Egypt raises import duties on luxury goods to 40 per cent

CAIRO – Egypt has placed new import duties on luxury goods, applying a presidential decree aimed at steering demand toward local products.

Cairo airport official Mohammed Mahmoud says Sunday that the decree issued last week raises taxes 10 percentage points to 40 per cent.

The affected goods include household appliances, consumer electronics — including game consoles and stereo equipment — clothing, perfumes, pens, lighters, watches and nuts.

The move comes as Egypt attempts to shore up dollar reserves and make sure they are used for essential products like food commodities, industrial equipment, raw materials and medicine.

The economy is still reeling from years of turmoil following the 2011 overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and many importers have turned to a black market for dollars in order to pay for imported goods.