Under Greenback Shortage: The Egyptian government suspend over a thousand companies to stop importing

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The Egyptian government decided to write off and stop imports from more than a thousand Arab and international companies based on a decision issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry in 2016, which is the Resolution No. 43 of 2016. The General Organization for Export and Import Control, affiliated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, put the global company Unilever (one of the largest companies in the world and produces several famous brands and which has a branch in Egypt) on the list of companies that have been suspended from exporting to the Egyptian market on the pretext of violating Resolution No. 43 of 2016 regarding the registration of trademarks supplied to Egypt.

Unilever is the British multinational manufacturer of Lipton Tea, Dove Cream, Close-Up Toothpaste, Signal Toothpaste, Esprit Ax, Persil Powder, Lifebuoy Soap, Vaseline, Rexona, Omo Powder and Luxe Soap. Several experts attributed that decision to a shortage in dollar liquidity at the Central Bank of Egypt.

The decision – which we obtained a copy of it – included more than a thousand companies. The name of Unilever was listed under No. 819, which is the number of the ministerial decision to stop importing its products to Egypt, and which stated that the company is English. The decisions to ban imports included several companies like Dania Foods Ltd., Mobaco for Industry and Trade, the famous Saudi Almarai Company that produces juice, yoghurt and dairy, Al Karama Pastry Company Ltd., the Jordanian company Advanced Manufacturing Furniture, the Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries Company of Saudi origin, Al Arabiya Company for Spinning and Weaving and Saudi Blankets and Tiger Pack For trade and industry.

The General Organization for Export and Import Control included the name of the giant Indian company, Bajaj Electricals Limited, in the list of companies delisted and prohibited from importing under the pretext of violating the instructions of Resolution 43 of 2016. Bajaj Corporation is an Indian consumer electrical equipment manufacturer headquartered in Mumbai and part of the $380 billion Bajaj Group, with diversified interests in lighting, lamps, electrical appliances, fans, LPG generators, engineering and projects.

Resolution No. 43, which we also obtained a copy of, stipulated who should establish a register with the Export and Import Control Authority for factories and brand-holding companies eligible to export products. Products imported for commercial purposes cannot be freed unless produced by registered factories or imported from companies owning the brand or from registered distribution centres.

The Egyptian government has banned imports from several major Saudi companies under the pretext of not complying with the instructions of Ministerial Resolution No. 43 of 2016. The Saudi companies that came on the import ban list included the Aujan Beverage Company with ministerial decision number 326, Bin Zakour Koro Company Ltd. with suspension number 354 and Shaheen Factory for Swimming Pool Equipment Company Branch of Abdullah Bin Talib Company for Trade and Industry with No. 995.

The list also included the Makkah Factory for Saudi Household Utensils with Ministerial Resolution No. 295, Nakhil Al-Watan Factory with Ministerial Resolution No. 43, the National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC), Bassam Abdel Razek Wazeeddin Foundation at Ministerial Resolution No. 73, and the Saudi Factory for Perfumes and Cosmetics Ltd. at No. 73 816. Among the most prominent Saudi companies whose exports to the Egyptian market have been suspended are the Riyadh Dates Company with Resolution No. 1273, the famous Viola Zahra Company, the Saudi Company for Hygiene Materials, and the Vision Industrial Company Ltd, and the Zamil Equipment and Appliances Company.

The decision included banning the importation of perfumes. The General Authority for Export and Import Control had the name of the world brand of perfume, Jaguar Fragrances LTD of Swiss origin, in Ministerial Resolution No. 540 for the current year. The list included the name of the international brand Bentley Fragrances SA, a Swiss company, with the Ministerial decision 589 and the Swiss perfume company PARFUMS GRES SA, whose suspension number was 540 according to the ministerial decision.

Decision No. 43 prohibiting perfumes’ importation into Egypt stipulated who should establish a register with the Export and Import Control Authority for factories and companies that possess qualified brands to export products. Products imported for commercial purposes cannot be released unless produced by registered factories or imported from companies owning the brand. Its distribution centres are reported in this register. The list also included American, German, Italian, Swiss, Austrian, Turkish, Greek and Arab companies and Vietnamese and French companies.