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HomeDigitalizationIs your country ready for Advance Cargo Information..?? Egypt is..

Is your country ready for Advance Cargo Information..?? Egypt is..

Global trade volume in 2019 was 11.08 billion tons amounting to around $19 trillion in value.. Seaborne trade accounts for around 90% of global trade..

Development of international maritime trade by cargo type over the years has shown an impressive growth especially for the containerised sector increasing from an index value of 100 in 1990 to over 750 in 2019..

development of maritime trade
Image : UNCTAD

Currently, various cargoes are transported in 24 million+ containers around the world on over 6,218 container vessels..

As you can imagine this leads to a lot of documentation especially with Customs authorities around the world.. When we speak of Customs authorities around the world, you can also imagine the different rules and regulations each country has for the import and export of cargo to/from their country..

In June 2005, the World Customs Organization (WCO) adopted the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade which became a unique international instrument to create modern supply chain security standards and heralded the beginning of a new approach to the end-to-end management of goods moving across borders while recognizing the significance of a closer partnership between Customs and business..

Advanced Cargo Information - Shipping and Freight Resource
Image : World Customs Organisation

This Framework was updated in 2018 with a new version which augments the objectives of the SAFE Framework with respect to strengthening co-operation between and among Customs administrations, through the exchange of information, mutual recognition of controls, mutual recognition of AEOs, and mutual administrative assistance..

The 2018 version also called for enhanced cooperation between government agencies entrusted with regulatory authorities over certain goods like weapons, hazardous materials and passengers, as well as entities responsible for postal issues..

The updated SAFE Framework offered new opportunities for Customs, relevant government agencies and economic operators to work towards a common goal of enhancing supply chain security and efficiency, based on mutual trust and transparency..

In line with the SAFE Framework, the WCO implemented electronic Advance Cargo Information (ACI) which are essentially data sets providing information to identify high-risk cargo prior to loading and/or arrival on any trade lane between WCO Members..

This ACI, combined with the use of appropriate Customs risk management systems, allows Customs administrations to protect their territory and supply chains from security threats..

ACI also allows WCO Members additional time to scrutinise consignments prior to their arrival in a territory and take appropriate steps..

The Implementation guideline by WCO says, “ACI allows Customs administrations to mitigate security risks prior to loading, or prior to arrival (dependent on the mode and procedure applied) of cargo into a territory. Through the appropriate application of risk management on ACI, Customs is able to separate cargo shipments into different categories and match resources to those minority shipments that require the maximum intervention, whilst facilitating the clearance of low risk consignments.

A harmonized and standardized approach is a win-win for all parties and support smarter border controls resulting in reductions in redundant inspections, storage and time delay related costs..

The flow of the ACI is as below :

Advanced Cargo Information - Shipping and Freight Resource
Image : World Customs Organisation

Egypt goes Digital

In April, the Government of Egypt implemented the ACI regulations through Decree No.38-2021 based on which the ACID or Advance Cargo Information Declaration is being made mandatory for all cargo destined to Egypt..

As per these regulations, as of April 2021, the Importer in Egypt has to advise ACID number on booking level to be mentioned on all shipping documents which follows there along with identification numbers (TAX ID) of all parties on the BL and 10-digit HS code..

The ACID number is a 19 character number consisting of letters and numbers with a validity of 3 months from the registration date and each shipment with its own number per bill of lading..

This ACID number must be given to the carrier by the client and inserted in the “Notify” field of the bill of lading..

If the declared information does not match with what has been stated from the receiver to the Customs, the goods in subject will not be discharged at any port in Egypt and the cargo will be retained on board the ship for return to the Port of Loading..

Advance Cargo Information will become mandatory in Egypt as from the 1st of July 2021..

For further information about ACI in Egypt you can refer to this useful guide from Nafeza..


Does your country have this ACI requirement and if so at what stage is its implementation..??


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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Hello, a late comment I realise but I have just come across a problem relating to ACID numbers…
    It was my mistake – I used an previous ACID number on a shipment to an existing client. I didn’t actually submit the ACI prior to the container being unloaded and now I have a Bill of Lading with the wrong ACID number and the container is sitting at Alexandria!
    What is the process for getting the Bill of Lading modified to reflect the correct ACID number because the shipping line office in UK won’t do it. They say it will have to be done by the consignee at the local customs office in Egypt.
    Can anyone enlighten me as to the process with a Bill of Lading and why the shipping line cannot issue a modified one now? Will it be more likely that the Egyptian customs will issue an addendum to the B/L or what?

  2. I suspect some misinformation has crept into the article. Why on earth would the ACID need to be shown on all shipping documents? What is the point of it on say a packing list or an analysis report?

    Why would the tax ID of all parties on the B/L need to appear – the tax ID of the shipper is entirely irrelevant to the Egyptian authorities.

    The HS code is a six-digit number and does not go to ten digits, that will be Egypt’s own import tariff code which will be unknown to the shipper unless provided by a competent Egyptian buyer. If that buyer gets it wrong and then files their import data with a different number, the threat seems to be that the container will remain on the vessel.

    What happens if the importer files their data after arrival of the vessel?

    What happens with LCL if there is a delay in a transhipment consolidator unloading the goods from the arriving container and reloading into another container for onforwarding, and the consolidated container arrives after the three month validity?

    Using the Ever Given as an example I can see the Egyptian authorities causing lots of trouble for the hapless exporter shipping to Egypt.


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