Investment Law No. 8 of 1997 (which cancelled Law 230 of 1989) is a combination of incentives, customs exemptions and many new investor protections and guarantees. Investment Law No. 8 of 1997 and Companies Law No. 159 of 1981 and their amendments are two key laws that regulate the investment environment in Egypt.
Among the guarantees that Law No. 8 offers investors are the following:
- Companies may not be confiscated or nationalized.
- Companies and their assets cannot be sequestered, seized or expropriated by administrative order.
- No administrative body can interfere in setting prices or profit margins.
- Projects are allowed to repatriate their capital and profits.
- Projects may be entirely owned by foreigners. Furthermore, their boards of directors may be wholly composed of foreigners.
- Projects are exempted from certain labor requirements of the Egyptian Companies’ Law and the Labor Law.
- Foreign experts’ salaries are exempted from income tax if their stay in Egypt is shorter than one year.
- Projects are free to maintain foreign currency bank accounts.
- Projects are subject to a flat rate of 5 per cent in customs duties on imported equipment and machinery.
- Projects are exempt from stamp duties and notarization fees for 3 years from the date of registration with the commercial register.
- Projects are exempt from all registration and notarization charges normally levied on contracts.