Economy, Domestic Economy

Multitude of POEs Blamed for Smuggling

Multitude of POEs Blamed for SmugglingMultitude of POEs Blamed for Smuggling

Iran’s multitude of points of entry gives rise to smuggling, says head of Anti-Smuggling Organization Habibollah Haqiqi, noting that there are as many as 150 official in addition to eleven unofficial customs posts in Iran. “In China the number is 50 at most,” he was quoted by IRNA as saying. Haqiqi, who was addressing the open session of the parliament on Sunday, denounced the absence of an integrated management system over these legal points of entry and said 23 oversight bodies are in charge of these terminals and each have a different approach toward their challenges.  “The estimated value of goods smuggled in and out of the country over the past Iranian year (March 2015-16) stood at $15.5 billion, indicating a $10-billion decline compared to two years before. Also, fuel smuggling, which is the top commodity smuggled out of the country due to its cheap prices, decreased from $7 billion to $1 billion during the same period,” he said.  Earlier, Qasem Khorshidi, spokesperson of the organization, said fuel is no longer to be found on the list of favored smuggling items. According to him, 60% of the $10-billion drop in illegal trade owe to curbs on fuel smuggling, which stood at below $1 billion last year from $3.8 billion and $7 billion in the two years preceding the incumbency of President Rouhani.  Also present at Sunday’s parliament session was Mohsen Jalalpour, President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture. The root cause of smuggling is Iran’s unsatisfactory performance in cross-border trade, he said noting that command economy and conflicting rules and regulations are other contributing factors to the rise of smuggling. “To reduce smuggling we need to improve the business environment,” he noted.