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WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SHIP GOODS TO EGYPT?

 

If you’re visiting this page, it is probably because you’re about to import or export goods between China and Egypt.
Egypt is the largest and most economically diversified market among Arab countries. HIF Shipping is your ideal freight forwarding partner to link the two countries.
We offer a very competitive shipping freight from any city in China to Egyptian ports and airports.  As we’ve acquired 10 years of experience on the
Asian market, and we’ve worked numerous hours to study this topic, we compiled all what should be known to master this subject. Regardless of whether you’re a well-rounded importer/exporter, or new in the international trade field, this document will support you to upgrade or launch your shipping process.
Many elements relate to shipping from China to Egypt, along with location, size, and shipping mode: sea FCL, sea LCL, air, or express. We’re explaining all the procedures about the goods shippement, without specifying the type or the size of goods you’re willing to import/export. From a tiny parcel fitting a carton, to dozens of cubic meters requiring several containers, we’re explaining all you need to know on this topic.
In this guide we will see you can perfectly implement or increase your import/export operations.
Firstly, we’ll explain the customs clearance process in Egypt for products made in China. Then, a quick review of the trade and diplomatic relationships between the two countries will be made.  Afterwards, we will discuss the different freight methods to reach Egypt from China.
PS: Personal advices and useful links will also be found along this article.
Contents 
1 CAN I BE EXEMPTED OF DUTIES AND TAXES FOR AN IMPORT FROM CHINA TO EGYPT ?
2 NECESSARY DOCUMENTS
2.1 Before the arrival of goods
2.2 After the arrival of goods
3 DUTIES AND TAXES IN EGYPT
3.1 Taxes Evaluation procedures
3.2 Customs clearance
3.3 HS code
4 PROHIBITED & RESTRICTED ITEMS
5 SEA FREIGHT FROM/TO EGYPT
5.1 Sea freight rates
5.2 Sea freight transit times (days):
5.3 Major ports
6 AIR FREIGHT FROM/TO EGYPT
6.1 Air freight rates
6.2 Air freight transit times
6.3 Major Airports
7 INLAND TRUCKING IN EGYPT
8 FREIGHT INSURANCE
9 RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND EGYPT
10 RECURRENT QUESTIONS
 

CAN I BE EXEMPTED OF DUTIES AND TAXES FOR AN IMPORT FROM CHINA TO EGYPT ?

Foreign trade in Egypt has undergone important developments in recent years, notably with the revision of Egypt’s customs legislation to facilitate the process of importing and exporting goods. A number of regulations and decrees have been adopted to improve inspection and control procedures, simplify documentation, reduce costs and delays, improve logistics and facilitate trade movements.
Recently, economic and trade cooperation between China and Egypt had developed very rapidly. Egypt is part of a number of regional and international trade agreements and initiatives, and it joined the World Trade Organization in 1995 , But  there is no Free Trade Agreements or Trade in Goods agreement bonding or planned between China and Egypt .
Consequently, you will probably not be exempted of duties when importing Chinese products in Egypt. The import process is also composed of many steps and paperwork to go through. Our experience between the two countries skilled us to provide a quick and smooth customs clearance in Egypt. You can ask us to take it in charge for you, if the energy and stress involved is too much to handle.
However, the average tariff rates are of 6,9 % on every type of goods.

NECESSARY DOCUMENTS

HIF Remark : You must understand  the difference between the Import License and the Import Declaration before any procedure.
Individuals may practice the import profession for trade provided that it is registered in the importers register according to the provisions of the import regulations issued by Ministerial Resolution 770/2005.
As a first step, the importer must Register as a certified economic operator. In fact, the Egyptian economic operators engaged in trade and distribution are required to add to their trade registry an Import/Export licenses, in case they wish to expand their activities.
Duration of obtaining the license is two days and the application for it can be made at different authorities:
– General Administration for Affairs Importers,
– General Assembly Export/ Imports Control,
– Main offices and approved ports (Alexandria, Port Said, Suez and Damietta)
Production and services companies are allowed to import production requirements necessary for production, operation or service provision without the obligation to enter in the importers’ registry.
              Import licence Form: 

 
Import licenses are only mandatory for commercial / trading activities. As long as the companies established for production and services activities are importing for their own operating activities, they are not required to obtain these licenses.

BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF GOODS

Procedures can be taken from any customs logistic point (isn’t compulsory to be the same as the point of entry of goods), and all steps are carried out in the same office Customs authorities.
The required documents are:
1. A declaration from the importer demanding a prejudgment:



(This is done at the customs office):
2. Certificate of Origin: It is an official document delivered by a government or a notary public, proving that the goods exchanged were made or manufactured in a specific area of a specific country. The CO testifies of the identity of your goods.
3. Bill of Lading : the BL is your cargo ID, it indicates all   informations about it, and also the payment from the importer to the carrier, and the issuance of the LC (Letter of Credit). The Airway Bill is the exact same document as the BL but is issued in case of an air cargo.
4. Commercial Invoice containing a clear description of the goods and HS codes.
5. Packing List: It should indicate your good’s international recognition code (HS code).
After reviewing the documents, tariffs and fees are determined.
 Note: The merchandise must be new and standard.
After paying the customs fees, the importer will obtain a “release permit” that explains the offers for monitoring and the required release conditions, accompanied by stamped copies of commercial invoice and package list, and an electronic copy of these documents will be sent to customs at the port of arrival.
 

AFTER THE ARRIVAL OF GOODS

Procedures must be made at customs at the port of arrival, and the importer must provide the following documents:
1. Customs release permission.
2. The original copy of the shipping line delivery authorization.
3. Original documents (commercial invoice, package list, certificate of origin, and any other accompanying certificates)
The customs then specify the release path (green or red).
· In the case of a green release path:
After completing the offer for the required monitoring, the importer will obtain an official release permission that will be stamped with “No objection to release”.
Accompanied by duplicate copies of the commercial invoice and package listing, a copy of the release permission will be sent to the port of unloading in order to release the goods.
 

DUTIES AND TAXES IN EGYPT

In Egypt, Customs assessment is carried out according to the WTO agreement on the basis of the transaction value method (the actual value of the goods) with the addition of all costs and expenses.
If the value is specified in foreign currency, it is estimated based on the monthly exchange rate announced by the Ministry of Finance.
 NOTE: The presentation of authenticated documents does not oblige the Customs Administration to accept the value presented as the value of the transaction. It has the right to request any other document, and the right to ensure that the declared customs value of the elements is complete, correct and represents the total payments that the importer pays to the provider in accordance with the actual documents.

TAXES EVALUATION PROCEDURES

1.  The importer must complete the value declaration document attached to the customs declaration with accuracy and transparency, in order to reach the correct value of the goods.
2. The importer must provide the original documents that reflect the data that was approved in the value statement, such as: invoices, contracts and receipts Price lists, etc., and other documents related to shipping, insurance costs and expenses.
3.  Customs reviews the submitted documents and ensures the adequacy of the documents, so they verify that the transaction represents an actual sale and that it is intended for export to Egypt.
4. Customs verifies the existence of actual documents for shipping, insurance and unloading. If the transaction value is on a FOB basis (on-board delivery) cases, a percentage of 5% is added on the value of “FOB” to reach the value of “CIF” (cost, insurance and freight).
5. Then, they check the value of the items according to the price information available at customs.
 

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE

The Egyptian Customs Authority, which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, is responsible for clearing goods to Egypt. Imported goods may not enter legally To Egypt until the shipment reaches the port of entry and the customs permit the delivery of the goods.
Goods will be logged in with customs and a serial number or a shipment entry number is assigned.
The Customs Accounting Committee calculates the fees to be paid on imported goods, on the basis of the CIF value. At this stage, the customs include the request for payment of customs duties, fees taxes and VAT, from the ‘CIF” value:
· 1% administrative fees
· 1% taxed income
· 14% VAT
· Inspection and analysis fees (Up to 10,000 EGP/635 $ maximum per product)

 
 

HS CODE  

Each product imported should have a HS code, it’s an international recognition code.
Egypt, like the majority of the countries, the Harmonized System (HS) of Tariff Nomenclature is used to attribute an identification number to all goods. It’s a framework of numbers and letters, that is attributing a unique combination to each product. The combination is called HS code.  All the traded goods are designated by a HS code.
                                                   Here is a picture detailing the information provided by a HS code : 

 
 
HIF Info : Before any steps, you should know which HS code is corresponding to the goods you want to import. We advise you to determine it on this website:  FIND HS.
After finding out the HS code of your goods, you can determine the duties and taxes applicable to your shipment on the official Egyptian customs website.
         We’ll take the example of a pineapple again: after enter the name of our product , we will search for tariffs applying to it:

 

PROHIBITED & RESTRICTED ITEMS

1. Goods bearing marks that offend religious beliefs.
2. Poultry bowels and limbs.
3. Liver of birds.
4. Two-stroke motorcycles not equipped with oil injection pumps.
5. All types of asbestos.
6. Asbestos brake pedals.
7. Tuna containing genetically engineered oils
8. Pesticides and chemicals
 
 

SEA FREIGHT FROM/TO EGYPT

Egypt is the 44th largest importer in the world. Among Egypt’s import origins there is China in first position ($8.07 billion) , followed by Russia ($5.84 billion) and Germany ($3.45 billion).
The Egyptian economy benefits from a combination of impressive assets: an ideal geographical location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Africa and the Near and Middle East. An internal market of 98 million consumers, making it an important global and regional trading platform.
It has 2450 km of coastline and two sea fronts, one on the Mediterranean and the other on the Red Sea.  The Nile, the country’s main source of life, crosses Egypt for 1500 km, from the Sudanese border in the south to the Mediterranean in the north.
Maritime transport accounts for 90% of Egypt’s international trade.Egypt carries out almost all of its maritime trade with the world through only 3 ports.
Maritime transport is one of the important sectors that have a profound impact on the state’s economies, Egypt is one of the largest countries that own ports in the world, as it owns 15 commercial seaports.

SEA FREIGHT RATES

*Sea freight is always a great deal in the freight market. You can have competitive rates with reasonable transit times for freights from China to Egypt.
Two major benefits can be draw from the sea freight: huge quantities of products can be shipped at very affordable costs. If you have to ship several cargos regularly, it will be your best deal from far.
As told above, with HIF Shipping it’s possible to implement every type of maritime services for all kinds of items without regarding the volume! We’re ultra-flexible to perfectly suit all your requirements.
 

SEA FREIGHT TRANSIT TIMES (DAYS):

              Said port Alexandria/
El-Dekheila
Suez Port Damietta Safaga Sharm El Sheikh Ain Soukhna
Tianjin 37 38 36 37 36 36 36
Dalian        36             37 36 36 35 35 35
Shanghai / Ningbo 34 35 33 34 32 33 33
Guangzhou /Hong Kong 30 31 30 30 29 29 30
Qingdao 35 36 35 35 34 34 35
The average transit time to transfer goods from China to Egypt is 35 days.

MAJOR PORTS

90% of international trade in Egypt is transported through its ports. Here is a list of its main ports
·   Port-Saïd Port
The port of Port Said is the port with the largest port traffic in the world and the second largest port in Egypt.
One of the most important Egyptian ports due to its distinguished location at the entrance of the largest international shipping lane (the Suez Canal) and in the middle of the largest commercial shipping line connecting Europe to the east. Indeed, it links Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Port Said is located at the eastern entrance of the Suez Canal (north of the Gulf of Suez), with an area of 3 square kilometers It is one of the largest container ports in the region.
 
· Alexandria port 
Alexandria is located at the western end of the Nile Delta between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mariout, and its port is considered as the main port of Egypt and more than three quarters of the country’s foreign trade passes through it, i.e. 60% of Egypt’s international trade
One of the oldest ports in the world with an area of 16 square kilometers, it has 20 specialized terminals (Passengers, Grains, Oil, China Hutchison (HPH) Container Terminal …) and consists of two ports: the East port and the West port (commercial shipping). The port is connected with the rest of Egypt by motorway, rain and air transport.
 
· Dekheila port
The port of Dekheila is the natural extension of the port of Alexandria (1986); it is located 6 kilometers from the port of Alexandria and has 6 terminals.
 
· Suez Port (El Suweis)
The Suez Canal is one of the most used routes in the world (8% of world maritime trade).  The Suez Canal is the shortest route between the Indian subcontinent, Asia-Pacific, Europe and North Africa with 1,411 vessels transiting monthly.
Opened in 1989 It allows an important saving in shipping costs (time and logistic costs).    It is an advantage as it is located at sea level (no doors are necessary…) with quick access to Port Said.
 
· Damietta Port
Damietta Port is one of the oldest ports in Egypt since the era of the Pharaohs.
The port is located about 10.5 km west of the Damietta branch of the Nile River in the Mediterranean Sea west of Ras al-Bar and at a distance of about 70 km west of Port Said Port.
Damietta seaport is one of the most important Egyptian ports because it has become the destination of many giant ships and modern generations due to the development operations that have been implemented in it.
 
· The port of Safaga
The port is located in the Red Sea Governorate on the western coast, and it is a vast grove (a natural bay), 60 km south of Hurghada, 225  nautical miles south of the Suez port.
The port of Safaga is considered as one of the oldest ports on the Red Sea, where its real activity started since 1911.  It is the main port for Upper Egypt where it serves its import and export needs to and from the Red Sea ports, the Persian Gulf, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and the Far East.
 
· Ain Soukhna seaport
Ain Sokhna is a tourist, investment and industrial resort on the coast of the Gulf of Suez in the Red Sea and follows the Suez Governorate in Egypt. Ain-Soukhna is localized 55 km from the city of Suez and is one of the closest resorts to the Red Sea to Cairo (116 km).
 
· Sharm El Sheikh port
   The importance of Sharm El Sheikh port is evident in its distinguished location to serve tourism purposes in general, yacht tourism and marine sports in particular, as well as being one of the seaports of the South Sinai Governorate.
 
 

AIR FREIGHT FROM/TO EGYPT

International air freight transport has been growing at an increasing rate in recent years.  The main characteristic of this type of transport is speed, which becomes an irreplaceable means of transport for perishable products (fish, flowers, etc.) and for high-value products.
The price of air freight is considered both in terms of weight and volume.

AIR FREIGHT RATES

*The price of air freight is based on the chargeable weight of your items.
The weight which will serve to quote your air freight must be calculated with two distinct methods. The first is the gross weight, and the second is the volumetric weight.
After the results, the highest weight value will be the one kept, and the lowest value can be forgotten.
 

AIR FREIGHT TRANSIT TIMES

1 day is necessary for a cargo place to reach Egypt from China.
7 days are required to receive the merchandise at your address via a regular air freight.
To receive your items quicker (within 4 days), an express air freight (courier) is recommended.
 

MAJOR AIRPORTS

Besides the sea freight, Egypt is connected to the rest of the world though its 14 international airports. But the most frequented and the busiest, in terms of passenger and goods traffic in the country are:
1. Cairo International Airport:
It’s an international airport located 22km from Cairo, the capital of Egypt, with an area of about 40 million square meters. The airport is the second largest airport on the continent in terms of congestion and passenger density.
Cairo Airport is used by more than 74 commercial airlines And 21 air freight companies.
It has 5 freight terminals that handle around 400,000 tons annually, 60% of the total exports of the country.
Cairo Airport is the international gateway and the airport of Cairo. As an air freight company, we always strive to make the process of air freight easy and simplified hrough a serious working team.
 
1. Borg El Arab International Airport (the second largest in Egypt):
It is located about 49 km from Alexandria and 14 km from the new city of Borg El Arab. It was created to relieve the burden on Alexandria International Airport, whose corridors cannot support large aircraft. Borg El Arab Airport had a major expansion in terms of the airport’s passenger and cargo handling capacity in response to growing demand.
On the other hand, above 60 international airports are reaching China’s territory to the other countries. Chinese airports are among the busiest in the world, they manage the most intense world cargo traffic.
 
   EGYPTAIR Cargo, is the only cargo airlines that are linking Egypt to China (via Beijing and Guangzhou) directly; But A lot of other international cargo airlines have indirect weekly flights between the two countries also.
 

INLAND TRUCKING IN EGYPT

*If your address is far from an Egyptian port or airport, you can request our trucking services for door-to-door deliveries.
Thanks to our very dense network, HIF Shipping can plan rail and road freight to almost everywhere in Egypt to carry commodities inside the country. Wherever you are, we will always find a way to reach you, owing to the multimodal platforms of the airports and ports in Egypt where we’re positioned.
 

FREIGHT INSURANCE

The risk side of a freight is always a talking point. The Goods may be exposed to many risks during transport, they may be broken or stolen, be damaged during a natural disaster or be delayed due to strikes.
As in all sectors, there is no such thing as zero risk, that’s why HIF Shipping collaborates exclusively with the most trustful insurers in the business, to provide extra coverage of your goods. The freight insurance allows you to be fully refunded in case  your  goods are damaged or stolen.
Depending on the type of products you are shipping, you will be charged 1 to 3% of the shipment + transport value.
Therefore, it’s advisable to take out an insurance. Only an insurance policy guarantees the goods against all risks linked to transport and will allow you to be quickly compensated in the event of a claim.
 
 

RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND EGYPT

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Arab Republic of Egypt have been on a steady path of political and economic rapprochement since the late 1970s.
Economic ties between Cairo and Beijing have grown stronger, slowly but surely, since the 1980s. China exports a lot to Egypt (almost $4 billion in 2013), and the country could also serve as a gateway to various markets, Africa and Europe. Egypt is indeed on the “New Silk Road”, which Beijing has become infatuated with since 2013. Relations between the two countries have entered a “golden age”, with a common global strategic partnership.
The volume of Chinese investment in Egypt has reached US$7 billion, with more than 1,500 Chinese companies currently operating in Egypt, creating nearly 30,000 direct employment opportunities for Egyptians, according to official Chinese statistics.
Trade between China and Egypt reached a record level of $13.87 billion in 2018, including Egyptian exports to China of $1.8 billion.   As cooperation between China and Egypt has grown and expanded, China has become Egypt’s largest trading partner,
In early 2016, Egypt and China signed, in Cairo, 21 agreements and memorandums of understanding in various fields including transport, electricity and population, as well as the implementation of the first phase of the project for a new Egyptian administrative capital.
The two parties also signed an agreement for commercial and economic cooperation in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, a memorandum of understanding on the Suez Canal and an agreement for the development of the Egyptian electricity grid.
Bilateral relations between the two countries are strong, and there is mutual coordination in a number of important areas
 

RECURRENT QUESTIONS

HOW MUCH DOES THE SHIPPING COST FROM CHINA TO EGYPT?

Air freight = 1,5 - 2,5 $/kg

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SHIP FROM CHINA TO EGYPT?

The average sea transit time to transfer goods from China to Egypt is 35 days. Regular air freight: 7 days Express air freight (courier): 4 days.

WHAT ARE THE BEST FREIGHT OPTIONS TO SHIPP GOODS FROM CHINA TO EGYPT?

There are 2 options: sea freight or air freight. The choice of freight is made according to the type of goods, weight and volume; But the most important criterion is time. You should calculate the ration time/cost.

DOES CUSTOMS CHECK OR CONTROL EVERY PACKAGE?

No, they don't check all the packages they receive, but they do random controls and it could be one of your packages. In fact, all packages are subject to control by the customs authorities in the country of origin and the country of destination in accordance with the legislation. The aim of these controls is to ensure compliance with the law by prohibiting any goods that could harm the health and environment of the country of destination and to ensure compliance with its rules. Thus, customs officers may allow themselves to examine the contents of the packages. So don't be surprised if you find that the package has been opened.

IT IS POSSIBLE TO AVOID CUSTOMS CHARGES?

Each good should be declared and the customs duties in the country of destination are the responsibility of the recipient. Customs duties depend on the type of goods (determined by the HS code), the country of origin of the product and the value of the product. For that you should declare the exact value of your goods, a lower or higher value than the real value is considered as tax fraud and will be punished by law (fine, seizure of goods…).

HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY & REDUCE MY SHIPPING COSTS?

1-Understand the incoterms and make the difference between: FOB, EXW, CIF, and DAP, this is an advantage that will allow you to better negotiate with the supplier. 2-Understand how forwarders use calculation rules (Size and Weight ) for shipping. 3-Choose what is most cost effective between FCL and LCL and the most suitable for your products. 4- Order your products in advance and Plan carefully their shipment to your country. 5- Study carefully all transport options and insurance provided with, and choose the most suitable one.