Egypt launches ‘revolutionary’ e-invoice system

A man wearing a protective face mask shops at Exception Market before the start of night-time curfew to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19 in Cairo, Egypt March 26, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 15 November 2020

Egypt launches ‘revolutionary’ e-invoice system

  • The minister said the new system will allow the instant exchange of data for invoices in digital form

CAIRO: Egypt is set to launch a groundbreaking electronic invoice (e-invoice) system on Sunday.

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait announced the launch of the first phase of the electronic billing system, which will be the first in the country’s history.

The minister said several companies will join the system in succession until the end of June 2021, adding that the program is an important step in digital transformation as part of Egypt Vision 2030.

It is also a major step in developing the tax system and raising the efficiency of tax examination, which contributes to reclaiming the rights of the state’s public treasury in a way that helps achieve financial and economic goals. It will also enable Egypt to complete its development path and improve citizens’ standard of living.

Maait said the e-invoice system will “revolutionize” integration between the tax system and the commercial community, in order to “transform the informal economy into the formal economy.”

He added that Egypt is one of the countries leading the way in the Arab world in implementing an e-invoice system as part of a digital transformation project. The minister said the system has been closely followed and supported by the country’s political leadership.

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It is a major step in developing the tax system and raising the efficiency of tax examination.

Maait said the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Authority will provide support to companies for compulsory entry into the e-invoice system. He warned that legal measures will be taken against companies that refuse entry, including prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the new unified tax procedures law.

The minister said the new system will allow the instant exchange of data for invoices in digital form.

He said the e-invoicing will help the digital transformation of commercial transactions and will use cutting-edge technology that will formally validate the data of sources, recipients and invoice contents.

The new system is also set to bring further benefits, including increased limitations on Egypt’s black market and informal economy, Maait added.

According to the latest economic census by Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, the size of the informal economy included 53 percent of the country’s businesses, which employ about 4 million, or 29.3 percent of the workforce.

The volume of money invested in the sector amounted to 69.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.4 billion), representing about 5.1 percent of the paid-up capital of Egypt’s total economic activity.

Egyptian economists and finance experts estimate the size of the informal economy in Egypt at $395 billion — about 50 percent of the country’s economy.

The informal economy, represented by mostly small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, is not subject to quality or tax supervision.

Informal or black market businesses are spread across Egypt in the form of street vendors, markets, food carts, restaurants, factories and unlicensed real estate.


UAE records 1,251 new coronavirus cases

Updated 18 min 30 sec ago

UAE records 1,251 new coronavirus cases

  • The total number of cases in the UAE since the pandemic began had reached 167,753, with the death toll now at 570

DUBAI: The UAE on Sunday recorded one death and 1,251 new coronavirus cases.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said that the total number of cases since the pandemic began had reached 167,753, with the death toll now at 570.

The ministry added that 736 people had recovered over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 154,185.

On Saturday, Abu Dhabi Ports said that it would store and distribute 70 million coronavirus vaccines to continue to play “a vital role in the global fight against COVID-19, using its enhanced logistics capabilities.”

The vaccines will be stored at Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, and is part of the Hope Consortium initiative launched by Abu Dhabi last month that “aims to serve as a logistics platform to coordinate and facilitate the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine around the world.”

Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’a Department of Health, said that the emirates “continues to play a vital role within the global effort to discover a vaccine for COVID-19. And as part of those efforts, we are providing logistical capabilities that will position the UAE as a distinguished local, regional, and global distribution hub.”

Meanwhile, Robert Sutton, head of Logistics Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Abu Dhabi Ports’ ability in expanding capacity to receive and store clinical, pharmaceutical and life science materials at moderate and extreme temperature ranges is a testament to our commitment to offer world-class logistics solutions.

“Our Department of Health-licensed facility fully integrates the movement of cargo with state-of-the-art temperature, humidity, and refrigeration-controlled technology. Abu Dhabi Ports, through our highly advanced infrastructure and multimodal connectivity, is ready and able to meet the challenges of distributing sensitive pharmaceuticals quickly across the supply chain,” he said.

Elsewhere, Kuwait recorded 231 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 142,426. The death toll reached 878 after three new fatalities were registered.

Oman’s Health Ministry said that its total number of cases had reached 123,484 and the death toll was 1,418.

In Bahrain, one death was reported, bringing the toll to 338, while 150 new infected cases were confirmed.