This week the Egyptian parliament agreed to establish a 13 percent value-added tax on consumer goods and services in order to generate revenue needed to advance a financial reform program supported by loans from the International Monetary Fund. The tax is set to increase to 14 percent next year.
The tax is certainly a potential concern for the U.S. meat industry, as Egypt is the second-largest (to Mexico) destination for U.S. beef variety meat and by far the largest market for U.S. beef livers. Last year U.S. liver exports totaled 72,641 metric tons, with 82 percent of this volume destined for Egypt.
Lawmakers have indicated that measures will be taken to reduce the tax’s impact on Egypt’s low-income citizens, so USMEF will continue to monitor this issue and report on how the tax will be applied to beef livers and other meat imports entering Egypt.