Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, said that the initiative to facilitate the import of cars for Egyptians living abroad is set to be closed in seven days. Maait stressed that the Ministry has no plan to extend the initiative again past 14 May.
Egypt’s initiative enabling citizens outside the country to import cars free of customs duties and taxes has brought in $713m in transfers since its launch in October 2022, or nearly 30 percent of its original target, according to figures released by Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait on Monday.
Egypt launched the car import initiative in October 2022 to attract foreign currency, with a revenue target of $2.5bn.
According to Maait’s statement, more than 141,000 Egyptian expats have signed up online for the initiative and 1,100 cars have been released.
He also pointed out that the recent legislative amendments included reducing the customs tax by 70%, and it applies retroactively to the beneficiaries of the initiative in countries outside the trade agreements, so that the total sums of money transferred from Egyptians abroad in these countries to the account of the Ministry of Finance are reduced by up to 58%, depending on the liter capacity of the engine and the type of fuel.
Egyptians residing in these countries, who transferred the money should submit a request to refund the customs tax differences, and the amount would be refunded in the foreign currency paid within six months from the date of submitting the application via the online application.
Maait affirmed the government’s commitment to paying the deposits of Egyptians abroad and beneficiaries of the initiative to facilitate the import of cars, on the dates set at the exchange rate at the time they are due. He also explained that whoever wants to withdraw the amounts transferred from their account and exit from the initiative is free to do that after a year from the date of approval. Importers are requested to apply via the online platform, and get their refunds at the exchange rate at the time of redemption within three months.
He explained that there is a deed of maturity from the Ministry of Finance to the public treasury for citizens residing abroad, with the value of the amounts transferred to the account of the Ministry of Finance at the National Bank of Egypt.
Maait indicated that, according to the recent legislative amendments, the validity of the import approval for the shipment and import of cars has been extended from one year to five years, and the reduced customs tax is valid throughout the period of the approval. The first owner of a vehicle has the right to import it without being bound by the year of manufacture.