Magdy Makki, director-general of decision support at the Egyptian Customs Authority, said that the procedures of trade facilitation are being discussed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) delegation, as well as Egypt’s offer to facilitate the movement of bilateral trade.
He added that during the meeting, facilitation was discussed in relation to the interest and decisions for the release of certificates and models of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) and the electronic connectivity with both banks and ports.
He pointed out that this report prepared by the organisation is issued on a five-year basis. The report was issued in 2005. The second review was scheduled in 2010/2011 but has been suspended since.
He noted that the first visit of the WTO mission was in early 2017, expecting the report to be issued by December.
He pointed out that during the first visit, several questions were answered and a preliminary draft of the report was prepared to be submitted to the Customs Authority to respond to any questions they might have before publishing it in an official copy.
He said that the mission will meet with a number of other bodies, such as the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). The visit will continue until 25 October.
He pointed out that the draft of the new Customs Law and the procedures and developments were discussed as well as the measures taken to facilitate the movement of trade in accordance with the conventions.
He added that the criteria of SAFE of the WTO, which includes 11 standards to facilitate bilateral trade and establishing a risk management system and the one-stop shop, were also discussed.
Makki said discussions were being held about the size of the rolling drawback funds over the past 10 years, which were refereed to arbitration recently.
He added that the WTO does not give instructions but discuss the implemented procedures through asking questions.
Government sources said that a number of other files were being reviewed, such as subsidies, dumping, tariffs, and import restrictions, as well as the files of economic environment and systems of trade and investment.
Sources added that this is the final review by WTO before issuing the final copy about the trade facilitation granted by Egypt.