Egypt: Senate Agrees To Extend NGO Registration Deadline For Another Year 

The senate of Egypt has agreed to extend the deadline for NGOs to register under the 2019 civil society law, on 6 April 2022, for another year to maximize the number of associations that enjoy the following privileges: 

  • Exemption from registration fees. 
  • Exemption from taxes and stamp duties. 
  • Exemption from real estate taxes. 
  • Donors do not need to pay taxes on their donations to NGOs as long as they do not exceed 10 percent of their income. 
  • Exemption from custom taxes and other fees on imported tools, machines, equipment, production supplies, and vehicles, as well as gifts and aid received from abroad. The imported items must be relevant to the NGO’s activities. 
  • Consumption of water, power, and natural gas is treated as domestic, rather than commercial consumption. 

A total of 26,000 civil associations have applied to adjust their status as per Egypt’s new NGO law in 2021. 

Since the law was issued, a period of one year was allowed for NGOs to submit requests to regularize their status. 

Dr Talaat Abdel Kawy, the head of the General Federation of NGOs and Associations, confirmed that “the number of associations and institutions that have applied to regularize their status according to the new regulation is approximately 26,000 associations and civil institutions so far out of a total of nearly 52,000 associations, pointing out that the Associations Law provided many advantages for civil society.” 

The NGO law came as a result of a 6-year discussion and community dialogue, which included topics on associations, unions and the Ministry of Solidarity and Civil Society. The new law abolishes imprisonment as a punishment. 

It cancels the supervision of foreign organizations operating in Egypt. It allows NGOs to receive foreign funding, on the condition of informing the administrative authorities. 

It eases the restrictions that were imposed previously to establish new associations. It allows the establishment of NGOs only by “notifying”. It would also allow up to 25% of organizations’ board of directors to be foreign residents, as it was 10% under the old law. 

Foreign communities in Egypt are now allowed to establish their own association, according to the law. The law allows associations to establish companies and investment funds. Foreign funding of NGOs has been codified into the law with a specific and clear mechanism. The law has approved many benefits and exemptions for NGOs. 

The law allowed the NGOs to open new branches outside Egypt according to specific regulations. It also set a clear mechanism for establishing shelters for children and the elderly. 

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