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Car imports resume in Iran after 10-year hiatus

Tehran, July 20, IRNA -- After orders for import of six foreign-made automobiles were placed, the import of cars have resumed after a 10-year hiatus, a source who asked to remain anonymous told IRNA here Monday.

The cars are on their way to the country most likely from the Hormuzgan Customs, the sources said.

The commerce ministry has proposed 130 percent customs fees on the imports of cars to carry out the two-pronged policy of support for domestically-manufactured vehicles and to facilitate the imports of cars into the country.

The policy has been ratified by the cabinet and announced by the Customs Administration.

There is no difference on provisions to imports cars between individuals and companies, but, all the import orders have been placed by the representative of the large and reputable foreign car manufacturing companies, the source said.

The government also expects to generate about rls 6,000 billion of revenues from imports of automobiles which experts say will be realized through imports of 30,000 cars this year.

Last year, the government had referred to an article in the Third Five-Year Development Plan (March 2000-2005) which stipulated for all on-tariff barriers on car imports to be removed.

Due to various reasons the policies implemented were not successful, but, this year with the gradual imports of cars it is expected that the government forecasts on rising the targeted revenues will be realized.

Head of Iran Customs Administration Mehdi Karbasian said here last month that hopefully the revenue targets from imports of automobile will top rls 6,500 billion this year.

"In addition, revenues of rls 27,000 billions are expected from other sources."

He expressed optimism that the targets are achievable given the newly instituted provisions for reducing bureaucracy in the customs.

The imports of 30,000 cars will not have any perceptible effect on the domestic production, he said adding "the Customs Administration is ready to handel clearance of all imported cars."

Karbasian also said that Imports have sprang up 38 percent in the first two months of the current Iranian year (started March 20), compared to the similar period last year.

The additional facilities provided to the traders have been encouraging imports from official channels reaching dlrs 4.673 billion in the period, Karbasian told IRNA.

He also characterized the encouraging trend "as signalling a switch from illegal to legal imports."

... Payvand News - 7/20/04 ... --

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