In an effort to encourage local production, Law No. 15 of the year 2017 on the Facilitation of Granting Licenses to Industrial Facilities was published in the Official Gazette on May 3, 2017. The law has recently been implemented, whereas in April 2018, 1,345 industrial facilities obtained licenses under the new law – compared to 153 facilities in April 2017. By now, there have been more than 10,000 licenses granted under the new law. Indeed, the new law has helped speed up the licensing of industrial facilities by replacing a similar section in Law. No 453 of 1954 on Industrial and Commercial Workshops. The law applies to all industrial establishment, including those inside of free zones and investment zones.
The new law starts by setting out a few fundamental aspects, some definitions, and explanation on the licensing requirements and on the bodies granting them. For example, one of the key provisions has led to the unification of previously scattered bodies into one body: The General Authority for Industrial Development. This centralizes the power of industrial licensing into a single one-stop-ship authority. The law requires this authority to respond to applications within thirty days for high-risk facilities, and seven days for low-risk facilities. These applications can be filled out by hand or submitted electronically. Projects that are considered medium-sized, small, or very small, can be granted a license simply through notification. The whole process has been shortened from seven steps to three steps only.
The law aims to change the landscape of industrial development, with a greater purpose of increasing industrial competition and removing the bureaucracy that previously came with such licensing. In fact, the government has identified the importance of taking care of the industrial sector in Egypt, as it is one of the key aspects that will help nurture Egypt’s economy. For that reason, the new law eliminates old constraints on such growth and makes the process easier for applicants and recipients alike. The government aims to see a growth of 8% in the industrial sector by 2020. Moreover, facilitating the granting of licenses is likely to attract both foreign and local investment, encouraging new projects of all sizes.
The new law places a new philosophy around license-granting in Egypt. It encourages those interested in entering the industrial market to do so easily and efficiently because of the existence of the new General Authority for Industrial Development, and because of its mandated prompt responses.