Egypt set to end discounted customs exchange rate for some imports

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Egypt’s finance minister, Mohamed Maait said the country is set to end a discounted customs exchange rate in December for imports of goods that are considered non-essential.

Back in January 2017, Egypt began setting a monthly fixed customs exchange rate, following the flotation of its pound currency in November 2016.

In recent months the customs rate for all goods had been set at 16 Egyptian pounds to the dollar. On the currency market, Egypt’s pound has held steady in a narrow range of 17.78 to 17.98 to the dollar over the last six months.

A statement released by the finance minister noted that from December 1 2018, the rate for strategic and essential goods will remain at 16, while the rate for non-essential goods will be set as the average exchange rate listed by the central bank during the preceding month.

The statement revealed that the non-essential goods include tobacco products, alcohol, pet food and cosmetics. Mobile phones and computers are some of the goods exempt from custom taxes, but goods including furniture and shoes that are manufactured locally, and cars and motorbikes, will also be subject to the new rate.

According to Maait, industrial and agricultural raw products will still be imported at the discounted rate.



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