EghtesadOnline: The Center for E-Commerce Development, Iran’s e-commerce industry supervising body, has announced new rules for online-businesses applying for the “electronic emblem of trust” in Persian parlance known as e-Namad.
“These regulations allow online retailers and service providers to receive permits from Iran’s Chamber of Guilds,” Faranak Oskui, the deputy director of the center, was quoted as saying by Financial Tribune’s sister newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad.
Internet-based firms can sell online only if they have an e-Namad logo on their website, according to a previous ruling from the government.
Previously e-commerce companies were required to apply on the e-Namad website while also having to attain additional certifications from their respective guilds which would then be given as evidence.
Oskui said the firms are required in the meantime to refer to Iran’s Chamber of Guilds directly for the certification and further information.
She said the new ‘Online Business Guild’ will be launched soon and ultimately take over the certification processes for e-Namad, bringing it under one roof.
The High Commission for Supervision of Guilds — which is headed by the industries minister — has been tasked with the establishment of a new body to help businesses active in the sector register for membership.
However, the establishment of a guild for online businesses has been a subject of controversy for several months. Sections of the business, similar to other industries, have criticized the government oversight of the guild as being heavy on bureaucracy and torpor.
Others believe if business owners active in the sector are themselves in charge of the guild it would be much better for the development of online trade.
Oskui said the new rules narrow down the categorization of the members of the new guild. “Only those active in research, design, production, services, and business in the field of computers (including hardware, software, and networks), will fall under such classifications.”
She did not say anything specific about e-commerce retailers selling apparel, shoes, bags… for example, leaving a question mark on whether the overhaul will benefit them.
Besides paying the fees such businesses have to present “local addresses” to be eligible for the sign of trust, she was quoted as saying.
Previously, the process of attaining e-Namad required applicants to register any address they deemed fit, however, details were often incorrect and companies did not care to inform the guilds of change of address.
Iran’s online business sector is expanding rapidly, with the young tech-savvy generation discovering and creating new ideas and opportunities for generating revenue online.
However, e-commerce remains a small portion of the total sales recorded with barely 3% of the total transactions coming from websites, according to data from the Central Bank of Iran.
But, in the previous fiscal year e-commerce witnessed a 25% growth in the number of transactions year-on-year.
In early 2016, Financial Tribune reported that a tiny 0.5% of the total number of e-commerce websites in Iran have the online trust logo e-Namad.
All websites which have the logo are SSL-secured. Secure Sockets Layer is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client.