Egypt reintroduces government pre-shipment inspections for grain imports

EGYPT – Egypt has reintroduced mandatory plant quarantine pre-shipment inspections for grain imports according to the Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In accordance with the international provisions, all plant and plant products must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. The phytosanitary certificate must reference the import permit related to the shipment.

This follows the invalidation of Prime Ministerial Decree No. 2992/2016 which disallowed government teams to travel for inspections at the port of loading and instead gave the General Organization for Export & Import Control (GOEIC) the responsibility to coordinate and administer inspections for grain imports.

Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Decree No. 562/2019 re-establishes the Central Plant Quarantine Authority (CAPQ) as the agency responsible for grains and oilseeds inspections.

The decision was prompted by significant delays and excessive rejections of grain shipments upon arrival in Egypt by quarantine officials.

GOEC subsequently contracted out inspections of grains at the port-of-loading to international pre-shipment inspection (PSI) surveyors instead of sending government inspection teams abroad.

The General Organization for Supply Commodities (GASC), an agency of the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, is referencing as of January 2020 in its tender documents the requirement of pre-shipment inspections at port-of-loading.

The promulgation of MALR Decree No. 562, allows CAPQ to conduct pre-shipment inspections at the port-of-loading for GASC purchases.

GASC is the world’s largest single purchaser of wheat. In calendar year (CY) 2019 (January-November) Egypt imported roughly $185 million worth of U.S.-origin wheat.

Private sector grain consignments do not require pre-shipment inspections by CAPQ at the port-offloading. However, most private sector importers prefer to also use CAPQ inspections at the port-offloading for ease of clearance upon arrival in Egypt.

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