Decision to relieve expatriates from car customs for a dollar deposit according to car model: immigration minister

Imad Hamdi
7 Min Read

The Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram said that the committee formed to discuss the customs exemption on cars of Egyptian expats and to determine the amount of money according to the car’s model, year of manufacture, and engine size.

Makram told Daily News Egypt the cars will be divided into segments, with each segment being approved a certain amount of money by the committee. The decision will be accepted immediately after the approval of the Ministry of Finance to the cabinet for consideration.

What is new about the decision to exempt customs on cars of Egyptian expats?

Work is in full swing among all collaborators to exempt customs on expatriates’ cars.

There is a committee formed by the ministry, known as the Customs Exemption on Expatriates’ Cars Committee, which includes representatives of the finance and interior ministries; the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE); and the governmental Customs Agency, including its commerce, industry, and taxes departments. The required proposal for customs exemption on cars is to work for at least one year abroad.

What is the number of cars allowed for exemption per family?

The committee determined one car per family can be exempted. The proposal does not require the final return to Egypt in order to apply for customs exemption. The exemption will occur in accordance with guidelines and conditions, including dividing the cars into segments, of which each segment has a specific value of the amount transferred in order to maintain the interest of the state and protect Egyptian expats.

In order to strengthen the national industry, the committee also grants exemption of the same amount to those who choose to buy a new locally assembled car.

What is the value of the amount to be transferred?

A committee was formed under the auspices of the Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs that includes officials from the Finance, Foreign, and Interior Ministries and from the CBE to study a mechanism for exemption or reduction on customs duties on these cars. The committee is considering exempting cars from customs when they were expatriates are heading to Egypt by transferring specific amounts internationally through national banks in foreign currencies over one year. The expatriates are able to withdraw the amount in Egyptian pounds, depending on the value of the dollar at banks.

The amount of money is determined according to the car model, the year of manufacture, and the engine size. The decision will be transferred immediately after the approval of the Ministry of Finance to the cabinet for consideration.

The Ministry of Social Solidarity asked for a report with the number of Egyptian expats who are interested in the insurance, so the ministry called on Egyptians to register on the website of the ministry in order to determine their numbers.

The minister met with economics and psychology professors at the Cairo University to take advantage of their academic expertise in the draft law before it is submitted to the cabinet.

What are the projects that the ministry is working on during the coming period?

There are a number of files that the ministry is working on during the coming period, especially the Egyptian expats’ health insurance. The insurance includes all the benefits and services of the expatriates to create pensions and insurances, in addition to insuring a part of their treatment, judicial assistance, and financial aid in cases of partial and total disability or death.

The ministry is seeking to complete the file of customs exemption on expatriates’ cars, which will become the first acquired right of Egyptians working abroad upon the completion of the law proceedings.

The ministry is working on registering all Egyptian expats and establishing a database for them, and then linking them to state institutions to take advantage of their different capabilities. This is in addition to the declaration of the National Institute of Expatriates Scientists and Experts, chaired by Magdi Yacoub and a number of Egyptian expat scientists. The institute aims to benefit Egypt with bright minds.

There was an announcement of the merger immigration and manpower ministries. What is the ministry’s statement on this?

The Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs is working day and night without paying attention to reports about the possibility of merging with the Ministry of Manpower. We seek to work with seriousness and diligence to achieve concrete achievements so that we are always at the trust of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who has a clear vision for the return of the Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs again after merging it as a section within the Ministry of Manpower after 20 years.

The ministry has made great strides in the health insurance of Egyptian expats. Why did it stop?

It did not stop. The ministry is working hard to meet the rights and needs of Egyptians living abroad, and therefore the ministry has signed a protocol of cooperation with the National Council for Human Rights. The protocol of cooperation includes the rights of Egyptians living abroad through establishing pensions and insurances for Egyptians who are in different countries around the world.

The ministry also prepares a draft law of compulsory insurance for Egyptian expats to take part of their treatment, judicial assistance, and financial aid in cases of partial and total disability or death. The draft law will be presented to parliament immediately upon its completion.

The ministry aims for insurance to become the responsibility of the state, not the sponsor, because in some Gulf states, insurance is the sponsors’ responsibility and not the state.

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