Egypt import variety of goods, with capital goods (equipment and machinery) making up over forty percent of its import, Food accounts for twenty percent while fuels, wood products and industrial chemicals makes up the rest. Before 1974, 1/3 of the Egypt imports came from the Eastern European bloc. However they shifted their alliance and currently France, Germany and Italy supplies Egypt with more than 42% of its imports while the United States supplies them with 17% – 21 % (Weigel et al 1997) Egypt export partners are the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.
Between 1959 and 1999 Agricultural products accounted for 72% of products that were exported from Egypt. This percentage dropped in 2000, reaching 22% in 2008 according to the figures released by EIU. The export of manufactured goods, fuels, metal and minerals has rose over the same duration from 10% in 1959 to 46 percent in 2008. Failure for expansion of exports has mainly been blamed on red tape, state bureaucracy and lack of competition in the exchange rate market, low industrial capacity, and lack of marketing experience and the shortage of modern technology (Weigel et al 1997 pp 18-20).
The Egyptian Government has recently liberalized its economic policies and trade regime. In 2004 the Government reduced ad valorem tariffs band from twenty seven to six, rationalized its national subheadings above the 6 digits of harmonized system and did away with the inconsistencies in tariffs. Egypt eliminated imports surcharging and services fee ranging from one percent to four percent. Egypt has also reduced thirteen thousands line tariffs to six thousands.
All these have contributed to reduction in request for customs arbitration in Egypt. Egypt has reduce tariffs on more than one thousands one hundred and fourteen items, these includes raw materials, final goods, intermediary goods and foodstuffs. The country also classifies commodities using the World Customs HS 2007. The current average import tariffs for Egypt stand at 6. 12%. 99 % of good imported to Egypt faces tariffs below 15 %. These good include televisions, heaters, refrigerators, intermediate goods, raw materials and foodstuffs.
Egypt also values their commodities using the World Trade Organization customs system. Foreigners are allowed to import one vehicle duty free. The Egyptian Organization for standardization and quality control is charged with the responsibility of issuing technical and standards guidelines regulation, after verification EOS issues license and certificate of quality. Egypt is also not a signatory of the world trade agreement (Olarreaga et al 2002 pp 21 -29).
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