As Egypt seeks to achieve its strategic directions of its 2030 vision, the Ministry of Finance has turned to a new system for trade "NAFEZA" which aims to increase governance of customs control procedures, maintain national security, modernize customs system, re-engineer and simplify procedures and ensure gradual transition from a paper-based work environment to digital.
The Single Window System for Foreign Trade "NAFEZA" concept refers to a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements.
According to the National single window for foreign trade platform "NAFEZA", this concept is internationally recognized and supported by many international organizations concerned with trade facilitation. Among these organizations are the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), and The World Customs Organization (WCO).
New single window system for foreign trade "NAFEZA" is an integrated information platform that enables integration and coordination of procedures and information between the parties concerned with foreign trade in Egypt by allowing trade community to submit all documents and customs, control and port transactions at once, through a logistic services center or through the electronic portal, in order to fulfill all regulatory requirements related to the release of goods. The platform operates in accordance with international controls and standards for facilitating procedures for the release of goods, and then transforming the whole of Egypt into a unified logistics area.
Therefore, Egyptian government issued the new Customs Law No. 207 of the year 2020, and then the Minister of Finance Decision No. 38 of the year 2021 was issued the advance registration of shipments "ACI". This Decree was issued to clarify the procedures for pre-registration of shipments, and to introduce electronic signature "electronic seal" used in import documents, as well as the new steps for import.
Accordingly, the importer is obligated to submit data and digital documents related to the goods to the Customs Authority through "NAFEZA" platform before shipping them to the country for the Authority to mark them with an initial customs entry number (ACID), a 19-character number consisting of letters and numbers with a validity of 3 months from the registration date and each shipment with its own number per bill of lading; and notify the shipper with the initial customs entry number (ACID) to register him with all documents of shipment of the goods and using the electronic signature in inserting data and electronic submission of documents, including the invoice, when entering the customs data of the ACI system through "NAFEZA" platform.
Finally, the new system is expected to reduce the duration of customs clearance, the time cargo will stay in the port which in turn should have a significant impact on the final cost of cargo by reducing one of the highest expenses to local importers, demurrage and storage. It is also meant to help in reducing the number of paper work.
Information collected by the Egyptian customs, will allow identification of top importers. These importers will have an advantage by being considered an economic operator, which will have its own set of benefits in its dealing with the Egyptian customs.
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