New Licensing Requirement for Food Importation in Egypt
The National Food Safety Authority (“NFSA”) issued Decree No. 6/2020 (the “Decree”) to regulate importation of food in Egypt and ensure safety and quality thereof.
The Decree applies on all entities working in food sector in Egypt including manufacturing, processing, packaging, distribution, retail and importation.
Food is defined broadly to include any product or material that is edible by humans, whether it is a primary, raw, or uncooked material, wholly or partially manufactured or semi-manufactured or unprocessed, including drinks and bottled water or added to food and any material containing water and chewing gum.
All food importers, whether for manufacturing purposes or for resale, have to submit an application to NFSA to obtain an importation license before 15 December 2020. However, an entity which works in food manufacturing and imports food for its own use will be deemed as licensed to import food as long as it is registered at NFSA.
An application to obtain the importation license will be submitted to the Food Importation Registry in NFSA, whether in writing or electronically, and it should be accompanied with the following documents and information, among others:
- The customs number designated to the entity by the Ministry of Finance.
- Certified copy of the Importation License issued to the entity by GOEIC (the General Organization of Export and Import Control).
- A list of the food importing activities performed by the entity during the previous year.
The license will be issued for 3 years duration. An application to renew it has to be submitted to NFSA two months before its expiry.
The following fees shall be paid annually;
- EGP 20,000 as license fee for importation companies
- EGP 5,000 as licensing fee for registered food manufacturing entities.
The following additional fees are required for some specified additional services by NFSA:
- EGP 1,000 for amending or adding new information to the license.
- EGP 500 to obtain a new license instead of lost or damages license.
- EGP 200 to obtain a copy of the license.
Obligations of the Licensees
In order to maintain the license, a licensee is required to:
- Notify NFSA with any food entity that is affiliated thereto (if any).
- Notify NFSA with any changes to the activities of the entity.
- Adopt food safety and quality control measures in compliance with NFSA rules and the international best practices, especially the measures related to food storage, transportation and distribution.