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  #1  
Old 21 May 2004
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Egyptian Customs Rip off for vehicle over 2 litres

All
As of 16th May 2004 if you enter Egypt with a vehicle over 2000 CC the customs and excise (non-refundable) tariff has risen to 3,002 EGP Pounds (roughyl USD 450). For vehicles of 2000 CC and less it remains 1,000 EGP Pound. This could be a local customs charge - we crossed at Salloum (border with Libya). We called numerous offices before paying, and it seems it is genuine. We were told by the Customs officer that we were the first people to pay - a dubious honour!
Also - for complicated reasons we had a carnet with company name on and not our names (the drivers). Despite RAC letters etc we had to leave vehicle at border and bus/train to Cairo (900 kms) to have a stamp in Carnet. Took 80 hours to get vehicle released. Make sure for Egypt that your name appears on Carnet!
later
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  #2  
Old 25 May 2004
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I wouldnt put it past Egyptian customs officials to make up a 'price increase' on the spot. Expats in Egypt are seen as walking cash dispensers.
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Old 25 May 2004
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i know hindsight is a great thing, but had you done your research (on this site?) you'd have known that egypt, bar none, is the worst place on this planet to attempt to enter/leave with a motor vehicle.

unless you have masochistic tendencies and genuinely enjoy self-harm, don't go near the place with your bike or car.
cheers
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  #4  
Old 26 May 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Runner:
I wouldnt put it past Egyptian customs officials to make up a 'price increase' on the spot...
Not really, the government does that every once in a while when it needs cash. A number of ridicules taxes have been introduced in the country in the last few days, including a 10% development tax on cars…..

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  #5  
Old 27 May 2004
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[QUOTE]'price increase' on the spot..

A straightforward explanation of of this new law must report that... ok the price increase , but also the terms of the time stay, Now from 3 to 6 months.. !

Regards Budrinna
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  #6  
Old 27 May 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by A.B.:

Not really, the government does that every once in a while when it needs cash. A number of ridicules taxes have been introduced in the country in the last few days, including a 10% development tax on cars…..

[/B]
There is no 'not really' AB.
You may not realise the way foreigners are treated by Egyptian officials and police officers, especially foreigners in 4x4s. Spot fines for spurious reasons, fictional taxes and basic extortion hiding under all sorts of stupid excuses are so common as to be not worth even mentioning.

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  #7  
Old 27 May 2004
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I'll be interested to see if Egypt ends up as the worst, though, from your route...?

Sam.
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  #8  
Old 27 May 2004
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[/B]</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
There is no 'not really' AB.
You may not realise the way foreigners are treated by Egyptian officials and police officers,

[/B][/QUOTE]

I reckon AB has a better idea than you mate, he was a great help to me when I had visa/carnet problems last year and I know I'm not the first person he's helped.

Geoff
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  #9  
Old 30 May 2004
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[/B][/QUOTE]

I reckon AB has a better idea than you mate, he was a great help to me when I had visa/carnet problems last year and I know I'm not the first person he's helped.

Geoff[/B][/QUOTE]

Actually 'mate' I dont agree. I reckon AB probably knows what he is talking about in a lot of ways - but as for how foreigners are treated by Egyptian bureaucracy I would doubt it. I think you have to -be- a foreigner to get a feeling for that.

There is a large expat community out here who has nothing but contempt for the way foreigners are 'milked' for money.
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Old 30 May 2004
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Perhaps I should had emphasized that the “Not really” statement was a comment to the “MAKE UP a price increase” statement as I know the officers you deal with do not just make up these charges themselves. They get official written orders from above (I’ve personally seen a couple of these official memos) and these orders are enforced equally on everybody even Egyptians if similar circumstances apply. I’m not defending this “milking”, its ridiculous and should be stopped; it’s just not a spur of the moment thing because you’re a foreigner.

As for spot fines, fictional taxes and basic extortion, If they’ll give you a receipt then it’s not an on the spot thing, and if they’re not going to give you a receipt then you shouldn’t pay. If they insist call the Tourism Police, they will sort out most problems. I’m sure your embassy will also have a protocol to handling this.

Just a note, I have a much better idea then you might think since these are the same tactics the government uses with us Egyptians in almost every aspects of our lives. Taxes, customs, electricity, water, DMV, health care, insurance, etc…. you name it, the same Mafia tactics are used and we suffer and mostly pay up. Believe it or not the government is kinder to you foreigners since the country depends on tourism and the fact that you can easily leave, but we are stuck here and have no where to go. But forget that since this has nothing to do with traveling. Consider this; If I want to buy a car or a motorcycle I have to pay customs that starts from 100%. Yes, that’s 100% and it can pass 200% depending on how exotic the car is. Also the carnet charges for me as an Egyptian is double of what you pay. Also I have a lot of foreigners friends, some of them are my best friends, one of them is my girlfriend and I work with a bunch of them, and we talk.

Take care,
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[This message has been edited by A.B. (edited 30 May 2004).]
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  #11  
Old 31 May 2004
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by A.B.:
"Perhaps I should had emphasized that the “Not really” statement was a comment to the “MAKE UP a price increase” statement (EDIT) it’s just not a spur of the moment thing because you’re a foreigner. "

I appreciate what you say. I do however stick to my original point, which is that there are many police officers (especially in Sinai) (I appreciate they may be the ones in more remote places) who will create arbitrary spot fines of varying amounts. I have been lucky and avoided the worst of this - but there are colleagues of mine who are not so lucky. Expats in big tax-free 4x4s are huge targets (and perhaps who can blame the cop?!). Apache Oil had a huge problem with this a few years ago out towards Siwa and their Khalda field.

"As for spot fines, fictional taxes and basic extortion, If they’ll give you a receipt then it’s not an on the spot thing, and if they’re not going to give you a receipt then you shouldn’t pay."

Easy for you to say when you are fluent in Arabic. I would imagine most foreigners who do not have that ability wouldn't think to ask for a receipt from a gun-toting policeman, especially if the driver is a woman. It is not unknown for a policeman to claim to be illiterate. I dont know how accurate this is.

"Just a note, I have a much better idea then you might think since these are the same tactics the government uses with us Egyptians in almost every aspects of our lives."

I have no doubt. However I would say that a non-Arabic speaking expat has less idea of how to deal with this situation than a local (and you could say, with great justification, that expats that come to the Arabic world to live should learn Arabic. I have no answer there)

"Believe it or not the government is kinder to you foreigners since the country depends on tourism and the fact that you can easily leave,"

Yes I know that. I also know that whilst the government and senior officers are amenable to this view, many beat and traffic officers are not. One colleague of mine was told to "f*ck off home to America" when she was pulled over for "speeding" (she was in a car that was incapable of speeding, on an unsurfaced track... go figure)

I realise that what is at the root of this is basically a difference of human nature. It's a real shame.
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