Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has said that the successful implementation of the Advanced Cargo Information (ACI) system in this record time sends a message to the whole world that Egypt, with its wise political leadership, can overcome challenges, change reality for the better, and regain leadership in various fields.
During a meeting organised by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Maait revealed that a joint committee was formed. It comprises representatives of the Customs Authority, Misr Technology Services Company (MTS), the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB), shipping agencies, and importers.
The committee holds its meetings in the Ministry of Finance with the aim of coming up with a consensual document that includes the executive mechanisms of speeding up the work of shipping agencies to reduce the customs release time.
Maait called for the extension of working hours for shipping agencies to 6pm to contribute to the speedy completion of procedures.
He added that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the world is witnessing a turmoil in supply chains, a general rise in commodity prices, and a sharp increase in inflation rates — up to 6.8% in the US.
This has not happened in 40 years, and it has led to an increase in interest rates, which means a rise in the cost of financing and the prices of wheat and oil. He added that despite all these global challenges, the state is working to provide goods, achieve a balance between supply and demand, and improve public services by implementing many development projects that generate millions of jobs.
At the same time, great attention is being paid to maintaining a safe economic path and preserving the gains of economic reform.
Maait also explained that projects to develop and automate the tax system solve many problems facing the tax community. These projects limit the intervention of humans to avoid arbitrary estimates. They contribute to accelerating and facilitating tax examination and monitoring commercial transactions in an instant. This helps reduce tax disputes.
“We are proceeding successfully with the implementation of tax digitisation projects, all of which are scheduled to be completed in next June. We have started the implementation of the e-bill system, with an average daily registration rate of 40,000 bills. This number increased to 750,000. It is expected to reach two million in June. This will prompt the government to complete the implementation of the development process by applying electronic receipts as of the first of April. This will contribute to integrating the informal economy into the formal one,” Maait said.
He pointed out that the new procedural system has contributed to facilitating the return of value-added tax (VAT) within a maximum of 45 days, stressing that medicines are exempted from VAT.
He also said that by the end of the current fiscal year, most of the exporters’ arrears in the Export Development Fund will have been paid, after which, the arrears will be paid to exporting companies on a timely basis. This will contribute to providing the financial liquidity necessary for the continuation of the production cycle.