Customs duties in Egypt serve not merely for protection but also for revenue. Under-invoicing is common, prompting customs officials to add 10% to 30% of invoice value to calculate the true value. Imports are mostly unrestricted, except for apparel, in an effort to protect local apparel manufacturers. In 1998, following IMF and World Bank structural reforms, most customs tariffs ranged between 30% and 40%, down from 40% to 160% in 1994. Tariffs on food items ranged between 1% and 50% and textiles tariffs were increased from 40% to 54%. Some items are taxed much higher, however, such as alcoholic beverages, which hold tariffs of 600-3000%. Egypt assesses a 2% or 4% service fee on imports (depending on the customs duty assigned to the commodity) and a 5% to 25% sales tax is added to the final customs value of imports.
Free zones have been established in Alexandria, Cairo (Nasr City), Port Sa'id, Ismailia, Damietta, Safaga, Sohag, and Suez; these are exempt from customs duties.