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In this vlog series, our MENA team of cross-practice specialists provide a quick roundup of the latest legal and commercial developments in the region as well as insights to emerging challenges and opportunities, to guide you as you shape your organization’s business resilience and strategy in the medium and long term. In addition, our senior female lawyers from our BakerWomen Middle East team join the conversations and share their insights on business and inclusion issues and trends in the region, as together we look to build trust and well-being in a post-pandemic world.

A recent Prime Ministerial Decree No. 4664 of 2022 was published on 25 December 2022, incorporating new provisions to the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Law No. 95 of 1992. The Decree provides for the establishment of a voluntary carbon market platform within the Egyptian Stock Exchange for the trading of carbon emissions reduction certificates (CERs). The CERs are tradeable financial instruments for greenhouse gases and are to be issued in favor of entities establishing projects reducing greenhouse gas emissions after obtaining the approval of the relevant authorities which are not currently specified. Each CER unit shall represent the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon dioxide reduced.

The Egyptian Parliament has approved amendments to the Law number 3 of 2005 on the Protection of Competition and the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices (ECL), introducing for the first time a mandatory pre-merger notification regime in Egypt. Until now, the ECL had only a post-merger notification system which did not give the Egyptian Competition Authority any powers to assess, approve or block a transaction. The amendments are expected to be published in the Official Gazette and enter into force during December 2022.

In two recent cases, the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) issued infringement decisions against two dominant companies. In the first case, the ECA established that a company operating in the yeast industry has abused its dominance in a number of ways, including restricting passive sales between distributors and also engaging in retail price maintenance. In another case, the ECA was against a food delivery online e-platform for abusing its dominance by engaging in Most Favored Nation clauses with the restaurants in violation of Article 8 of the Egyptian Competition Law No. 3 for 2005.

The government of Egypt has now expressly recognized the production, storage and export of green hydrogen and green ammonia among the areas falling within the state’s economic development strategy. It has also passed a decree that would allow green hydrogen and green ammonia projects to benefit from a wide range of state support under the country’s existing Investment Law No. 72 of 2017, including tax incentives. This is a key development for Egypt’s hydrogen economy.

After several years of debate, the Egyptian government has introduced the Republic’s first standalone data protection law, which aims to regulate and protect citizens’ data online. On 15 July 2020, Resolution No. 151 of 2020 (the Law) (available in Arabic here) was published in the Official Gazette. The provisions under the new Law are modeled on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Law adopts similar concepts and definitions. It is hoped that the new Law will help Egypt attract foreign investment by increasing consumer confidence in electronic data processing and setting clear parameters for companies looking to capitalize on the growth of the digital economy.

What has changed

On 16 July 2020, the Board of Directors of the National Food and Safety Authority (“NFSA”) issued a decision No. 6 for 2020 setting rules for regulating the importation of food in Egypt (the “Decision”). Before the issuance of this Decision, imported food was subject to the general standard requirements of importation license. However, this Decision prohibited any food facility or food importer, whether a natural person or a company to undertake any activity of food importation without obtaining the prior license from the NFSA.

What has changed

On 16 July 2020, the Board of Directors of the National Food and Safety Authority (“NFSA”) issued a decision No. 6 for 2020 setting rules for regulating the importation of food in Egypt (the “Decision”). Before the issuance of this Decision, imported food was subject to the general standard requirements of importation license. However, this Decision prohibited any food facility or food importer, whether a natural person or a company to undertake any activity of food importation without obtaining the prior license from the NFSA.

What’s changed A new compliance requirement is now imposed on companies doing business in Egypt, entailing disclosing the ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) of any entity. This information will be publicly available. On 1 March 2020, the Executive Regulations of the Commercial Registration Law No. 234 of 1976 were amended by…