Eyewear Market Overwhelmed by Smuggling
Economy, Business And Markets

Eyewear Market Overwhelmed by Smuggling

More than 70% of the spectacles and sunglasses available in the domestic market are contraband, the head of Tehran’s Union of Manufacturers and Sellers of Glasses said.

“Some 25% of the world’s population use glasses. Given our population of about 80 million, we need around 20 million glasses annually,” Hamid Sabetqadam was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Sabetqadam noted that that at present Iran meets only 5% of its domestic need for glasses via four lens-carving units and the rest is imported from France, Italy, China, Turkey and Germany.

“Several factories have been forced to shut down due to unfavorable economic conditions, recession and the high smuggling rate,” he said.

According to the official, about 30 million pairs of lenses were imported in the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2016), 23 million of which were contraband.

Sabetqadam said the import tariff set on spectacles and sunglasses are 7% and 20% respectively, effectively making these goods “luxury” items.

This is while the tariff for watches and mobile phones is only 4%.

“High tariffs encourage smuggling. What we want is that tariffs should be reduced to 4%,” he said.

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