The Sokhna Customs Authority has lost around EGP 600m during the recent halt in the Sokhna Port’s operations, Mahmoud Mohi El-Din, head of the eastern region of Egypt Customs Authority, told Daily News Egypt.
Operations at the port were on hold completely for 16 days due to a workers’ strike.
Around 1,200 workers from Platinum Company in Sokhna were on strike for 16 days, demanding that their contracts be reinstated and guaranteed permanent employment.
The workers pledged to open the port and restart work on all platforms after being shown the contracts they were expected to sign.
The Sokhna Port strike ended on 18 February, with workers returning to their jobs at 14 port navigation offices, and with companies at the port reopening for business.
“On a normal daily basis, we have been receiving revenues from the Sokhna Port in the region of EGP 30m to EGP 35m daily; but during the strike, revenues dried up completely,” Head of Central Administration of the Suez Customs Authority Rashed Mohamed Ali told Daily News Egypt.
According to the minister of finance’s estimation, Egypt’s customs authorities have lost EGP 100m due to recent strikes and civil disobedience held across the nation’s ports, such as the Sokhna strike, the Port Said civil disobedience, and the Saloum strike, said Mahmoud Mohi El-din.
“Now that the situation at the Sokhna port has become stable, all goods which had been overstocked during the stoppage of port operations have almost all been scanned completely now,” said Mohi El-Din.
He added that “the Roro Turkish navigation line” hasn’t been holding up during the strike because there had been a specifically assigned committee to end all the needed procedures for Turkish containers.
“There are mutual agreements between Egypt and turkey; moreover, Turkish goods and trade have a great impact on the Egyptian economy,” he said.
He pointed out that in the case of protests and strikes, there is an ‘emergency committee’ which is assigned to end all required procedures, perform scanning processes, and receive all customs fees and sales taxes.
DP World, the Dubai-based company which operates the Sokhna Port, has lost around $120m during nine days of strikes, with the strikes also causing severe losses to the government revenues by EGP144m, said a source with knowledge of the situation.