Economy, Business And Markets

Average Import Duty at 18.8%

Average Import Duty at 18.8%Average Import Duty at 18.8%

Iran’s Customs Administration has levied an average of 18.8% duty on imports in the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2015), according to the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran.

Duties will be reformed in the upcoming fiscal years, the TPO announced. Currently imports are split into 10 categories, each with their own tariff rates. Next year, the categories will be cut to eight and then six in the following year, IRNA reported.

However, this simplification of tariff system does not mean easier trade. While Iran charges one of the highest average tariffs on imports in a bid to protect domestic industries, it is still planning to raise the barriers against trade in the next fiscal year.

“Iran is raising the barriers against imports for the next fiscal year to stabilize the economy,” Valiollah Afkhamirad, deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, and the TPO chief, said on Tuesday.

Iran’s finances are under the strain of plummeting oil sales, forcing the government to tighten its grip on its limited supply of foreign exchange. Thus, it is limiting the number and variety of goods that can be imported with the Central Bank of Iran’s 22% discount in market exchange rates.

Trade has already slumped this year due to weak consumer demand, ongoing sanctions and high tariffs, which incidentally fuel smuggling.

Iran’s trade balance was positive in the first nine months of the year. But this was due to a larger drop in imports compared to exports.

Non-oil exports fell 11% to $32 billion during the period, outpacing imports at $31.2 billion, down 22% compared with the same period of last year.

The dip in exports is due to a 42% plunge in natural gas distillate exports.