Egypt extends grace period for NGOs to settle status till April 2023

The new extension is set to expire on 11 April 2023 under a decree issued by Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj.

The new law came into force in January 2021, after the Egyptian cabinet issued its bylaw that granted NGOs in Egypt a year ago to comply with the new law. However, it extended the grace period for another year starting 12 January 2022.

The Egyptian social solidarity ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that so far some 32,000 NGOs have completed the procedures for legalising their status since the introduction of the law.

The ministry called on NGOs that have not been yet legalised their status to take the step. “This is the last grace period to reconcile the statuses, as no further extension will be introduced,” the statement added.

The ministry also said that all foreign NGOs have applied to legalise their statue as per the new law, and expressed desire to establish long-term cooperation with Egyptian organisations.

The new law replaced a legislation issued in 2017 that was heavily criticised by civil society locally and internationally for restricting the work of NGOs.

In November 2018, during the second World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi voiced his support for amending the NGO law.

The law now allows NGOs to be established following notification, and exempts the newly established entity from registration fees, customs and real estate taxes.

It also allows the NGOs to tap into the country’s digital transformation plan by registering the associations and fundraising online. Additionally, the associations cannot be dissolved without a court ruling.

The law also includes a number of penalties against entities and organisations that do not comply with the rules and those involved in criminal activity.

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