Many dealers through the Egyptian customs system in ports and those interested in the customs sector in Egypt operate the mechanism of the pre-registration of shipments system known as (ACI).
ACID (Advance Cargo Registration)
A new customs system that requires Egyptian importers to declare all pertinent information regarding the items they intend to transport to Egypt before the actual cargo is loaded from the exporting country.
What is ACID?
The importer must register on the Finance Ministry's digital customs system Nafeza (also known as the National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation) and get an e-signature taken at least 48 hours before the products are transported in order to be in compliance with the new system. The importer must submit the papers in order to receive an exclusive ID called an ACID.
Then, at least 24 hours prior to the ship's departure, this must be provided to Nafeza along with other supporting documents such as invoices, data from overseas exporters, and cargo information. The Egyptian Company for E-commerce Technology set up the procedure (MTS).
What are the benefits of ACID?
ACI provides you with:
• Defending Egyptian citizens against items with unknown origins or sources
• Reducing the time it takes for items to be released and, as a result, the cost of doing so
• Electronic data and papers are being used instead of printed documents.
• Cargo information available before the arrival of goods
• Costs of port agents are reduced.
• Transactions are being followed up on in real time.
• Trade intelligence is generated.
• Fraud prevention and risk management
• It’s possible to customize it to work with other applications, such as customs management systems.
ACID, affects who?
- Exporters or providers (foreigners).
- Businesses involved in customs clearance.
- Businesses engaged in air and sea freight.
When will the advanced cargo identification system (ACID) be put into practice?
Developing the advance registration of shipments (ACID) system:
1. The trial operation phase, the first stage, will start on April 1st, 2021.
2. The mandatory employment phase is the second phase, which begins on.
Applying the ACID System
The national single window for the facilitation of foreign trade, or "Nafeza Platform," will be used to establish the ACID system.
The ACID system has been gradually implemented throughout 2021; the transition from initial implementation to required implementation (which will take place on October 1, 2021):
- Initial Application Phase: From the beginning of April 2021 until the end of September 2021, the ACI system was subject to a preliminary application phase. Only maritime shipments were covered during this phase, and system application was optional.
- The Phase of Mandatory Application: According to Minister of Finance Decree No. 328/2021, the ACI system will begin accepting applications that are completely mandatory on October 1, 2021. The ACI system will first be required to be used on all marine shipments before being expanded to all air shipments.
How to register for ACID?
As briefly outlined below, the ACID process entails a number of steps that must be completed by the importer, exporter, and carrier in addition to the Customs Authority.
A. Actions That the Importer Must Take:
- Registration with Nafeza: In order to receive a legitimate username and password, the Egyptian importer must register an account for itself on the Nafeza Platform. All that is needed for this stage is the importer's basic information.
- Obtaining an E-Token: The importer must possess a digital signature in order to utilize the ACI system and sign documents electronically (an E-Token). Two licensed organizations in Egypt, MCDR and Egypt Trust, are authorized to issue digital signatures.
- Inserting the Cargo Information: The importer or its customs clearing agent must include the cargo information, which mostly consists of the following:
The shipment's crucial details, including the HS code, the basic information from the commercial invoice, the shipment's description and quantity, etc.
- Information about the exporter, including the exporter's registration number, registered nation, nationality, trade name, trademarks (if any), and contact information, among other things.
- Requesting an ACID Number: The importer will request an ACID number to be shown on the shipping documents after submitting the necessary data via the Nafeza Platform.
- Verifying the Shipment Information and Documents Uploaded by the Exporter: The Egyptian importer is required to electronically sign and confirm any shipping documents and information that the Exporter has uploaded to the Nafeza Platform.
B. Steps That Must Be Taken By the Customs Authority:
- Verifying the Shipment Information: Prior to (48) hours after the date of the application, all entered information will be subject to a risk management review to identify any potential risks related to the imported shipments.
- The Customs Authority Issues an ACID Number for the Shipments If the risk management check was successful, the shipments will receive an ACID number. For a variety of reasons, the Customs Authority may refuse to give the ACID number (i.e. existence of a restriction on the importation of the cargo or the existence of suspension or ban on the part of the importer or the exporter).
- Informing Importers and Exporters of the ACID Number: The Customs Authority must email the Importer and Exporter to inform them that the ACID Number has been issued.
C. Steps the Exporter Must Take:
- Registration on the CargoX Website: The Exporter must register on the CargoX portal and create an account.
- Inserting the ACID number on the Shipment Documents: The Exporter is required to include the ACID number, Exporter ID, and Egyptian Importer ID on each Shipment Document.
- Uploading and Sending the Shipment Documents to Nafeza: Before the cargo leaves the exporting nation, the exporter is required to upload the shipment information and documents (such as the commercial invoice, the packing list, and the bill of lading, among others) on the Nafeza Platform through the blockchain portal "CargoX." These documents will subsequently be delivered to the importer via the Nafeza Platform (for review and signature).
D. Actions That the Carrier Must Take:
- Mentioning the ACID number on all shipping documents: All shipping documents pertaining to the cargo or shipments must include the ACID number.
- Sending an electronic list of shipments: The carrier must provide an electronic list of all shipments to the Nafeza Platform no later than 24 hours after the ship leaves the port of export. The platform will validate the information and reply with a confirmation message.