In light of encouraging foreign investment and facilitating foreign investors in the Arab Republic of Egypt, new mechanisms have been updated and put in place in the Egyptian law to facilitate the registration of the importation company in Egypt and not impose any restrictions on foreigners and their transactions. This is in accordance with Law No. 173 for the year 2023, which entitled foreigners from fully owning the importation companies in Egypt without any restrictions.

The decision states that, as an exception to Article 2 of Law No. 121 for the year 1982 regarding the importers' registry, it is permitted to register joint-stock companies, limited by shares companies, limited liability companies, or one person companies in the importers' registry even if their shares or stakes are not owned by Egyptians or owned by them in less than 51% proportion. However, the total duration of registration in the registry should not exceed ten years from the date of implementing the provisions of this law. Moreover, it can be extended for only one time, for a further maximum period of ten years, upon a decision by the Council of Ministers based on a proposal from the concerned minister for foreign trade.

Based on this, the condition of Egyptians owning a 51% stake of the company's capital has been exempted, and the only condition related to Egyptians is that the person responsible for import and signing import contracts should be an Egyptian manager.

The conditions and required documents for registration in the importers' registry are as follows:

1. The company must be registered in the commercial registry and have a record of import activity for at least one year prior to registration in the importers' registry.

2. The company should have a tax card specifying the import activity, or a document providing information about the import activity.

3. The business volume in the last year before registration in the importers' registry, based on the tax declaration submitted to the tax authority, should not be less than five million Egyptian pounds.

4. The paid-up and registered capital in the commercial registry of the company should not be less than two million Egyptian pounds.

5. It is permissible for the capital to be fully owned (100%) by foreigners, and for foreigners to be registered in the importers' registry.

6. A cash deposit or a bank guarantee equivalent to 200,000 Egyptian pounds should be made or provided.

7. The person responsible for import and signing import contracts should be an Egyptian national, and they should be able to deal with the General Authority for Export and Import Control.

8. The applicant for registration or the person responsible for import should pass the accredited training course for import activities.

9. The partners, directors, or the person responsible for import should not have a final judgment against them for committing bankruptcy crimes by fraud or negligence, unless their honor has been restored. They should not have been previously convicted of a criminal penalty or a penalty for a crime that undermines honor or integrity or any of the crimes specified in the trade laws, suppression of fraud and deceit, supply, customs, import and export, control of precious metals, companies, combating money laundering, protection of intellectual property rights, protection of competition and prevention of monopolistic practices, the Central Bank, value-added tax, or income tax unless they have settled or restored their honor.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.