Amendments to government service fees law introduce steep hike in cost of nationality applications, weapons licenses

In an effort to generate more revenue streams in the state budget, Parliament approved amendments to the law regulating the fees imposed on a number of government services on Tuesday.

The amendments to Law 147/1984 are the first to be introduced in almost 10 years, according to a parliamentary report viewed by Mada Masr. The steepest increases were implemented on the application processes for Egyptian nationality, which increased two hundredfold, and to license weapons, which increased a hundredfold.

The fees on car and driving licenses, which are the the government services that contribute the most to the state budget due to their widespread nature, were also increased under the new amendment. A new fee was also introduced on the issuance of new phone lines and monthly bills, excluding prepaid phone services.

Parliament changed the government-proposed amendment, which initially stipulated that the revenues generated from all government service fees would go toward the state budget. In its report, Parliament noted that this measure would have contradicted another article in the same law, which allocates five percent of government service fees to “compensate martyrs,” without defining who would be covered by the fund, or the specific mechanisms that will be used to compensate them. Parliament also rejected a government suggestion to raise fees on documentation for employment abroad or for domestic employment in a foreign company.

Government servicePrevious law before amendmentsAfter amendmentsChange
Nationality requestLE50 LE10,000200 fold
PassportsLE54.4LE200Almost 4 fold
Foreigners residencyReconciliation fee for failing to notify authorities requisite informationLE20LE50025 fold
Reconciliation fee for residing in Egypt without valid residency LE50LE50010 fold
Annual residency feesLE30LE500More than 16 fold
Weapon licensesLicense issuanceLE25LE2,500100 fold
License renewalLE1,000Introduced
Phone linesLine purchaseLE50 Introduced
Monthly billLE10Introduced
Driving licensesPrivate licenseLE20LE30015 fold
Professional licenseLE9.6LE200Around 20 fold
License for driving instructors and for motorbikesLE9LE100Around 10 fold
TractorLE9LE50Around  5 fold

As for cars, the amendments introduce a distinction between fees on new car licenses and the renewal of existing car licenses. The table below shows the new fees after the amendments:

Engine capacity (cubic centimeters)Previous law before amendmentsAfter amendments
Licenses issuance

(% car price)

License renewal
Less than 1030LE116LE225
1030 – 1330LE1430.25% LE350
1330 – 1630LE1751%LE750
1630 – 2030LE1,0001.75%LE3,000
More than 20302% of car price2.5%2.5% of car price with a minimum of LE2,000

The increase in government service fees comes amid government efforts to reduce the state budget deficit by cutting energy subsidies and introducing a value added tax. On Tuesday, Parliament approved the state budget law for Fiscal Year 2018/9, which will begin in July.  The budget targets a deficit of 8.4 percent of GDP, which is lower than the 9.8 percent expected at the end of the current year.

According to the new state budget, the government is projecting revenues from fees on government services — excluding cars — to generate LE6.8 billion in the coming fiscal year. The budget also projects that fees on weapon licenses will generate around LE1 billion, which is 1,000 times more than the LE1 million projected for the current fiscal year.