If you are travelling to Egypt for a holiday or business trip, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the country's customs rules before you leave, and to find out what you can take with you to Egypt and what you can take back with you. In addition, it is recommended to apply for an Egypt visa before departure.
Customs rules Egypt
Travellers are not allowed to take any and all products into Egypt. Certain products, such as tobacco and alcohol, may only be imported in limited quantities. Restrictions also apply to the import of animals, food and perfume, among other things. Baggage is checked upon arrival at Egypt's airport. In addition, before entering the country, you have to be able to present a valid visa at border controls. The Egypt visa, which can be applied for online, must therefore be printed right after it has been issued, so that it can be presented upon arrival in Egypt. Luggage is also checked when leaving Egypt. Certain products, such as foodstuffs, gold, silver and, above all, antiques, may not be exported, or may be exported only under strict conditions.
What can be taken into Egypt?
The following products may be taken into Egypt without extra charges in limited quantities: 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco (per person). For alcoholic beverages, a maximum quantity of 1 litre is allowed. There is no minimum age for taking alcohol, cigarettes, cigars or tobacco with you, as long as you do not exceed the maximum quantity. Only a reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use may be carried and a maximum of one litre of eau de cologne.
Items for personal use or gifts may have a maximum value of 1,500 Egyptian pounds (just over £80,-). This does not apply to goods from the tax-free zones at the airport. Tax-free products purchased at the airport may have a value of US$200, as long as no other products are imported. Money also has a maximum limit you can carry: 5,000 Egyptian pounds (EGP) or any other currency with a maximum value of 10,000 US dollars may be freely imported.
Some products are even banned entirely, including cotton, poultry, products derived from birds, and firearms (including sports weapons). Drones can only be imported with a special licence. The use of drones without a licence can be severely punished and can even lead to imprisonment. Of course, drugs and narcotics may not be imported either. The use or possession of drugs (including soft drugs) is harshly punished in Egypt. Travellers who have to carry medicines with them to Egypt are advised to consult the government website page regarding carrying important medicines abroad. There you can read, for example, whether you need a special note from your physician.
Bringing animals to Egypt
Strict rules apply to the import of animals into Egypt. Cats and dogs may only be brought on journeys if you have a valid health certificate issued by a government-approved veterinarian. All animals are examined on arrival by a veterinarian of the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture, who may impose a mandatory quarantine of 15 days. Birds may not be taken into Egypt under any circumstances. Only live chicks can be exempted if they meet the health requirements of the Egyptian General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS).
What can I bring back from Egypt?
Products that have been freely imported upon arrival in Egypt may also be taken back with you. However, it is forbidden to take food from Egypt back to your home country. Gold and silver may only be taken in very small quantities and for personal use only. Currency may also be exported freely in the same amounts: a maximum of 5,000 Egyptian pounds or any other currency with a value of up to 10,000 US dollars.
Visa application for Egypt
The Egypt visa can easily be applied for online if the requirements for the e-visa are met. Travellers must have a normal passport that is still valid for at least 8 months at the time of arrival. In addition, they must have an itinerary with an overview of the flights and accommodations booked. Travellers visiting friends or family in Egypt must also be able to present a letter of invitation.
On average, the Egypt visa is granted after one week. Travellers who are leaving at short notice and do not yet have a visa can apply for an urgent visa. Urgent applications are processed after two to five working days on average. Travellers are required to print their visa for Egypt after it has been issued, so that the visa can be presented at border control upon arrival.