Egypt Concludes Car Import For Egyptians Abroad Initiative, Collects $1.8B

May 15, 2024


Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait, declared that Monday, April 29, marked the final opportunity to take advantage of the “Facilitation of Car Import for Egyptians Abroad” initiative, with no plans for extending its deadline.

Car imports

Launched in 2023 to tackle Egypt’s severe foreign exchange shortage experienced over the past two years, the initiative mandates beneficiaries to deposit the car’s purchase amount into the finance ministry’s account at the National Bank of Egypt in US dollars. The initiative has garnered significant attention from Egyptians abroad, with over half a million individuals submitting their applications.

The Minister highlighted that the total value of payment orders issued to beneficiaries is $1.8 billion, with $767 million already transferred from Egyptians abroad.

Import approval remains valid for five years, allowing flexibility in selecting and replacing cars at any time. Original owners retain the privilege of importing cars regardless of the year of manufacture, while others must ensure vehicles do not exceed three years at the time of customs clearance.

The Minister emphasized that the benefits extended to Egyptians living abroad also encompass imports from free zones within Egypt, subject to identical procedures as importing cars overseas. Through the electronic platform, beneficiaries can select any free zone within Egypt as the import destination, provided the payment for the car’s value is transferred to the seller’s overseas account in foreign currency. Currently, over 250,000 import approvals have been issued, releasing more than 28,000 cars for Egyptians residing abroad, as reported by Maait.

Shahat Ghatouri, Head of the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA), revealed that over 537,000 citizens residing abroad have registered their requests via the electronic application for the car import facilitation initiative thus far. Utilizing this digital platform, they have opened electronic accounts, provided their data, uploaded documents, and received notifications regarding applicable fees.

Ghatouri highlighted the availability of an international hotline number, “15460,” for immediate response to any inquiries from participants in the initiative. Additionally, he noted the establishment of a permanent committee at the ports, ensuring round-the-clock operations, even during holidays and official breaks, to expedite customs clearance procedures.

Financial aid

Egypt is currently engaged in an IMF-backed $8 billion loan program. One of the key objectives of this program is to replenish Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves and address the country’s lack of the US dollar shortage. Recently, Egypt has signed a deal with the UAE to develop the coastal zone of Ras El-Hikma with total foreign direct investment worth $35 billion, $24 billion of which Egypt to receive in cash flow. The deal came as a bailout for the Egyptian economy amid the repercussions of the Ukraine war and the Middle East tensions that have negatively affected one of Egypt’s main sources of hard currency, the Suez Canal lane.

The international community has also pledged over $50 billion in loans and grants to Egypt. This includes the recent expansion of the IMF loan deal for Egypt, which has been increased from $3 billion to $8 billion and will extend through 2026.