Economy, Domestic Economy

Iraq Retracts Decision to Hike Transit Fees

Iraq Retracts Decision to Hike Transit FeesIraq Retracts Decision to Hike Transit Fees

The Iraqi government has officially stepped back from its decision to increase the transit fees imposed on Iranian trucks crossing Mehran border terminal, according to Ilam Province governor-general, Mohammad Reza Morvarid.

The news followed the Iraqi customs officials’ decision nearly a month ago to increase transit fees for Iranian trucks to 36.7 million rials ($1,100 at market exchange rate) from the previous 7.1 million rials ($215), IRNA reported.

Iranian authorities protested the decision and a group of delegations were appointed by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri to negotiate the matter with the Iraqi authorities.

“The decision was also protested by some Iraqi lawmakers, who drafted a bill on Tuesday last week urging the Iraqi government to revoke the decision,” said Morvarid.

Mehran border terminal in the western province of Ilam is a major hub for export of Iranian products. As many as 600 Iranian trucks and trailers cross the border every day.

Iranian goods worth $76 million were exported to Iraq via Mehran border in the first month of the current Iranian year (March 21-April 20, 2015), indicating 16 percent growth compared to the similar period of last year. However, Iran’s exports to Iraq from Mehran border declined during the second month following the increase in transit fees.

Many Iranian trucks, mostly carrying fruits and vegetable, had been halted at Mehran border over the past weeks as the Iraqi merchants were reluctant to buy the products at the new higher prices.