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Apparel Worth $2.5b Smuggled Annually
Economy, Domestic Economy

Apparel Worth $2.5b Smuggled Annually

Currently 200 apparel brands are marketed in the country, only 55 of which have been legally registered, the Guilds and Traders Center of Iran reported. Up to $2.5 billion worth of clothing are annually smuggled into the country, said Mohammad Reza Modoudi, an advisor to the minister of industries, mining and trade, on Saturday. The mushrooming growth of foreign apparel brands in the domestic market and rampant illegal imports have galvanized the government into action. Industries Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh recently announced a comprehensive plan to combat smuggling through the implementation of the global GS1 coding system for products such as clothing, cigarettes, mobile phones and home appliances.  GS1 is an international organization that develops and maintains standards for supply and demand chains across multiple sectors. The standards facilitate identification of items, locations, shipments, assets and associated data. Accordingly, the clothing shops were given until October 17 to register with the Guilds and Traders Center of Iran (at www.gatc.ir), or face prosecution. The eligible firms are given a tracking code and registered in the system, enabling them to continue their activities under legal supervision. “The coding system will enable the ministry to track the contraband products anywhere in the distribution network,” said Nematzadeh. However, considering the broad scope of the issue, the progress of the scheme’s implementation remains unclear.

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