishments vary depending on their quality. In general, however, it can be said that the prices of meals in restaurants are within the price level common in the world. In addition to hotel and restaurant facilities, tourists can also eat in a relatively dense network of fast food restaurants (McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.). In Egypt, it is necessary to pay due attention not only to the hygienic level of catering facilities, but also catering in general, i.e. also from local sources. In this context, it is necessary to point out that it is inappropriate for a European diner to consume, for example, ice cream sold on the street, uncooked vegetables (especially lettuce, green beans, strawberries, etc.) and unpackaged water, including ice added to sodas.

Transport

Tourist spots in the EAR are connected by a relatively dense and reliable network of train, bus and air connections. In the cities, mass urban transport is provided by state buses. However, it is almost useless for a European who is unfamiliar with the local conditions and language. In addition to state means of transport, connections are provided by private minibuses and especially relatively cheap taxis. The price of a taxi service for a trip around Cairo ranges up to USD 10. The exception is the connection to the airport, where the price for a taxi service ranges from USD 15 and up (from the Czech Embassy in the Dokki district). Tolls of approximately 5 to 10 Egyptian pounds (EGP) are collected on some road sections. The price of fuel is EGP 9.75 (95 octane) for 1 liter of petrol, (92 octane) EGP 8.75 for 1 liter of petrol and (80 octane) EGP 7.50 for 1 liter of petrol, the price of 1 liter of diesel is 6, 75 EGP.

Territorial restrictions

Anyone who wants to visit locations near the Libyan border or off-road areas in Sinai needs a permit from the Ministry of the Interior (Travel Permits Department of the Ministry of Interior). There are still undiscovered minefields from previous wars, often “marked” only by barbed wire. It is therefore not recommended to drive off the roads and cross the areas marked in this way. It is also not recommended to visit the administrative areas of the central part of the country (the cities of Minia, Malawi, Sohag, Asiyút, Kena), where the security situation is not entirely favorable for individual or organized tourism (up-to-date information – see the website of ZÚ Cairo).

Areas with an increased risk for foreigners – the suitability of a visit with regard to the political or other situation in the country

The fundamental difference between the EAR and European states is the factor of Islam. Muslims are very sensitive to some manifestations of European behavior that offend their religious feelings. In this context, it is necessary to draw attention to appropriate dressing, especially for girls. It is also considered inappropriate to drink alcoholic beverages in public and some common social expressions in Europe, such as holding women’s hands, kissing in public, etc. It is also recommended to avoid participation (even passively) in possible demonstrations and gatherings. When taking pictures, it is a good idea to avoid shots of military and police objects, railway stations, railway junctions, bridges, people in uniform, military and police equipment. Tourists are at least at risk of confiscation of the film/card (up-to-date information – see the ZÚ website).

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

How to get a work permit and who provides it, salaries, minimum wage (if any), social and health care and its provision.

The basic principle is the fact that Egypt does not support the employment of foreigners, due to high unemployment and an ever-increasing population. It is necessary to obtain a work permit in advance. It is granted for a period of 12 months, and in addition to the completed application and a copy of the passport, an AIDS examination certificate must be attached. The work permit is granted by the Ministry of Labour, which requires maximum details about the person applying for the work permit (name of the company and its domicile, subject and branch of business, positions held, method of payment of earnings, etc.). A work permit is issued for 1 year, after which the application must be renewed every year. Issuance of a work permit costs about 21,000 EGP/year.

  • Decree no. 135 from 1996 – regulates the conditions and methods of issuing work permits for foreigners
  • Decree no. 469 of 1995 – regulates the organization and process for obtaining a work permit for foreigners
  • Decree no. 2 of 1979 – on the employment of foreign experts.

Fairs and events

List the most important fairs and events and a short comment on them.

Major exhibitions and fairs in Cairo in 2022:

29/05/2022 – 31/05/2022 – AFRICA FOOD MANUFACTURING – International Packaging and Food Processing Technology Exhibition in Egypt

25.6.2022 – 28.6. 2022 – THE BIG 5 CONSTRUCT EGYPT – Egypt International Building & Construction Exhibition

4.9. 2022 – 7.9. 2022 – PHARMACONEX – International Pharmaceutical Industry Exhibition & Conference for North Africa and Middle East

11/09/2022 – 14/09/2022 – SAHARA – International Exhibition for Agriculture and Food for Africa and the Middle East

21/09/2022 – 24/09/2022 – CITYSCAPE EGYPT – Egypt’s Only International Real Estate Investment & Development Event

30.10. 2022 – 2.11.2022 – EGYPT ENERGY – North Africa’s leading power and renewable energy exhibition

6.11.2022 – 8.11.2022 – ICEC (INTELLIGENT CITIES EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE) – Exhibition & Conference dedicated to Sustainable Development, Real Estate, Smart Cities & Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

17.11. 2022 – 19.11. 2022 – AIRTECH – International Exhibition for Compressed Air Technology and Accessories

17.11.2022 – 19.11.2022 – MACTECH EGYPT – Pan-Arab/African Exhibition for Machine and Hand Tools System, Components and Safety Equipment

5/12/2022 – 8/12/2022 – FOOD AFRICA CAIRO – International Trade Exhibition for Food and Beverages Serving the African Market

15.12.2022 – 18.12.2022 – CAIRO WOOD SHOW – The Cairo International Wood and Wood Machinery Show is the biggest wood industry trade show in the Middle East Region

12/02/2023 – 15/02/2023 EGYPT – EGYPT PETROLEUM SHOW – International Oil and Gas Exhibition & Conference in Egypt.

Egypt Market Entry