Fuel Exports to Afghanistan Halted

Fuel Exports to Afghanistan Halted Fuel Exports to Afghanistan Halted

Export of oil derivates to Afghanistan were halted from Dec. 22, head of the South Khorasan Province's customs department announced Sunday, adding that the northeastern neighbor will resume imports only if the exported gasoline conforms to Euro-4 standards.

Afghanistan did not respond to Iran's enquiries to resolve the matter through negotiations. "It may be prompted by Afghanistan's internal problems; however, the directive was issued by the country's ministry of finance," Mohammad-Ali Khashi was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying.

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 petroleum products to that country.

Because of the importance of maintaining relations with Afghanistan, Iran has since 1990s appointed a few locations as export and import terminals, Khashi said. There are currently four border customs in South Khorasan Province, located in Nehbandan, Sarbisheh, Dermiyan, and Hajiabad districts.

The customs offices at Mahiroud are practically not making profit, the official said, adding that other problems obstructing progress at Mahiroud include insufficient manpower and infrastructural deficits. "The eradication of such problems requires additional funding," the official said, adding that although several different types of goods including cement, ceramics, fertilizers, food products, etc. are exported through these borders, the volume is meager.  

During the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 21-December 22), 1.34 thousand tons of goods have been exported through Mahiroud; the value of goods exported (standing at nearly $530 million dollars) have witnessed a 20 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

More than 84.9 million tons of oil derivatives have transited to the neighboring country via Mahiroud border customs in South Khorasan Province during the first four months of the current Iranian year, Khashi said in August. A total of 3,400 tanker trucks handled the transport of fuel, which is 42 percent higher in the number of trucks and up 47 percent in terms of weight year on year.