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Egypt (2017)

1. Law 1/2015

On the amendment of some provision of Law No. 10 of 1990 on the land acquisition due to public interest. The amendments provided:

  • The first section of article 7 of the law states that: ‘After depositing the compensation, the entity in acquisition charge shall prepare lists with the real estate subject to acquisition, areas, locations, names of owners and property holders, their addresses, and the value of compensations stipulated. These lists and respective maps showing the location of all properties, shall be sited in the head office of the entity in charge - while article 8 after amendment stated that: ‘The concerned owners and holder of rights have the right to object to the information contained in such lists within 15 days from the date of posting and publishing the lists and information of the expropriated properties. 

2. Law 10/1990

On Property Expropriation for Public Benefit identifies transportation projects as public benefit activities. It describes acquisition procedures as follows:

  1. The procedures start with the declaration of public interest pursuant to the presidential decree accompanied with memorandum on the required project and the complete plan for the project and its structures (Law 59/1979 and Law 3/1982 provided that the Prime Minister issues the decree)

  2. The decree and the accompanying memorandum must be published in the official newspapers; a copy for the public is placed in the main offices of the concerned local Government unit. 

This law has specified, through Article 6, the members of the Compensation Assessment Commission. The commission is made at the Governorate level, and consisting of a delegate from the concerned Ministry’s Surveying Body (as President), a delegate from the Agricultural Directorate, a delegate from the Housing and Utilities Directorate, and a delegate from the Real Estate Taxes Directorate in the Governorate. The compensation shall be estimated according to the prevailing market prices at the tie of the issuance of the Decree for Expropriation. 

3. Law 577/1954

Law 577/54 which was later amended y Law 252/60 and Law 13/162 and establishes the provisions pertaining to the expropriation of real estate property for public benefit and improvement. 

4. Law 27 of 1956

Law no 27 of 1956 which stipulates the provision for expropriation of districts for re-planning, upgrading and improvement and the amended and comprehensive Law no 10 of 1990 on the expropriation of real estate for public interest. 

The first article of Law no 27 of 1956 allows for the expropriation of districts for their improvement, upgrading, re-planning and reconstruction. Article 24 of Law 577/54 also stipulates that in case only partial expropriation of real estate property is required, and the remixing un-expropriated part will not be of benefit to the owner, the owner shall be given the right to submit a request within 30 days (beginning from the date of final disclosure of the list of the expropriated property) for the purchase of the entire area. 

It should be noted, that the new law has not restricted the right to request the purchase of the remaining un-expropriated portion of real estate whether it is a building or land. 

5. Egyptian Constitution (That was cancelled after the 25th of January Revolution but main issues related to private ownership was included in the new constitution declaration of 2011)

The Constitution chapter two part one: social and moral components

The State shall guarantee equality of opportunity to all Egyptians and coordination between women’s duties towards her family and her work in the society, considering her equal to man in the political, social, cultural and economic spheres without detriment to the rules of Islamic jurisprudence

The Constitution chapter two: Economical components 

Article 29 States that ownership subject to the control of people is protected by the State and is divided into three types: public, co-operative and private property. 

6. Civil code 131 of 1948

Articles 802-805 recognise private ownership rights: Article 802 states that the owner, pursuant to the Law, has the sole right of using and/or disposing his property. Article 803 defines what is meant by land property. Article 805 states that no one may be deprived of his property except in cases prescribed by Law and would take place with an equitable compensation. 


7. Electricity Law 63 of 1974

The People Assembly passes the bill of Electricity Law 63 of year 1974 (article 1 and 2) that regulates mechanism and the responsibilities of the owner or squatter that passes the land (overhead or underground cable) and the limit of the distance set for the different capacity of the power lines. 

The law has discussed in article 6, the limits of distances to be measured from the axis of the overhead /aerial lines route as well as the cables to be as follows: 

  • Twenty five meters in the case of overhead ultrahigh voltage lines. 

  • Thirteen meters in the case of overhead high voltage lines. 

  • Five meters from the medium voltage lines. 

  • Five meters in the case of High Voltage Cables. 

  • Two meters in the case of Medium and Low Voltage Cables. 

Both articles 7 and 8 have discussed the compensation that shall be paid the owners of shareholders if any damage caused to them. It also discussed the estimation of the compensation through a committee to be selected by the Minister of Electricity and Energy, with the membership of (a representative of Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation- a representative of the Egyptian Survey Authority- a representative of the Governorate- and representatives of the Local Popular Council- plus an invitee to be selected by the committee). 

Articles 10 and 11 of the Law emphasized on the importance of reaching an agreement with the owners on the compensation amount. 

According to the Electricity Law articles 12 and 13 the owner/the tenants has the right to raise formal complaints to the Compensation Committee in 15 days after receiving the compensation value notice. They also can raise their complaints within 30 days after getting the compensation value notice. 

This law is applicable in RAP as it might necessitate certain mitigation measures to the farmers who will not be able to plant trees under the ROW. 


8. Electricity Law 67 of 2006

Electricity Law 67/2006 was issued for the sake of protecting the consumer. Article 2 of this law, states that the consumer's rights must not be compromised, including the consumer's right to access to knowledge on the protection of his legitimate rights and interests in order to ensure that he is aware of the party whom he can refer to in case of any complaints. The consumer also has the right to bring lawsuits on all that would prejudice or damage his rights or restrict them. The service provider also must supply the consumer with correct information about the nature and characteristics of the product – which is indicated in this report as "the electricity" - to avoid misleading the consumers or the beneficiaries of the service causing them to fall into error or mistake. 

Under this law, an agency should be established for the protection of the consumer and his interests. The Egyptian Electric Utility & Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency is the authority competent for the protection of the consumer in the electricity sector. In regard of electricity tariff and collection fee, EETC is already provides the certain fees regulation and fees collection system, to provide all diverse consumers. 

In addition to the previously mentioned laws, the following laws and decrees are applicable to the proposed project: 

  • Decree 458/2007; Egyptian Drinking Water Quality Standards adopted by the Ministry of Health; 

  • Law 102/1983; Natural Protectorates; 

  • Law 12/2003, Articles 204-207; Construction Work License; and 

  • Law 66/1973; Traffic law according to noise and emissions. 


9. Electricity Law 87 of 2015

Electricity Law 87/2015 addresses the limits of distances to be measured from the axis of the OHTL routes as well as the underground cables, which should be kept away from the infrastructures and development areas. 

Chapter 5 of law 87/2015 stipulates proceedings as follows: 

Land Acquisition: Article 53, 55 and 62 addresses matters pertaining to land acquisition resulting from electricity projects and covers the compensation, the formation and responsibilities of the compensation committee, addressing grievances as well as specifications for the right of way. 

Addressing Grievances: Article 53 further stipulates the owner/the tenants may submit written grievances/objections within 15 days from receiving the notice of forthcoming construction activities. Rejected objections will need a decision from the relevant minister to be implemented. Further grievances may be taken to the specialized courts. 

Right of Way: Article 55 of the law specifies the distances to be measured and cleared from the axis of the OHTL routes as well as the underground cables, which should be kept away from the infrastructures and development areas tall trees, buildings and structures for the axis of the overhead/aerial lines routes as well as the cables. These paths are called the Right of Way (RoW). Following are the specifications: 

  • Twenty five meters in the case of overhead ultrahigh voltage lines (OUHVL). (132+kv) 

  • Thirteen meters in the case of overhead high voltage lines (HVL). (33kv – 66kv) 

  • Five meters from the medium voltage lines (MVL). (1kv – 33kv) 

  • Two meters in the case of low voltage lines (HVL). (up to 1kv) 


10. Public or State land

In Arabic Amlak Amiriya, which is divided into the State’s public domain that cannot be alienated and the State’s private domain, which can be alienated generally through sale, lease, Takhssiss (transfer of ownership conditional on meeting certain criteria, such as keeping the land use unchanged and paying the remaining instalments of the land price) or through Haq Intifaa. The large majority of land in Egypt is public or State owned desert and that is for the most part undeveloped 


11. Private land

In Arabic Mulk horr, which may be alienated or transferred freely 


12. Endowment land

Waqf and land held as a trust/endowment for religious or charitable purposes, which is often subject to covenants on transfer or use, and which is typically transferred through leasehold or usufruct. 


13. Customary rights 

There are some areas in Sinai and in the northern coast with implicitly recognised to land (Urfi) to the benefit of the Bedouins. In these areas, someone within to acquire land often has to make two payments, first to the Bedouin claimant(s) for the right of use and then to the State to regularise and register their land tenure/ownership and be able to obtain services. 

It is important to note that the Civil Code (No. 131 of 1948) recognizes (Hiyaza) (i.e. possession of immovable/movable property without ownership) as a legitimate channel to acquire ownership of the property in question through adverse possession, provided that the (Hiyaza) has been “peaceful, unchallenged and uninterrupted” for a period of 15 years14. By Law, ownership through adverse possession does not, however, apply to State lands.

Gaps with international standards

1. There is no cut off date under the Egyptian laws

2. Temporary loss of structure (for title and non-title holders): In compensating temporarily occupied structures, Egyptian law requires determination of the price per room or area to arrive at the market value. The law also provides tenants with an option to acquire alternative shelter but requires them to pay the difference if any in the price. 

3. Property valuation: The unit rates used for compensating property and assets are based on the concept of full market price. This is not consistent with the full replacement cost required by IFIs. 

4. Compensation eligibility: Under Egyptian law, the only people and entities entitled for compensation are those with registered property rights, for example, registered landowners, occupants, users and those with registered third party rights or those who have legally obtained the right to register their title but whom, for some reason, have not completed registration. This potentially disqualifies many categories of APs that would be entitled to compensation under EIB or the OP 4.12.

5. The right of squatters: not included in the legislation (Applied cases for resettlement revealed that squatters have been compensated as a result of political sensitivity). 

6. Livelihood/income restoration and assistance: Egyptian regulations do not specify income restoration allowances where the PAPs incurred losses of business income

7. Calculation of compensation: According to the prevailing prices in the affected area and assessment by a specialised committee for that purpose

8. Vulnerable groups: Egyptian regulations have not addressed how vulnerable groups affected by expropriation of property should be treated

9. Access to timely and relevant information: Egyptian law stipulates that PAPs are to be provided with timely and relevant information

10. GRM: Egyptian law allows the creation of ‘specialised committees’ to address grievances originating from misunderstandings of project policy, or resulting from conflicts among neighbours. The law allows one month to object to the decision of resettlement, four months to seek redress to the compensation value and three months in case of dispute between several individuals or parties on a single property. Court cases in Egypt are knowns to require long periods of time before settlements can be reached. With intent to address the lengthy tine the Egyptian court may require to process and resolve disputes. 

11. Consultation: There is no explicit consultation requirement, however, people in the affected communities are usually informed about the project

12. Monitoring and evaluation: The absence of monitoring and evaluation measures in Egyptian laws illustrates differences between the two systems. The lack of legally authorised resources can constrain accountability and governance mechanisms of IFI financed projects. the lack of equivalency between the IFIs' and Egyptian policy can negatively impact on the very idea of the consultation, decision making and disclosure principles. 

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