Tariff Cuts Benefit Economy

Tariff Cuts  Benefit Economy Tariff Cuts  Benefit Economy

Tariff cuts on imports could benefit Iran's Customs Administration and therefore the economy, a top official said on Monday, arguing that the policy would also discourage smuggling activities.

"So far this year the import costs have reduced by 280 trillion rials," Masoud Karbasian, head of the Customs Administration, said in a news conference in Mehrabad Airport. "Accordingly, trade revenues have increased," he added.

Trade experts believe when the government cuts import tariffs smuggling will automatically be unprofitable, and smugglers will turn to be legal importers. As a result, customs will gain more profit, though import duties remain low.

For exports, the official said, "The bureaucratic procedure has decreased to one day now from seven days in the past."

Total exports between March 21, 2014 and February 9, 2015, amounted to $44.992 billion in value, which shows a 22 percent rise compared to the same period the previous year, Karbasian said.

The value of imports in the period, stood at $46.567 billion, which registered a 13.77 rise compared to the similar duration a year before, he added.

The official who is also the deputy minister of economy and financial affairs noted that China accounting for 26 percent of Iran's exports has been the most favorable destination for Iranian products.

Iraq with 17 percent, the United Arab Emirates with 10 percent, Afghanistan with 7 percent, and India with 6.7 percent stood next.

Meanwhile, China and the UAE, each accounting for 23 percent of imports were the biggest exporters to Iran. South Korea with 8 percent, Turkey with 7 percent, and India with 7 percent came next.

Gasoline Exports to Afghanistan

The official also announced that the obstacles on the way of gasoline exports to Afghanistan are now resolved, following negotiations between the ministry of foreign affairs and South Khorasan authorities

A total of 400 tankers are loaded and about to leave the Iranian borders, Karbassian said, adding: "Inapt arrangements made by provincial authorities provided the bordering customs with illegitimate discretion as to half of gasoline exports to Afghanistan." No details were provided on the nature of decisions.

Iran has exported $44.9 billion worth of commodities in the past eleven months, which indicates 22 percent increase compared with the same period last year. The main exported items include gas condensates valued at $13.6 billion (showing a 43% growth), petrochemicals valued at $12.4 billion (indicating a 29% growth), and other commodities valued at $18.8 billion.

Export of oil derivates to Afghanistan were halted from Dec. 22. Afghanistan required Iranian producers to provide A92 gasoline (Euro-4 and higher), and diesel fuel of higher than L62, a demand which put a halt to the export of oil products to that country, according to Tasnim report.

There are currently four border customs in South Khorasan Province, located in Nehbandan, Sarbisheh, Dermiyan, and Hajiabad districts.

Natural Gas Export


Private sector companies are interested in having a share in gas export to Afghanistan, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company said Sunday.

Currently, there is a capacity in South Khorasan Province to export natural gas to Afghanistan's border areas through construction of a 100km pipeline, Araqi said. "We think that it would be possible to export gas to Afghanistan by means of constructing a separate pipeline and a small-scale LNG plant if Afghans express interest in holding more negotiations in this regard," he added.