Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said that the country’s new Advanced Cargo Information (ACI) customs system has been progressing at a steady pace since the start of the mandatory application in early October. He indicated that over 11,000 Egyptian importers have registered on the new system.
Maait noted that any challenges or obstacles that may face the business community are dealt with immediately, according to the latest international experiences.
He indicated that the new system contributes to achieving the desired goals by reducing the time of customs release, the cost of the import and export, and the prices of goods and services in local markets. It will also improve Egypt’s ranking in international competitiveness indicators, the minister added.
Maait stressed that there is an increasing demand by importers and their customs brokers to join the ACI system, as the number of registered ones exceeded 11,000.
He explained that 80,000 Advance Cargo information Declaration (ACID) numbers were issued. Under the ACI system, a unique number called the ACID number to be issued for each shipment.
Maait pointed out that more than 50,000 foreign exporters to Egypt have had electronic accounts on the “Blockchain” platform since the beta launch of the system last April until now.
El-Shahat Ghattoury, Head of the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) said that the shipment value is now allowed to be adjusted. Also, the new system allows for adjustment of the port of shipment and arrival, the customs system, the shipment quantities, weights and units, the statement submitter, adding an invoice, and a new customs item. This is after the issuance of the “ACID” number and before shipping.
He pointed out that after amending the data, the same ACID will be issued, and it will be marked with “M”.
He explained that importers, foreign exporters, and shipping agents can inquire about the validity of the “ACID” number on the “Nafeza” portal before shipment.
While foreign shipping agents can inquire about the validity of an ACID number after the shipment’s completion.
He noted that the “ACID” number must be proven on commercial invoices and message documents and not on separate papers, following the executive regulations of the Customs Law.
He added that if a single container, carried common goods for more than one importer and each of them is subject to a different customs system, then an “ACI” number is obtained for each shipment from their “Nafeza” account.
Upon arrival, the shipment is unloaded and each “ACI” number is treated according to the system. In the case of contracting for a large quantity, it can be shipped in batches under one invoice.
The importer must send an invoice for each shipment separately, and a separate prior registration number will be obtained.
He explained that electronic authorization for the person concerned to the clearance company through the “Nafeza” platform, will be made through the account of the person concerned, mentioning the tax number of the clearance office.
Therefore, accounts affiliated with the clearance office can choose the person concerned through the list of importers upon request when the ACID identification number is obtained.
Mona Nasser, Assistant Minister for Customs Follow-up and Development, said that the ministry will continue holding introductory meetings on the new system with embassies of foreign countries, the maritime transport sector, and navigational chambers.
“We have received more than 7,500 inquiries so far via WhatsApp and e-mail, and we have responded immediately,” she said.