Economy, Business And Markets

Restrictions on Car Imports Reversed

Restrictions on Car Imports ReversedRestrictions on Car Imports Reversed

Nearly a month after the ministry of industry, mine and trade restricted the import of cars only to the official representatives of auto companies in Iran, new directives issued by Industry Minister Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh authorized all individuals or entities to import cars under certain conditions, Persian daily Ta'aadol reported.

"The new directive requires car importers to offer after-sales services and provide auto parts for the imported cars either independently or through signing a contract with the official representatives of auto companies. The imported cars must also comply with a set of quality standards," head of Competition Committee, Reza Shiva announced.

According to the previous resolution, passed by the ministry nearly a month ago, only official representatives of foreign carmakers, registered with the ministry, were allowed to import cars. The resolution was in line with Article 4 of the Law for Protecting the Consumers' Rights, which states that all durable consumer goods which are imported to the country must have official representative companies and service guarantees at home.

The resolution, which was reportedly issued due to repeated complaints by customers regarding lack of guarantee and customer services on the cars imported by miscellaneous entities, was strongly criticized by market experts who argued that it would lead to monopoly in the auto market.

Members of the Competition Committee – the government body in charge of price regulation in Iran – also objected to monopoly on car import.

"Breaking the monopoly on car import will lead to more competitive prices; hence, there would be no need for intervening in the market as prices will be determined according to demand and supply," said the head of Competition Committee.

> No Change in Tariffs  

Meanwhile, member of the parliament's industry and mine committee, Mohammad Bayatian announced on Sunday that the parliament has no plans to reduce import tariffs on cars, noting that "any reduction in the tariffs would harm the domestic market," Eghtesadnews reported.

"In addition to increasing car import which could harm the domestic market, reducing the import tariffs could also lead to an upsurge in the import of low-quality cars, which would in turn affect the consumer market," claimed the official.