By Islam Zayed
The Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) recently scrutinised the status of 740 Chinese companies. The authority had issued a decision banning the companies’ products from entering Egypt because of numerous violations, including disregarding the standards of the Minister of Industry and Trade and presenting forged customs documents.
An official within the ECA said that the companies changed their names in order to circumvent the ban and to take advantage of the lack of security and oversight at Egyptian ports of entry. A number of the companies cancelled their import licenses, changed their names, and applied for a new license, a process made simpler by the fact that the process of obtaining a license does not take more than a half hour.
The companies made no attempt to address the violations after their goods were banned. The Ministry of Industry and Trade banned the companies from importing goods for violating Resolution No. 257 of 2010, a resolution which deals with the forging of invoices and certificates of origin.
The sources said that the government is currently making efforts to impose greater oversight on Egypt’s ports of entry and working to produce a comprehensive list of banned companies. The companies have an opportunity to address the violations and submit their products to inspection.
On a related issue, an official within the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that Dr. Hassan Abdel Megeed, Head of the new Standards and Quality Authority, held a meeting to discuss the measures required to implement the second section of quality standards. The second section includes 20 articles that apply to a number of goods, including vehicles and motors, and was delayed by the revolution. The Authority has also prepared a list of noncompliant companies and will present them with opportunities to address violations in order to lift the ban on their goods.
The source added that the postponement in announcing the new government delayed plans to announce the new standards, which were agreed upon in mid July.