Imported goods have almost completely halted since March: Importers Division

Import operations of finished goods have been halted completely since March after the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) decision to cancel dealing with documentary collections and replace them with documentary credits, according to Matta Bishai — Head of the Internal Trade Committee of the General Division of importers.

Bishai said that importers in the Egyptian market are currently suffering and that their stock is nearly exhausted.

The CBE suspended documentary credits last March to stop dealing with documentary collections in import operations. Documentary credits were the result of transactions between importers’ banks and exporters’ banks, provided that the banks in importers and exporters’ countries were the link to complete the entire import process.

Bishai added that there is a severe shortage in most finished goods in the local market as a result of the almost complete halt in import operations, especially for finished goods of sanitary wares, electrical appliances, household appliances, office tools, wood, furniture, toys , and auto parts.

Furthermore, he said that the division received many complaints in various commercial sectors about their inability to import and bring in new goods since last March until now, which hiked prices by about 20 to 45%.

He suggested that hard currency be accepted from importers with official receipts from exchanges in order to quickly open documentary credits for imports and to quickly release goods in ports.



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