Source: US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service
On July 16, 2020, the Egyptian Tax Authority signed a protocol with the Customs Authority and Alexandria Chamber of Shipping to set a mechanism to apply value-added tax (VAT) on the freight of agricultural commodities effective August 1, 2020. This stems from a 2016 law, which mandates the application of VAT on a wide range of products in-lieu of a general sales tax. The law exempts certain agricultural commodities from VAT. However, the government began enforcing VAT on the freight of agricultural commodities on August 1, 2020 without prior notice. This tax policy could disrupt U.S exports of soybeans, corn and corn bi-products to Egypt, and puts U.S exports at a competitive disadvantage in the Egyptian market which could potentially jeopardize the reliable, affordable supply of food, feed and agricultural products for producers and consumers especially at a time when the global economy is experiencing significant challenges.