Economy, Domestic Economy

Fruit Imports Banned

Fruit Imports BannedFruit Imports Banned

Importation of fruits of every kind, especially citrus fruits, is banned and no related permits whatsoever will be granted until further notice, deputy agriculture minister said Tuesday.

“There is no shortage of fruits and especially of citrus fruits in the market. Therefore, we have decided to ban imports of any type of fruits,” said Mohammadali Tahmasebi.

He said that the ministry of agriculture is also concerned about shortage of fruits during the Persian New Year (Noruz) holidays (starting March 21), adding, “We have on different occasions emphasized on banning the fruit importation, and the ministry is ready to supply the market with different products including citrus fruits for New Year.”

Noruz marks the first two weeks of spring and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. It is an old traditional observed by Iranians who buy fruits and sweets in advance of the New Year.  That has led many dealers to accumulate fruits in order to sell them at higher prices before the New Year begins.

In the meantime, the government tries to encourage and facilitate the ground for export of Iranian fruits to the international market. The government's latest attempt is to provide the shipping lines with subsidies in a bid to reform fruit export procedures. Russia has become one of the target markets for Iran's fruit exports after harsh sanctions were imposed on Moscow by the European Union following the crisis in Ukraine.

In that regard, deputy minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mojtaba Khosrotaj said on Tuesday that 80 percent of Russia’s imports go through Saint Petersburg. "If we want to expand our exports to the Russian market and have a continuous presence in such a competitive market we need ships that are equipped with high-tech fridges.”