A meeting between the General Authority for Export and Import Control and security officials will soon be held to review a government decision to make the release of chemical imports from seaports contingent on government laboratory clearances.
Alaa Abdel-Karim, head of the control authority, said the meeting will review a government decision adopted last August which resulted in imported chemical materials to be left stranded at seaports. The decision required imported chemicals to be subjected to government lab tests with the results referred to security officials before a final release order is given.
Abdel-Karim said his authority has prepared measures to propose to authorities during the planned meeting. The measures include the provision of certificates from internationally-recognized labs with the shipment, as well as subjecting shipments imported by committed companies and factories to nominal checks.
The authority had demanded the Trade and Industry Ministry provide it with advanced analysis equipment to hasten the laboratory process to conclude in six days, according to Abdel-Karim.
Magdy Fahmy, head of the Trade and Industry Ministry’s Chemistry Agency, said that between 20 and 30 percent of samples taken of shipments following the controversial decision were “suspicious” and “capable of being used in building rockets”. Fahmy said several containers were also from “anonymous sources”, and that security departments were informed to ensure they are entirely used for industrial purposes at factories.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm