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Navigating Import License Laws in Egypt for Businesses

In Egypt, navigating the process of obtaining an import license is critical for businesses aiming to bring products into the country. Recent changes in the import licensing laws have streamlined certain aspects, making it essential for companies to understand and comply with the latest regulations. This article provides an in-depth look at how to secure an import license under the new legal framework in Egypt, covering various relevant subtopics.

Overview of Law No. 173 of 2023

Law No. 173 of 2023 was enacted to enhance the regulatory framework governing imports in Egypt, aiming to bolster economic efficiency, prevent market disruptions, and align with global trade practices. This law replaces some older regulations and introduces new procedures for obtaining and maintaining an import license in Egypt.

Key Requirements for Import Licensing Under the New Law

  • Business and Tax Registration: Before applying for an import license, a company must be registered with the Egyptian Commercial Registry and have a valid tax identification number.
  • Registration with the General Organization for Import and Export Control (GOEIC): This remains a critical step under the new law. Companies must register with GOEIC and demonstrate compliance with quality standards for their products.
  • Compliance with Safety and Health Regulations: Depending on the product category, additional certifications from relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Health or the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, may be required to ensure product safety and compliance.
  • Economic Needs Test: A new introduction by Law No. 173 of 2023 is the Economic Needs Test, which assesses the market demand and economic necessity of the imported goods. This step is designed to prevent market saturation and protect local industries.
  • Application for Import License: Submit a comprehensive application to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, including all necessary documents: business registration, tax card, GOEIC registration, product certifications, and results of the Economic Needs Test.
  • Trademark and Brand Registration: As part of the crackdown on counterfeit goods, importers must ensure that all trademarks and brands associated with the imported goods are registered in Egypt.

Egypt’s Import Landscape: Key Goods and Commodities

Egypt’s import market is diverse, reflecting its status as a significant player in the regional economy. Here are some of the most imported goods and commodities:

  • Refined Petroleum: Egypt imports a substantial amount of refined petroleum, which is crucial for its energy needs.
  • Cars and Automobiles: Automobiles remain one of the top import categories, with demand spanning personal vehicles to commercial trucks.
  • Wheat and Cereals: Given Egypt’s status as one of the world’s largest wheat importers, this commodity forms a critical part of its import expenditure.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Medicines and other pharmaceutical products are essential imports, supporting the healthcare sector.
  • Electronic Equipment: The demand for consumer electronics and other electronic components is significant, reflecting Egypt’s growing digital economy.


Law No. 173 of 2023 sets forth a more organized and stringent framework for importing goods into Egypt. By adhering to these new regulations, companies can not only ensure compliance but also benefit from a more predictable and streamlined import process. Understanding the types of goods that Egypt most commonly imports can help new entrants and existing businesses align their strategies with market demands. This strategic alignment is essential for any business looking to establish or maintain a robust import operation in Egypt.

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Written By

Joseph Iskander - Attorney-at-law

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