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The basic definitions of the rules included in the diplomatic vehicles exemption system are as follows:
1-Permanent Release System (PRS):
The vehicle released under (PRS) means that it could be sold in the local market with the exemption from paying customs duties -within the specified limits- provided that the required period is met and the sales tax is paid in case of it being due, taking into consideration the principle of reciprocity. A basic condition to consider a vehicle under (PRS) is that it is released in the same year of production.
2-Temporary Release System (TRS):
The vehicle released under (TRS) means that it is released without collecting customs duties and other relevant taxes and fees on a temporary basis. In case of its disposal in the local market all those duties and taxes should be paid in full.
3-Customs exemption limits:
The exemption limit on selling a diplomatic vehicle under (PRS) is US$ 40000,-- or the vehicle's value according to the invoice presented upon release of the vehicle, whichever is less, i.e.:
4-It is allowed to dispose of diplomatic vehicles through any of the following options (free of customs duties):
1-The diplomatic mission is allowed to release a number of vehicles for official use in light of the principle of reciprocity and the number of its members. Official vehicles are permitted to be disposed of provided the elapse of five years from the date of release under (PRS). The exemption limit is US$ 40000,-- or the vehicle's value according to the invoice presented upon release of the vehicle, whichever is less. In case the vehicle's value exceeds US$ 40000,-- customs duties are payable on the difference. As for vehicles released under (TRS) they could be sold in the local market after paying customs duties and other imposed taxes and fees or re-exported outside of Egypt or transferred to a mission or a member enjoying diplomatic privileges.
2-The Head of Mission has the right to import two vehicles during his post in Egypt, one under (PRS) and the other under (TRS). He has the right to sell the (PRS) vehicle with the exemption according to the applicable rules after the elapse of two years from the date of release and within the maximum limit of US$ 40000,-- or the vehicle's value according to the invoice presented upon release of the vehicle, whichever is less. As for the vehicle released under (TRS) it could be sold in the local market after paying customs duties and other imposed taxes and fees or re-exported outside of Egypt or transferred to a mission or a member enjoying diplomatic privileges.
3-A married diplomat has the right to import two vehicles during his post in Egypt, one under (PRS) and the other under (TRS). He has the right to sell the (PRS) vehicle with the exemption according to the applicable rules after the elapse of three years from the date of release and within the maximum limit of US$ 40000,-- or the vehicle's value according to the invoice presented upon release of the vehicle, whichever is less. As for the vehicle released under (TRS) it could be sold in the local market after paying customs duties and other imposed taxes and fees or re-exported outside of Egypt or transferred to a mission or a member enjoying diplomatic privileges.
4-An unmarried diplomat has the right to import only one vehicle during his post in Egypt under (PRS) or (TRS). He has the right to dispose either of them as abovementioned after the elapse of three years. He is not permitted to import a second vehicle after disposing of the first one.
5-A married couple accredited at the same diplomatic mission would be treated separately as two unmarried diplomats.
6-The administrative member (non-diplomat) has the right to release only one vehicle during his post under (TRS) provided that he buys it within the first six months of his arrival, taking into consideration the principle of reciprocity.
7-In case of the sudden termination of tour of duty customs exemption will be applicable only after at least twelve months from the date of release of the vehicle. In such case, a copy of the transfer decree should be attached along with the approval and signature of the Head of Mission and setting the definitive date of departure.
8-Selling diplomatic vehicles is subject to sales tax according to the official rates up to five years from the date of release taking into account the principle of reciprocity.
9-Diplomatic vehicles belonging to International and Regional Organizations and its members are subject to relevant headquarters agreements.
10-In emergency cases, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or whom he might authorize, has the right to grant an exception from the abovementioned rules within the framework of the principle of reciprocity.
1-Embassies and International Organizations accredited in Egypt must fully comply with assigned quotas for official use. Requesting an increase of these quotas will not be approved except in cases of extreme necessity. Vehicles purchased from the local market when licensed with diplomatic plates would be regarded as part of the official of personal quota of the mission.
2-It is necessary to get a prior approval of the required vehicle from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before starting the importation procedures. The Ministry will not look into any issues of possible storage expenses in the customs facilities resulting from any delay of getting the approval at a later stage.
3-All foreign missions in Egypt should refrain from requesting the release of luxurious or sportive vehicles which are not in accordance with the position or type of work of the respective diplomat. It is necessary as well to attach all the required data for the imported vehicle: Model, Motor capacity "c.c.", Price … etc.
4-For the vehicle to be released under (PRS) it has to meet the applicable importation conditions, most importantly to be released in the same year of production.
5-In case of requesting the release of an armored vehicle or a right-hand drive one the Egyptian regulations specifies that they will be released always under (TRS) even if the vehicle is released in the same year of production. It is not permitted to sell those vehicles in the local market. They should be re-exported immediately at the end of their usage in Egypt.
6-When requesting the release of motorcycles Egyptian authorities will do so always under (TRS) even if the motorcycle is released in the same year of production.
7-All foreign missions are requested to license their official and personal vehicles with diplomatic plate numbers (green color) and not ordinary plate numbers (blue color) except in case of an explicit written consent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has been decided to apply all relevant customs, fees and taxes in case of disposing of a diplomatic vehicle carrying ordinary plate numbers in contradiction with the regulations in force.
1-The purpose of privileges and immunities granted to diplomatic missions and its members is to guarantee the efficient performance in their functions and not to achieve personal gains or profits. Thus, all diplomats benefiting from these privileges and immunities are held responsible to respect laws and regulations of the host country, especially when it comes to maintaining security, public order and safety of its citizens.
2-The processes of selling, transferring, re-exporting or conceding diplomatic vehicles are considered a deduction from the diplomat's quota during his tenure at the mission. This is also applicable to the vehicles allocated to non-diplomats.
3-Official and personal diplomatic vehicles are not to be disposed of without a prior approval from the Protocol Department. The vehicle should not be delivered to the buyer until all procedures are fulfilled and all due fees are paid. In case of violation, the vehicle might be confiscated by customs authorities and relevant taxes, fees or fines are paid in order to return the vehicle to its owner.
4-Sale procedures must be performed before the vehicle's owner leaves the country. In case of any violation, customs duties and other taxes and fees have to be paid given that the exemption is granted only to the diplomat during his tour of duty in the country and not after the end of his post (except in cases of sudden transfer).
5-The approval for selling or re-exporting an exempted vehicle would be issued only after paying all due traffic fines –if any- according to the principle of reciprocity. This principle might not be applicable in the case of infringes that endanger citizens lives.
6-Diplomatic plate numbers has to be handed over to the competent traffic authorities as well as providing the Protocol Department with relevant documents related to selling, transferring or re-exporting of the exempted vehicle in order to get the final settlement.
1-The validity period of Protocol Department approvals for diplomatic vehicles is up to three months from the date of issue. Renewal of the validity of these approvals should be done through an official note from the concerned Embassy or Organization. In this case, the principle of reciprocity will be reviewed before granting the renewal letter.
2-Removing, replacing or exchanging diplomatic plate numbers is not allowed and may expose the concerned vehicle to certain procedures by the police authorities in order to confirm its identification.
3-It is totally forbidden to give access to any diplomatic vehicle –either official or personal- to a person who is not enjoying the diplomatic privileges. In case of violation, the vehicle could be confiscated by customs authorities and relevant taxes, fees or fines will be paid in order to return the vehicle to its owner.
4-The annual renewal fees for the licenses of (TRS) vehicles are four hundred Egyptian pounds. Any delay in the renewal of these licenses would be subject to a fine of one hundred Egyptian pounds per month.
5-All diplomatic vehicles transactions should be done through the specified forms available on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.mfa.gov.eg.
6-Diplomatic missions are kindly requested to inform all new members about the abovementioned rules and regulations before their arrival to Egypt to avoid facing any difficulties upon their arrival.
7-This Circular Note will enter into force starting on 14th April 2011, with the exception of the applications related to selling personal diplomatic vehicles due to the end of post in Egypt. In this last case the previous regulations issued in Circular Note No. 1 of the year 2002 will prevail until 31st August 2011. As of 1st September 2011 there will not be any more exceptions and the new rules and regulations will be effective in all diplomatic vehicles transactions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs –Protocol Department- avails itself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of its highest consideration.