EGYPT BACKGROUND CHECK

General Information

GDP USD259.5bn (2012 estimate)
Population 80.72 million (World ranking 16, World Bank 2012)
Form of state Republic
Head of government Interim administration backed by the military
Next elections Undergoing political transition, presidential and parliamentary polls in 2014

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PRODUCTS IN EGYPT

Data Protection

Contribution Details

John Matouk

Managing Partner

Dr. Mohamed ramadan

Senior Associate

Mohamed abdel Gawad

Associate

Mohamed fathy

Junior Associate

Law

Egypt does not have a law which regulates protection of personal data. However, there are some piecemeal provisions in connection with data protection in different laws and regulations in Egypt.

Constitutional principles concerning individuals’ right to privacy under the Egyptian Constitution as well as general principles on compensation for unlawful acts under the Egyptian Civil Code govern the collection, use and processing of personal data.

In addition, the Egyptian Penal Code no. 58/1937 imposes criminal punishment for unlawful collection of images or recordings for individuals in private places. Some other laws provide

for protection and confidentiality on certain data, such as the Egyptian Labour Law no. 12/2003 (confidentiality of the employee’s file information including punishment and assessment) and

the Egyptian Banking Law no. 88/2003 (confidentiality of client and account information). Egyptian Civil Status Law no. 143/1994 provides for the confidentiality of citizens’ civil status data. The Executive Regulations of Mortgage Finance Law no. 148/2001 issued by virtue of Cabinet Decree no. 1/2001 as amended by Prime Minister Decree no. 465/2005 has a similar clause which provides for the confidentiality of the data of the clients of mortgage

finance companies. The Mentally Disordered Care Law no. 71/2009 has the same clause on

confidentiality of the patient’s data.

The New Constitution has been promulgated in December 2012 and has replaced all the previous Constitutional Declarations issued by the Armed Forces Supreme Council and the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The New Constitution has not defined data protection. However, it referred to the legislative authority to regulate the communication of data in a manner that does not encroach upon the privacy of citizens, their rights and National Security.

Definition of Personal Data

There is no definition of personal data or private life under Egyptian law or the New Constitution. However, Egyptian laws provide examples of the personal data that are protected such as the Labour Law. Article 77 of the Labour Law provides that the employees’ files that must be kept

by the employer (as mentioned below) includes the employee’s personal data such as his name, job, professional skills when he joined the workplace, domicile, marital status, salary, starting date of his work, the holiday leave he takes, punishments imposed on him and the reports of his superiors on his work.

Definition of sensitive Personal Data

There is no definition of sensitive personal data under Egyptian law.

National Data Protection authority

There is no national authority responsible for data protection in Egypt.

Registration

There is no requirement or facility to register data in a specific register.

Data Protection officers

There is no requirement in Egypt for organizations to appoint a data protection officer.

Collection and Processing

According to the principles of the Egyptian Civil Code, the collection, use or processing of personal data is prohibited in case it violates the individual right to privacy and provided that such collection, use or processing constitutes a fault pursuant to the Egyptian Civil Code. A fault is defined by the judiciary as an act or omission that violates an obligation imposed by the law or assumed caution and care of the average man.

Only data which is considered pertinent to the data subject’s private life requires the consent of the data subject. The competent courts will determine whether specific data is considered pertinent

to the private life of the data subject or not and whether the collection or processing of such data

violates an obligation imposed by the law or assumed caution and care of the average man.

Collecting data about the employee is required by law (Article 77 of the Egyptian Labour Law) which provides that each employer must keep a file for each employee which includes their personal data. Only certain persons are authorized by the law to have access to such data.

Transfer

The same general principles applicable to data collection and processing mentioned above apply to the transfer of data; the data controller may not transfer data pertinent to the private life of the data subject except after obtaining the consent of the data subject, unless otherwise permitted by the law.

Security

Other than client and account data in banks, personal data controllers are not required by law to take specific measures against unauthorized or unlawful processing, accidental loss or destruction of,

or damage to, personal data. The data controllers will be held liable according to the average man standard if their acts or omissions cause the processing, loss, destruction or damage to such personal data and this in turn results in damage being caused to the data subject.

Breach notification

There is no mandatory legal requirement in the Egyptian law to report data security breaches or losses to the authorities or to data subjects.

Enforcement

As a general rule, civil liability may be raised in connection with violations against the individuals’ right to privacy. The prejudiced data subject should establish to the competent court the unlawful act, the damage occurred to them and the causation relationship between the unlawful act and the damage.

Civil liability for data privacy infringement has not been frequently claimed before Egyptian courts.

Electronic Marketing

Egyptian law does not have any specific provisions which regulate Electronic Marketing.

Online Privacy (including cookies and Location Data)

Egyptian law does not have any specific provisions which regulate online privacy.

Article 158

During the term of his office, the Minister shall not practice a free profession – a commercial or financial or industrial occupation, buy or rent any State property, or lease or sell to or barter with the State any of his own property.

Article 159

The President of the Republic and the People’s Assembly shall have the right to bring a minister to trial for crimes committed by him in the performance of, or because of, the duties of his post.

The decision of the People’s Assembly to charge a minister shall be adopted upon a proposal submitted by at least one-fifth of its members.

Indictment shall be issued only by a majority of two- thirds of the members of the Assembly.

الدستور

(The Constitution is established in 1971 and has amendments (1980, 2005 and,2007),which provides that the minister can not engage in any other profession or business and make strict restrictions on the handling of personal property during the term of his office.)

المادة (158)

لا يجوز للوزير أثناء تولى منصبه أن يزاول مهنة حرة أو عملا تجاريا أو ماليا أو صناعيا، أو أن يشترى

أو يستأجر شيئا من أموال الدولة، أو أن يؤجرها أو يبيعها شيئا من أمواله أو أن يقايضها عليه.

المادة (159)

لرئيس الجمهورية ولمجلس الشعب حق إحالة الوزير إلى المحاآمة عما يقع منه من جرائم أثناء

تأدية أعمال وظيفته أو بسببها.

ويكون قرار مجلس الشعب باتهام الوزير بناء على اقتراح يقدم من خمس أعضائه على الأقل، ولا

يصدر قرار الاتهام ألا بأغلبية ثلثي أعضاء المجلس.

Police Background Check Procedures

Who can apply?

Residents:
• Apply to the Ministry of Interior, at the local Police Station which will forward the request to the Department of Criminal Investigations, Cairo. Non-residents:
• Apply in person through your nearest Egyptian embassy or consulate. The consular officer will obtain copies of your fingerprints and forward the application to the Ministry of Interior in Cairo.

What must the applicant supply?

• Fingerprints from local police,
ID and a photo: http://content.met.police.uk/Site/fingerprints
• Forms can be bought and stamp duty paid at post offices in Egypt.

What are the costs / turnaround times?

• Fee: three Egyptian pounds for standard and six Egyptian pounds for urgent.
• Processing time is approximately 24 hours for urgent requests and 3–4 days for standard requests.

Contact Details

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
26 South Street W1K 1DW
020 7499 3304/2401
Fax: 020 7491 1542
Email: eg.emb_london@mfa.gov.eg
Email: egtamboff@gmail.com

Egypt – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

Egypt is not considered a regional financial center or a major hub for money laundering. Egypt has a large informal cash economy, and many financial transactions are undocumented or do not enter the banking system. Cash remains by far the preferred means of payment in Egypt and, despite efforts by the Egyptian authorities, the use of the formal financial sector remains underdeveloped. Reportedly, arms are smuggled across Egypt‘s border with Gaza; the funding source and the destination of the proceeds are not clear. Authorities report trade-based money laundering is common, reportedly to avoid taxes and customs fees. Tax evasion also is common. Customs fraud and invoice manipulation also are found in regional value transfer schemes. Since the Egyptian revolution, the attention of Egypt‘s money laundering investigating agencies has been focused almost exclusively on investigating allegations of illicit gains or corruption under the Mubarak regime. The European Union has taken action to freeze the assets of Mubarak and several members of his regime based on their apparent misappropriation from the Egyptian state.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

A PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: YES

Egypt – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Egyptian Law:

    • Banks
    • Foreign exchange companies
    • Money transfer companies
    • the post office
    • Insurance companies
    • Security firms
    • Leasing companies
    • Factoring companies
    • Mortgage financing companies

Egypt – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 2,253 from June 2008 – June 2011

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Egyptian Law:

    • Banks
    • Foreign exchange companies
    • Money transfer companies
    • the post office
    • Insurance companies
    • Security firms
    • Leasing companies
    • Factoring companies
    • Mortgage financing companies

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: One in 2011
Convictions: Seven from January 2008 – June 2011

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

The Government of Egypt (GOE) has been hesitant to utilize its money laundering statutes to their full legal extent. Overlapping jurisdiction and poorly defined areas of responsibility have hindered money laundering investigations in Egypt. Egypt‘s FIU also suffers from a lack of resources and analysts that is likely slowing enforcement efforts. The GOE should work to improve interagency coordination and information-sharing in investigations of suspicious transactions and financial activities. Egypt would benefit from increased funding and a greater number of investigators and prosecutors dedicated to pursuing money laundering crimes.

Specifically, Egypt should work to increase the number of successful money laundering investigations and prosecutions and improve its enforcement of cross-border currency controls, including by providing training on coordinating and conducting complex financial investigations and by enhancing coordination with regional and MENAFATF partners. The GOE should also work to more effectively manage its asset forfeiture regime, including the identification, seizure and forfeiture of assets.

Risk

Sovereign risk

The large, primarily public debt stock and a persistently high fiscal deficit will continue to impair Egypt’s creditworthiness. Although Gulf Arab aid inflows will be forthcoming, they will decline compared with 2013‘14. The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that the external debt stock will rise in 2015‘16, to an average of US$53.9bn, but will remain manageable at 15.5% of GDP. Ongoing security uncertainties pose additional downside risks to the sovereign rating.

Banking sector risk

Domestic banks’ profits should be bolstered by the expected high returns on government debt instruments. Yet the commensurate high exposure to sovereign risk places the banking sector increasingly at the mercy of government financial performance.

Political risk

A parliamentary election due later this year will finalise Egypt’s latest political transition. The president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is expected to restore the authority of the state and to engender a measure of political stability. However, the greatest risk to long-term stability stems from the divisions between the current regime, the liberal opposition and the deposed Muslim Brotherhood.

Economic structure risk

The economy is well diversified, but security uncertainties nevertheless pose a great risk to earnings from hydrocarbons and the tourism sector, as well as to domestic and foreign investor appetite. In addition, Egypt’s high and rising domestic public debt levels push up debt service payments and in turn crowd out needed capital investment.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Sinai Peninsula (except coastal resorts, such as Sharm El-Sheikh) (see Advisory)

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against all travel to the Sinai Peninsula, with the exception of the coastal resorts, such as Sharm El-Sheikh, where you should exercise caution.

The security situation in the Sinai in the areas bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip remains extremely dangerous as the Egyptian military is currently engaged in military operations against terrorists in the region. A three-month state of emergency has been declared in the Sinai Peninsula on October 24, 2014. A 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew is in place. Road blockades by unsanctioned groups as well as kidnappings, robberies and carjackings by armed groups and terrorists have been reported in many areas of the Sinai. You are discouraged from visiting St. Catherine’s Monastery or taking any other day trips from Sharm El-Sheikh as attacks and roadblocks have occurred outside of Sharm El-Sheikh city limits.

Western Desert (see Advisory)

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against non-essential travel to the Western Desert, including Siwa, Farafra, Dahkla, Bawati/Bahariya, and the White and Black deserts.

On July 19, 2014, an armed group attacked a security checkpoint along the Farafra-Bawati road in the New Valley Governate, killing 22 security forces officers. This was the second attack on this checkpoint. On June 1, 2014, an attack killed one officer and five conscripts from the same security unit. On May 31, 2014, six patrolling Egyptian soldiers were killed in the western desert area of Al-Wahat.

If you intend to travel to the southwest area of Egypt bordering Sudan and Libya, you will be required to apply for a permit from the Travel Permits Department at the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior. You should consider the risks to your personal safety and ensure you have made appropriate security arrangements. The border areas are porous, and bandits and armed groups are known to be active.

Sinai Peninsula coastal resorts, including Sharm El-Sheikh

On May 2, 2014, two bomb blasts in El Tor (At Tur) left several people dead and injured. On February 16, 2014, a bomb exploded on a tourist bus in Taba, located approximately three hours by vehicle from Sharm El-Sheikh, killing four people and injuring several others. Terrorist groups may target further areas in South Sinai, including coastal resorts such as Sharm El-Sheikh. While there are enhanced security measures in place to protect the tourism infrastructure in Sharm El-Sheikh, the area may be seen as a high-value target by terrorists. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and follow the advice of local authorities.

Coastal resorts in the Sinai, including Sharm El-Sheikh, Dahab and Nuweiba have, in the past, seen incidents of robbery. Tensions between security authorities and local Bedouin tribes may rise unexpectedly, affecting tourism.

If you are visiting Sharm El-Sheikh you are strongly discouraged from using any other means of transportation besides air travel to arrive and depart.

Red Sea and Upper Egypt coastal resorts

Exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Red Sea coastal resorts such as Hurghada and to the Upper Egypt cities of Luxor and Aswan.

Pay particular attention to local conditions if you are visiting Upper Egypt and the historic sites of the Nile Valley. Although tourist sites continue to operate, the Upper Nile Valley between Beni Suef and Aswan has seen a greater incidence of strikes, road blockages and civil unrest than the coastal resorts. Feuds between clans, some with a religious aspect, are becoming more commonplace and can turn violent quickly. You may find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Travel in large groups and by organized transportation, and follow the advice of local authorities, hotels and tour guides if you are travelling to rural areas.

Civil Unrest

Civil unrest and demonstrations have been occurring in many parts of Egypt. Although demonstrations occur mostly on Fridays following the Noon prayer time, they can occur at any time without forewarning. The situation on the ground remains fluid and there is a potential for rapid escalation into violence where large groups of people are assembled. Local curfews may be imposed on short notice.

Although the state of emergency and curfew, imposed in August 2013, were lifted on November 12, 2013, armed security forces remain heavily deployed in many governorates.

While there is a heavy security presence in most parts of the country, especially in resort areas, a high threat of terrorist activities remains and could affect foreigners.

Be extremely vigilant, avoid all demonstrations or large gatherings and areas where they are taking place. Stay clear of military offices and facilities. Register with our Registration of Canadians Abroad service, keep well informed of the situation as it unfolds by monitoring local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Women in particular should avoid demonstrations and large gatherings as there have been multiple reports of sexual assaults. Once surrounded by a group, it can be difficult to escape.

Terrorism

Egyptian Security Forces in the Sinai are on alert due to the ongoing threat of terrorist attacks. Attacks in Egypt, including in the capital Cairo, could be indiscriminate and could occur with little to no warning. There is an increased risk of attacks on and around January 25, the anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution. You should restrict your movements during this period. While attacks have mainly been aimed at security forces, their facilities and other government buildings, attacks targeting foreigners cannot be ruled out.

An increase in the number of attacks using improvised explosive devices has occurred since January 2015 throughout the country, particularly in the greater Cairo area.

On September 21, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released a statement threatening retaliation for the American -led coalition campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The statement encouraged opportunistic and indiscriminate attacks against citizens and interests of countries supporting the coalition, including Canadians. Individuals and terrorist groups in the region may be inspired to carry out attacks in a show of solidarity with ISIL. Canadians could also be targeted by a terrorist attack and be considered kidnapping targets. Areas frequented by foreigners may be targeted. Such places include restaurants, shopping centers, markets, hotels, schools, embassies and transportation hubs. Exercise a high degree of personal security awareness at all times, maintain a heightened level of vigilance and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Most recent attacks include: A bomb exploded outside Cairo University on October 22, 2014, injuring six police officers and four civilians. This is the second such incident in the university’s vicinity in the past six months. On September 21, 2014, an explosion in Cairo near the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs killed one passer-by and two police officers and injured several others. On June 30, 2014, three bombs exploded near the presidential palace in Cairo, killing two police officers and injuring 10 people. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred at tourist locations and elsewhere throughout the country. The threat of more attacks remains, and there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Exercise a high degree of caution, monitor developments and exercise caution, especially in commercial establishments, government facilities, public areas, tourist sites, the vicinity of churches and mosques at the time of religious services, and other areas frequented by foreigners. You should particularly avoid police stations, security installations and government buildings, as well as all crowds and demonstrations.

Crime

Serious crimes have been on the increase in Egypt in the wake of the January 2011 unrest. In addition to the increased threat of kidnapping (see above), carjackings have become much more commonplace. Sports utility vehicles are typically targeted. Although isolated areas and night driving present the greatest threat, there have been reported incidents in daylight hours and in busy areas of Cairo. Assailants are likely armed, and a variety of tactics may be used to get vehicles to stop, including throwing objects at the windshield, feigning a traffic accident or a minor collision with the target vehicle, or “sandwiching” the target vehicle and forcing it off the road. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not resist as carjackers are typically after the vehicle and, if the carjacking is successful, will leave the driver unharmed.

Petty crime such as purse snatching and pickpocketing occurs, especially in tourist locations and on the metro. Anecdotal evidence suggests that crime is increasing, particularly property crime such as theft and robbery. Ensure personal belongings are secure and respect any advice or instructions from local security authorities.

If you are a victim of crime, report it to the Tourist Police or at any nearby police station as soon as possible. Request a copy of the police report at the time the report is made. Failure to report the crime while in Egypt makes it much more difficult to seek prosecution.

Women’s safety

Women, particularly foreign women, are frequently subject to unpleasant male attention, sexual harassment and verbal abuse. This often takes the form of staring, inappropriate remarks, catcalls and touching. Please consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Guide to Safe and Successful Travel for more information.

Landmines

Unexploded landmines remain a risk in some desert and coastal areas, notably the Mediterranean shore, the Western Desert, the Sinai Peninsula and the western shore of the Gulf of Suez. Known minefields are not marked by signs, but may be enclosed by barbed wire. Seek local advice, especially if travelling off-road.

Transportation

Road conditions are often poor and the rate of vehicular accidents is one of the highest in the world. Drivers generally have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe-driving practices. Be cautious when crossing streets as drivers do not give pedestrians the right of way. In the event of an accident, do not move the vehicle until the police arrive.

Use vehicles and drivers from reputable travel agencies.

Avoid microbuses because of hazardous driving habits.

Taxis and the metro are considered the safest means of travel. Most taxis do not have working meters, and back seats are rarely equipped with seat belts. Women should not sit in the front seat, as this could be misinterpreted by the driver.

Rail travel is generally safe between Alexandria and Cairo; however, safety standards vary throughout the rest of Egypt. In the past, protesters have blocked railways, causing deadly accidents. Exercise a high degree of caution.

Accidents have occurred on ferries because of overcrowding and poor safety standards. Use reputable ferry operators.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Scuba diving / aquatic activities

Sharks are present in the waters off Egypt. Certain beaches and dive areas may be subject to temporary closures. The Egyptian Chamber of Diving and Water Sports provides updates on closures and diving conditions in Egypt. Exercise caution and seek advice from local authorities.

Borders

Crossing the border between Egypt and Israel is strongly discouraged at this time. The status of all crossing points can be verified prior to arrival with the Egyptian Embassy in Israel or the Israeli Embassy in Egypt. Cross-border movement regulations and restrictions are subject to change at any time and are the prerogative of the responsible authorities.

The Rafah border crossing point to Gaza, which had been closed since June 2007, was reopened in May 2011. However, the border has been subject to sporadic closures since then. The entry and exit of people remain controlled by border authorities in both Egypt and Gaza. Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against all travel in this area due to ongoing military operations against terrorists. Consult local authorities and refer to the travel advice for Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip for further information.

Beyond the provision of a travel document (the passport), the Canadian government does not facilitate the crossing of borders by private citizens. It is the citizen’s responsibility to meet the entry requirements of the country where they wish to travel, in most cases either through application for a visa or simply by going to a point of entry. Authorities at the Rafah border crossing from Egypt to Gaza have sometimes requested a letter or witnessed declaration from the Canadian Embassy as a requirement to cross the border. The Embassy is unable to provide such letters given the foregoing and you should avoid all travel to Gaza. The Canadian government has very limited ability to provide consular services to Canadians in the Gaza Strip and once in Gaza it can be difficult to leave.

General safety information

Although most tourist sites are open, the situation across Egypt remains unpredictable and less consistently safe than it was before the events of January 2011. There is a potential for rapid escalation into violence where large groups of people are assembled.

Egypt has a special police force to assist tourists. Officers, who wear a distinctive arm band saying “Tourist and Antiquities Police”, can be found in hotels and at tourist sites.

Carry identification at all times. Photocopy your passport and other identification in case of loss or seizure.

Emergency services

Dial 122 for police.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

[HOUSE_NUMBER] STREET_NAME
[DEPENDENT_LOCALITY]
LOCALITY
POSTALCODE
EGYPT

Smaple

Cairo Marriott Hotel
16 Saray El Gezira Street
CAIRO
11599
EGYPT

Summary

Egypt GDP Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
GDP 271.97 262.83 271.97 4.00 USD Billion
GDP Growth Rate 4.30 6.80 7.30 -4.30 percent
GDP Annual Growth Rate 4.30 6.80 7.30 -4.30 percent
GDP Constant Prices 407418.60 426904.40 426904.40 316764.40 EGP Million
GDP per capita 1566.44 1559.61 1566.44 323.94 USD
Gross Fixed Capital Formation 64.00 47.00 74259.00 -132567.00 EGP Billion
GDP per capita PPP 10731.79 10685.05 10731.79 5976.69 USD

 

PRODUCTS IN EGYPT

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