Freight should only be sent to Egypt after a work permit is acquired which can take a couple of months and you should plan for this.
Customs regulations require that all electronic and electrical items must be declared beforehand by listing all items with the manufacturer and serial number. It is important that Expats bring a detailed and complete packing list (with values of items) with them, and present this on arrival to the company. This will prevent delays in the clearance of air and sea freight. Customs officials check all containers coming into the country. (Check what kind of DVD’s, CD's & video’s you bring into Egypt, adult movies are prohibited). Do not be tempted to bring alcohol in your sea freight. Do not bring antiques – the removal of antiquities (over 50 years old) from Egypt is subject to strict antiquity rules. It is inadvisable to bring fragile items, or a treasured collection of fragile items. Customs checks, carried out on a routine basis, may lead to damage.
Listed electrical items that break must be kept until officially written off. It is best to check with the company for the current regulations on this. If you dispose of a broken electrical item without officially taking it off your list, you will be taxed for this item upon moving out of Egypt.
Your Air Freight requirements depend on your family situation. For children you may want to include certain toys, food items and clothes. For adults anything that makes running a household more comfortable. Because you might be moved to a transit house quickly after arrival (see below) it is advisable to bring a coffee maker in your airfreight.
We recommend that you contact local HR before arrival to discuss the latest advice with regard to bringing freight.
Pets can be freely taken in and out of the country. At the time of writing it is required that they are micro chipped and you can show a valid rabies vaccination certificate and a health certificate (this may need to be completed by a government official vet and validated by the Egyptian Consulate – check with them as early as possible).
Pet food is available in the bigger supermarkets. Bird seed is readily available as well, but nice ornaments for the cage, vitamin supplements and special treats should be brought with you.
You are not allowed to bring pet food with you in your container.
Outpost can recommend a good vet if required – please ask. For an additional fee he can visit your hotel or house, rather than you making a visit to his surgery. Be aware that you will not receive yearly reminders for your pets health and rabies shots – which you will probably want to keep up to date if you intend taking your pet with you at the end of your posting.
Two types of rabies presently exist in Egypt. Do not allow children to touch stray animals, just in case.
If you are bringing a pet with you, you should notify HR because pets are not normally allowed in the Hotel.
For entry to Egypt, you require a passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the proposed entry date) and most people require a tourist or work visa. Most Arab nationals do not require a visa. New Employees enter the country on a tourist visa, which is only valid for one month. Work visas can take up to a couple of months to acquire once you have arrived, these are arranged by local HR. You can buy a tourist Visa at the airport if your nationality is European, North-American or Australian. For other nationalities a visa should be bought in the home country before travelling to Egypt.
There is a 'Meet and Greet' service at the airport on first arrival, this should have been organized for you by local Egyptian HR and is run by the travel agent in the Shell office. This service eases your way through the airport.
Future employees are initially lodged in hotel rooms in the Intercontinental Hotel Citystars, Heliopolis. This is close to the airport and the Shell and Bapetco office and adjoins the Citystars shopping complex. Shell also has transit apartments at the El Safwa compound (in the New Cairo area, close to the Katameya and Arabelle compound). If available, new arrivals will be lodged there after their first days in the Intercontinental hotel (www.intercontinental.com/cairo ) .
The El Safwa apartments have all the basic requirements, however, if you want to avoid buying yet another peeling knife, cheese slicer and grater, bring these out in your luggage or air freight. A DVD player with your kids favorite DVD‘s and a coffee maker would also be advisable to bring. When staying in the Intercontinental Hotel, you will receive a budget per day to provide for meals etc. for your daily needs. The adjacent City Stars complex has all kinds of restaurants for all budgets. (www.citystars.com.eg)
Ask your local Outpost office for the Outpost Cairo Welcome Pack, which will provide useful information for your stay.
Newcomers will benefit greatly from a familiarization course. We recommend the ‘Fundamentals of Living in Egypt’ course run by the CSA in Maadi - see http://www.livinginegypt.org/. This course is paid for by Shell by means of a company sponsorship. (we are currently in negotiations with Shell if this course is still paid by shell, for more info ask Outpost on arrival)