EghtesadOnline: Iranian authorities have made new decisions with regard to import regulations for curbing rampant smuggling of clothes into the country.
According to the Headquarters to Combat Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange, apparel tops the list of goods smuggled into Iran.
“In the past, many apparel producers and distributors were able to import their products directly into the Iranian market, but recently we have devised new rules and regulations under which they must have registered official representatives,” President of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran and Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mojtaba Khostrotaj said.
Khostrotaj added that once they have official representatives in Iran, they are required to obtain the relevant licenses before they can start their businesses in the domestic market, according to Financial Tribune.
“As of this moment, we do not give permission for importing clothes because we have not registered any official representatives,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
On March 27, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration sent a directive to the Headquarters to Supervise Border Customs as well as to border customs offices, instructing them to ban the import of certain commodities, including apparel, fruits and nuts, IRNA reported.
According to the directive, imports of these goods are only permissible upon the approval of Cabinet members and after meeting the relevant rules and customs regulations.
“We have already sent letters of notification to many brands, indicating that they cannot enter the Iranian market unless they have official representatives,” Khostrotaj said.
According to Director General of the Association of Iran Textile Industries Mohammad Mehdi Raeis-Zadeh, more than 90% of foreign brands sold in Iran are fake and only 25 to 30 brands have sales permits from the main companies and/or their representatives.
“If they do not provide creditable proof and permit from the main manufacturer, they have to stop using foreign trademarks. They don’t have the right to sell under the name of renowned brands,” Khostrotaj elaborated regarding clothes sold in Iran under the names of well-known foreign brands.
Some $2.6 billion worth of clothes are imported into Iran every year and according to members of apparel unions, twice this amount is smuggled into the country.
For local producers, this whopping amount of foreign apparel in the domestic market means they face tough competition, especially given the cheaper prices offered by their foreign counterparts.
The Iranian apparel market is worth an estimated $12 billion per year.