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IRICA Confiscates Contraband Worth $54m in 11 Months

The increase in contraband confiscation owes to the implementation of the Single-Window System, by which an average of 10,000 shipments are monitored online daily.The increase in contraband confiscation owes to the implementation of the Single-Window System, by which an average of 10,000 shipments are monitored online daily.

Two trillion rials (about $54.5 million) worth of contraband were confiscated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration during the 11 months to February 18, registering a 56% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year, a new IRICA report showed.

The increase in contraband confiscation owes to the implementation of the Single-Window System, by which an average of 10,000 shipments are monitored online daily, Mehr News Agency reported.

The system is a trade facilitation mechanism that enables international (cross-border) traders to submit regulatory documents such as customs declarations, applications for import/export permits, trading invoices, and investment permits to a single entity and/or single location.

In a non-single-window environment, traders have to deal with multiple government agencies in multiple locations to obtain the documents, permits and clearances to complete their import or export processes.

The concept of single-window system is recognized and endorsed by several world organizations concerned with trade facilitation. Among these are the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and its Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, World Customs Organization, SITPRO Limited of the United Kingdom and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

UNECE promotes the single-window system as a facility for traders and investors in countries with economies in transition.

According to electronic trade experts, the system creates a comprehensive and standardized databank that helps reduce smuggling, administrative corruption, time-consuming procedures and costs.

The Headquarters for Combating the Smuggling of Commodities and Foreign Exchange, another body in charge of confiscating contraband in Iran, announced last week that it seized seven containers of apparel, textile and accessories worth around 10 billion rials (over $2.6 million).

The government has stepped up efforts to curb smuggling that cost the country a whopping $15 billion last year, down by $10 billion compared with the previous year.

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