A formal environmental impact assessment (EIA) system was introduced in Egypt through Environmental Protection Law No. 4 of 1994. This paper evaluates the EIA system in Egypt by using both ‘systemic’ and ‘foundation’ evaluation criteria. The methodology is based on an investigation of EIA legislation, a review of guidelines and relevant documents, and interviews with EIA practitioners. The main factors affecting EIA best practice in Egypt are the limited numbers of local experts, inadequate public consultation, lack of environmental data, weak follow-up, and the absence of long- term land-use plans. Recommendations to strengthen the system include improving capacity building, implementing an effective EIA consultants' accreditation system, ensuring effective public participation and access to EIA reports, applying systematic environmental impact statement (EIS) review criteria and promoting environmental awareness.