Customs regulations for your trip to Egypt

Last modified: July 26, 2023
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Customs Regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Original passport with Egyptian resident / work permit
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill  (AWB)
  • Detailed inventory, valued, dated, and signed in English
  • Packing list
  • Letter of guarantee
  • Form 4DE (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • All items are subject to taxes, including consumables.
  • All audio visual goods (tapes, video, books, DVD, CD ROMS, etc.) will be inspected, viewed, read by Customs and released no sooner than 3 weeks after import.
  • Packing list must be clear and legible as it will be translated into Arabic.
    • Do not indicate “miscellaneous,” “packed by owner,” or “PBO.”
  • Private owners of the goods must pay duties and taxes.
  • All shipments, from private to half-diplomatic are subject to Customs inspection.
  • Extra charges may be applied for the inspection of special items, including: alcohol, food, phones, paintings, etc.; check with agent for details.
  • Inspection fees and taxes are paid by the owner of the goods.
  • All owners of the goods not having a letter of guarantee must pay duties and taxes in cash.
  • The letter of guarantee states an amount of money corresponding to the amount of duties and taxes to be paid.
    • These funds are placed into a bank account and released to the owner of the goods when moving out of Egypt.
    • At time of move, all items must be exported, otherwise taxes and fines will be paid on each missing item.
  • The guarantee can only be obtained with a work permit and work visa.
  • Vehicles and all audio visual goods must be loaded at the door of the container.
  • The inventory must state the model, brand, size, and content (e.g., Sony 40” television) for all electrical and electronic items.
  • Instruction manuals must be attached to printers and fax machines.
  • Wooden crates in air or sea shipments must be fumigated.
  • Diplomatic organizations and some international organizations must apply for duty and tax exemptions on personal effects (approximately 7 to 21 working days).
  • Diplomats may be exempted from Customs duties and inspection provided they apply for and are granted form 4DE (protocol).

Local laws reflect the fact that Egypt is predominantly an Islamic country. Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs. This is especially important during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. Dress modestly, especially in rural areas, mosques and souqs (markets). Public displays of affection are frowned upon. What may be acceptable in the tourist resort areas may not be in other areas.

In 2021, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 12 April and finish on 11 May. See Travelling during Ramadan

You should keep valid photo ID with you at all times.

Drinking alcohol in the street and anywhere other than a licensed restaurant or bar is not allowed and can lead to arrest.

Possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can, even for small amounts, lead to lengthy prison sentences (25 years), life imprisonment or the death penalty. Those sentenced to life imprisonment on drugs charges will normally spend the rest of their life in prison with no possibility of parole or pardon. Khat is illegal in Egypt.

Publicising strongly negative opinions about Egypt or making political comments, including about the President or security forces, can cause trouble with the authorities. In some cases, derogatory comments on social media have led to custodial sentences.

Photography of, or near, military official installations is strictly prohibited. This includes the Suez Canal. Don’t photograph officials without their consent. There are sensitivities about taking photographs of public buildings or infrastructure. British nationals have been arrested for photographing electricity stations, train stations and bridges if you are in any doubt seek permission before taking photographs. Don’t use radio controlled helicopters or ‘drones’ to take photographs.

The import, production or use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) is banned in Egypt unless you have prior authorisation from the Egyptian Ministry of Defence. Citizens who use, manufacture or import drones without the approrpriate authorisation will be punished by prison terms ranging from one to 7 years and/or fines ranging from EGP 5,000 to EGP 50,000.

Although same-sex sexual activity is not explicitly criminalised in Egypt, the charge of “debauchery” has been used to prosecute LGBT people. The flying of a rainbow flag at a concert in September 2017 led to the arrest of at least 66 individuals on debauchery charges. There is little public acceptance of homosexuality in Egypt. Public expressions of homosexuality and/or public displays of affection between same-sex couples are likely to attract a high degree of unwelcome attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

The government does not interfere with the practice of Christianity but encouraging conversion to the Christian faith is illegal.

Egyptian family law is very different from UK law and particular caution is needed when, for example, child custody becomes an issue. The FCDO has published guidance for those affected by international parental child abduction, including options to consider and contact information for organisations which may be able to help.

Click here to view : Local laws and customs

Dutiable Items

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 25 cigars
  • 200 grams tobacco
  • 2 Litres of alcohol
  • Perfume for personal use
  • Scanners, printers, phones, and faxes (agreement by Egyptian Authorities required)
  • Firearms and ammunitions (authorization from the local administration required)
  • Alcohol (free for diplomats); 3000% duty (non-diplomats)
  • Perfume for personal use
  • Tobacco
  • Wireless phones

Prohibited Items

  • Wireless phones
  • Unlawful drugs and narcotics
  • Pornography
  • Cotton

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original registration card
  • Original bill of lading
  • Original passport with residence / work permit

Specific Information

  • Only diplomats may import cars older than 12 months of age.
  • The temporary registration must be obtained by the owner of the goods.
  • OBL must show chassis number, engine number, cubic capacity, year of manufacture, brand, and model.
  • Owner of the goods must pay applicable fees upon delivery.
  • For non-diplomats, taxes will range from 70% to 170 % CIF value (the value is assessed by the Customs officers).


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate

Specific Information

  • Veterinary health certificate must be issued at point of origin no more than 2 weeks from date of issue.
  • Pets will be examined upon arrival by a doctor from the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Animals suspected of having rabies will be quarantined; charges will apply.
  • Live chicks are the only bird permitted for import and must meet all health requirements.

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Import of all firearms, including sporting guns, is prohibited.


Cats and dogs must be accompanied by a valid Government veterinarian good health certificate issued at point of origin (validity two weeks from date of issue). This certificate does not exempt the pets from Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture Doctor examination on arrival. Quarantine in case of suspicion will be maximum 15 days (charges EGP 1.50 excl. food).
Prohibited: Pet birds of any description may not be brought into Egypt either as cabin baggage, hold baggage or cargo, except live chicks if they meet all health requirements as stated by the General Organization for Veterinary Services and not being imported from infected/endemic bird flu areas.

Baggage Clearance regulations:

Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Egypt.

Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Egypt if it is labeled to that destination.

Exempt: baggage of passengers arriving at Cairo (CAI) on any Star Alliance carrier and continuing to Aswan (ASW), Borg el Arab (HBE), Hurghada (HRG), Luxor (LXR), Marsa Alam (RMF), Sharm al Sheikh (SSH) or Sohag (HMB) is cleared at the airport of final destination, with the exception of baggage of Egyptian nationals arriving from Guangzhou (CAN).


Currency Import regulations:

Local currency (Egyptian Pound-EGP): up to EGP 5,000.-; foreign currencies: up to USD 10,000.- or its equivalent in freely convertible currency.

EGP obtained via postal (giro) cheques is permitted to be used for payment of hotel bills and tickets for air travel. Exchange of foreign currency is through official banks or money exchange offices.

Currency Export regulations:

Local currency (Egyptian Pound-EGP): up to EGP 5,000.-; foreign currencies: up to USD 10,000.- or its equivalent in freely convertible currency.

EGP obtained via postal (giro) cheques is permitted to be used for payment of hotel bills and tickets for air travel. Exchange of foreign currency is through official banks or money exchange offices.

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