Article Egypt: New Law Allows Egyptian Expats to Import Personal Cars with No Customs Duties

On October 27, 2022, Egyptian President Abu al-Fatah al-Sisi ratified Law No. 161 of 2022 regulating the import of personal vehicles by Egyptian expats. The new law, which is the first of its kind in Egypt and will remain in effect for only four months, allows Egyptian expats to bring their personal vehicles back to Egypt upon their return from abroad without paying any customs duties and taxes. (Law on Exempting Egyptian Expats from Customs Duties on Car Imports art. 9.)

Contents of the Law

The new law provides that Egyptian expats who wish to import their personal vehicles may, in lieu of paying tax and customs duties, deposit a cash amount in foreign currency (U.S. dollars or euros) in a certificate of deposit in an Egyptian bank for five years, after which the expats can recover their cash deposit in Egyptian domestic currency. (Art. 1, para. 2.)

This foreign currency cash deposit will be equivalent to 100% of the value of all taxes and fees that had to be paid to import a car into Egypt. (Art. 1.)

According to the new law, an expat who fails to import a car within a year from the date of depositing the money has one year to withdraw the cash deposit in foreign currency. (Art. 4, para. 2.)

Additionally, the law stipulates that Egyptian expats living abroad must provide the Egyptian authorities with proof of legal residency in a foreign country to be able to import a personal vehicle to Egypt. (Art. 2(1).) It also requires that expats who wish to bring their personal vehicles back to Egypt must be at least 16 years of age. (Art. 2(2).) Furthermore, the expat must have an overseas bank account that is at least three months old. (Art. 2(3).) Finally, the law requires that the imported personal vehicle must not be older than three years old. (Art. 3.)

Reaction to the Law

The executive director of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, Hussein Mostafa, who supports the new law, argues that it grants Egyptian expats a good opportunity to bring their personal vehicles to Egypt at prices that are lower than local car prices in the country.

Similarly, Khaled Saad, secretary-general of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, claims that the law will help to reduce car prices by increasing the supply in the Egyptian auto market.

Car expert Ahmed Bahaa Eddin says that the new law will contribute to combating the car “overprice phenomenon” in the Egyptian market.

Furthermore, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait stated that the law will help to increase Egypt’s foreign currency reserves.

On the other hand, Amro al-Habal, an expert on the Egyptian auto market, claims that the new law will not completely solve the current problem of car shortages in the Egyptian market, which is reportedly due to the application of new import procedures by the Central Bank that led to the curtailment of imported cars. In his view, the shortage will be solved permanently only when adequate foreign currency is available. Currently, Egypt is facing a foreign currency crisis. The country’s foreign currency reserves have been depleted because of the increase in Egypt’s foreign debts and the interest on them. Accordingly, foreign currency for imports is scarce. News reports claim that there is no prospect for a solution to the foreign currency crisis soon.

George Sadek, Law Library of Congress
December 8, 2022

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Chicago citation style:

Sadek, George. Egypt: New Law Allows Egyptian Expats to Import Personal Cars with No Customs Duties. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-12-07/egypt-new-law-allows-egyptian-expats-to-import-personal-cars-with-no-customs-duties/.

APA citation style:

Sadek, G. (2022) Egypt: New Law Allows Egyptian Expats to Import Personal Cars with No Customs Duties. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-12-07/egypt-new-law-allows-egyptian-expats-to-import-personal-cars-with-no-customs-duties/.

MLA citation style:

Sadek, George. Egypt: New Law Allows Egyptian Expats to Import Personal Cars with No Customs Duties. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-12-07/egypt-new-law-allows-egyptian-expats-to-import-personal-cars-with-no-customs-duties/>.