Monday, 22 April 2019
By Khaled Desouki

Egypt eases sanitary requirements on imports

Egypt has eased its sanitary rules on poultry imports. As per a government decree from last March, inspection of poultry batches from slaughter to delivery at the port of shipping by Egyptian-accredited veterinarians is no longer required.

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The measure applies to all countries affiliated with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Brazil included.

According to information from the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce , this means less paperwork and costs involved in shipping chicken meat to Egypt, since the inspection costs used to have to be met by the exporters.

This decision was the result of focused industry-specific work involving the Arab Chamber, Abiec (the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association),ABPA (the Brazilian Animal Protein Association), Fambras (the Federation of Muslim Associations in Brazil) and the Embassy of Brazil in Egypt. It opens up new vistas in Brazil-Egypt trade,said Arab Chamber president Rubens Hannun.

He estimates it will be 10% cheaper to export now, considering an average daily fee of USD 200 paid to Egyptian veterinarians, plus some 40 days' worth of travel and accommodation costs.

Egypt is the third leading buyer of Brazilian beef and became the leading Arab buyer of goods from Brazil last year at USD 2.13 billion and ahead of Saudi Arabia. This however does not apply to poultry. Egypt placed 23rd on the list of destinations for Brazilian poultry last year at USD 76.2 million in sales less than one tenth of what Saudi Arabia took in.

With laxer sanitary requirements in place, Egypt becomes a more promising market for Brazilian exporters, at a time when Saudi Arabia usually the biggest market for Brazil cuts down on imports to encourage the domestic industry. The Saudis hope to get reliance on poultry imports from a current 70% to 40% by 2030.

Hannun also notes that Egypt is the most populated Arab country at 97 million, a tendency towards major population growth, and hiking consumption of semi-processed protein products.

Until not long ago, most Egyptians used to eat locally sourced donkey meat. At this time, front-quarter beef cuts are widespread in supermarkets, and access to our poultry products has just grown easier, now that a major barrier has ceased to exist, the Arab Chamber president pointed out.

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