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Blockchain speeds freight through Egypt’s ports

[ September 16, 2021   //   ]

The Government of Egypt will implement new Blockchain-based trade facilitation technology in October.

The Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system will help fully automate the customs process for all goods entering the country. Electronic data will identify goods before they are shipped, enabling goods to be checked and cleared before they reach Egyptian ports.

The ACI system, which has been undergoing pilot tests since 1 April 2019, will be implemented at all Egypt’s ports on 1 October and 16,000 companies importing goods into Egypt have already registered on the new system.

Egypt has  ambitious plans to transform its trade infrastructure, including the modernisation of its entire customs management system. In April 2019, the Government launched the National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation (Nafeza), a single digital trade portal for all import, export and transit operations, linking up all Egypt’s ports.

The programme has also led to the establishment of high-tech logistics centres across Egypt, ensuring that port facilities are used to transit goods rather than store them.

Independent evaluation of Nafeza shows that customs processing times have already improved by 55% but the Government plans to reduce clearance time to under a day.

Egypt is Africa’s second largest importer, responsible for total imports in 2019 valued at US$78.6 billion. The country is the largest importer of wheat and asphalt in the world.

Minister of Finance, Dr Mohamed Maait (pictured below), said: “The implementation of the Advance Cargo Information system is a crucial step in our plans to transform Egypt’s trade infrastructure. This new technology will make it much easier for companies all over the world to trade with Egypt, helping to deliver the Government’s plan to create the most advanced logistics hub in the region.”

Chief executive of the German Chamber of Commerce (AHK) in Egypt, Jan Noether, added: “This new trade facilitation technology will make it simpler, easier and cheaper for all companies exporting goods to Egypt. It shows that Egypt is not only open for business, but serious about maximising its location at the cross-roads of the world to become one of the world’s great trading economies.”