The new ministerial decrees 991/2015 and 43/2016 issued by the Minister of Trade introduced new measures concerning the registration and certification requirements of the qualified factories/companies which export their products to Egypt. According to the above-mentioned decrees any foreign factory or company, which exports any of the regulated products is obliged to submit the requested documents (after translating into Arabic and legalizing up to the Egyptian consulate in the exporting country) to the General Organization for Import and Export Control (GOEIC). Such measures represent some difficulties to foreign companies exporting to Egypt due to the complexity of the process. Further, failure in submitting the right authorized documents leads to the rejection of the factory/company file by GOEIC. This article aims to highlight some difficulties that face foreign companies in the registration process.
List of Products
The factory should issue this document on its printed papers, letterhead to mention the factory products, their brand and trademark. Simply, this list is to clarify if such products is among the regulated products or not, it should be real, valid and legalized.
Certificate of the legal entity of the manufacturer and the license of the factory
It is an official certificate of the legal status of the factory that is issued from the country of the factory. In such case, the commercial register of the factory will be sufficient, but it should be valid (not expired) and if any amendments happened regarding the name of the Factory/company the commercial register before and after such amendment shall be provided. However, some factories/companies that has no commercial register in their countries; in this case, the article of association will be accepted by GOEIC. The factory license is an official document that entitles the factory the permission to operate, some factories that have no license according to domestic laws will need in this case to provide an official certificate to prove that. It is worth mentioning that both of the above documents shall be certified at the commercial chamber and the Egyptian consulate in the factory/company country.
Products brands and the Trademark produced under a license from the owner himself
Here we must differentiate between three cases:
Case 1: The factory has its own brand, so the factory has to present the official certificate that proves the ownership of the trademark.
Case 2: The factory has its own brand and manufactures products under another trademark, here the factory has to submit three documents:
The ownership certificate of his own trademark, the trademark license as a proof that the owner of such a trademark grants him a license to manufacture under this trademark, and the official certificate of such trademark ownership registration to prove his ownership of the trademark.
Case 3: The factory does not own a trademark and manufactures with another trademark of another owner. Here the factory has to submit two documents:
The trademark license as a proof that the owner of such trademark grants him a license to manufacture by this trademark, and the official certificate of such trademark ownership registration to prove his ownership of the trademark.
In all cases, the certificate of trademark must include the company name and its logo clearly (it should be translated with the company name into Arabic), trademark number, and to check the expiry date of the certificate in order to renew it before submission if it is expired. In addition, trademark license shall state that the owner of the trademark has entitled the licensee the right to manufacture/produce, export and distribute.
One of the most important documents that must be included with the registration documents is the quality certificate. According to the ministerial decree, this certificate is to prove that the factory has a quality control system. The quality certificate must be issued by a certification entity that is accredited by one of the accredited entities recognized by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) or the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
On GOEIC website there is a list of the certification bodies approved by GOEIC. If the entity issued the certificate not recognized by IAF or ILAC then a request may be submitted to get this entity approved by GOEIC. Such request may be accepted or rejected by GOEIC according to its own evaluation to the issuing body. Further, the ISO certificate 9001/2008 will be accepted by GOEIC for manufacturing factory/company and not for their distribution centers.
The registration process will proceed on the base of providing the required documents authorized and valid as per the decree. Accordingly, to avoid wasting of time and lengthy procedures, every document must be checked very well especially the validity dates and the approval of the competent authorities, and all documents must be legalized and translated into Arabic.