Finance Minister Hany Qadry Dimian announced Thursday a plan to amend the Customs Act No. 66 of 1963 and its implementing regulations so as to keep it in line with international standards and trade agreements.
The amendments aimed at integrating regulations on customs exemptions in a unified customs law in addition to toughening the penalties for smuggling attempts through customs including circumventing the temporary admission rules, according to Dimian.
The minister said that the plan also includes improving the efficiency of infrastructure for the Egyptian Customs Authority as well as the electronic networks linking customs departments and the electronic system of customs as a whole.
Magdy Abdel Aziz, head of the Egyptian Customs Authority, revealed that the UN will cooperate in the electronic linking of customs with border states such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Jordan so as to facilitate customs procedures between the neighboring countries.
The Customs Authority has made great strides in the X-ray scanning equipment file and will begin negotiations with US companies over importing high-quality equipment, Abdel Aziz added.
Abdel Aziz explained that the plan is designed to improve the performance of all customs departments and will include reducing the duration of seizure for smuggled goods in order to restore Egypt's advanced ranking on the international cross-bording trade list as it fell from rank 64 in 2012 to 86 in 2013.