Egypt: Minister of Finance Decree No. 38 of 2021

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16 February, 2021

In brief

In continues to the Egyptian tax and customs reform journey in Egypt, the Minister of finance  published the new Customs decree number 38 for the year 2021 in 1st of February 2021. Regarding the Advance Cargo Information (ACI).


Egypt seeks to simplify and facilitate procedures and rules for the trade and investment in Egypt. Therefore, The Egyptian Customs has released the new Customs Law No. (207) of 2020, then the Minister of Finance decree No. (38) of 2021 was issued regarding the Advance Cargo Information "ACI" .

This decree was issued to clarify the pre-registration of shipments procedures, introducing the e-signature “e-stamp” used in the importation documents and the new steps for importing products.

In detail

The following shall present the main features of the Decree as follows:

Key points of the law
  • Submit the digital documents for the imported goods to the customs authority through the (single window) platform before shipping them to the country in order to get the initial customs registration number ”ACID” .
  • Notify the importer with the ”ACID” customs registration number to be recorded in the shipping documents relating to the imported goods.
  • Using the e-signature in the data entry and the electronic registration of the data and documents, including the invoice, when registering the customs data for the pre-registration system.”ACI”

Single window system

Egypt established a single window site for foreign trade, which allows the parties participating in trade and transport to submit unified information and documents at a single point of entry to fulfill all requirements related to the import, export and transit of goods. If this information is electronic, then the data elements are presented only once.

the window system steps are as follows:

  • Submit the documents and fill the coding form
  • Identify the examination and inspection date
  • Pay the fees electronically
  • Receive the unified release permission

Advance Cargo Information (ACI)

This transaction is considered as a major part of the single window system, which depends on giving a prior customs approval to import shipments by recording the basic data of the” supplier, the importer, and the imported goods” through a window site. on the basis of the customs risk system there will be approval or not, and in case of approval, the importer will obtain a registration number Initial customs ACID. This will be an essential part of the document data sent by the supplier, and in the absence of such initial reference number, the carrier will be enforced to return the goods again to origin bearing the return cost.

The Implementation date  of the Advance Cargo Information (ACI)

The first pilot phase will start from the first of April 2021 will be on seaports only, and in practice, from the first of July 2021.


The e-signature is a mandatory requirement in order to benefit from the single window system and to  proceed on the pre-register shipments, through the single window online site, hence, the importer will create an electronic signature through one of the companies accredited to issue the " e-signature service

The Modification of data after registration

The ministerial decree allows the amendment of shipment data only after obtaining the initial customs registration number, without modifying the supplier or importer data.

The required data  for registration

The ministerial decree listed the major data to complete the Advance cargo information (ACI) process as follows

  • The supplier country
  • The supplier registration number
  • The supplier commercial name
  • The supplier type “nature”
  • The supplier E-mail
  • The supplier detailed address
  • The data of the goods.
  • The HS code for the imported items
  • The data of the invoice

The takeaway

This Decree was issued to facilitate the trading between Egypt and other countries throughout facilitating and unifying the customs release operations and processes, beside handling the import documents and procedures electronically.

Contact us

Sherif Shawki

Partner, Kuwait Tax Leader, PwC Kuwait

Tel: +965 2227 5775

Ahmed Osama

Tax Partner, PwC Middle East

Tel: +202 2759 7864

Nesreen Maher

Tax Partner, PwC Middle East

Tel: +2 (0100) 7100257

Karim Emam

Partner, International Tax and M&A Services, PwC Egypt

Tel: +2 (02) 2 759 7881

Ahmed Ali

Tax Partner, PwC Middle East

Tel: +2 (02)27597773

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