Domestic Economy

Need to Fight Smuggling

Need to Fight SmugglingNeed to Fight Smuggling

Experts believe that the government will fail to combat the smuggling of goods if it does not get the private sector involved in the process. 

"In order to eradicate smuggling, all three branches of power should cooperate with the private sector," Javad Taqavi, head of the Consumer and Producer Protection Organization, said, as reported by Eghtesad News. 

The government should avoid taking "a coercive approach," which would never yield positive results, in combating smuggling, he suggested. 

Despite the presence of several anti-smuggling organizations in Iran, smuggling has increased in recent years, officials say. 

Smuggling accounted for almost 34% of total imports last year, Taqavi noted. 

Analysts say improper tariff rates have caused a surge in smuggling activities. They believe bans on imports or levying high tariffs cannot restrain such activities. 

"Smuggling should be addressed from different points of view, as Iran has 16 border provinces neighboring 15 nations. Moreover, it would be no easy job to control sea borders either," Habibollah Haqiqi, head of the office for campaign against smuggling of goods and foreign currency, told the newspaper. 

He said Iran is facing two problems at the same time: the smuggling of goods into and out of the country.

As an instance, he added, "20 million liters of fuel" were smuggled out on a daily basis in the year ending March 20, 2014, while more than 100 types of goods were smuggled into the country in the same period. "Television sets, cell phones, cigarettes, cosmetics, and alcoholic drinks were mostly smuggled into the country."

Smugglers imported $17 billion of goods last year, Haqiqi said. "Nearly $3 billion of goods were also imported, using tariff exemptions, while the total import reached $50 billion in value."