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EghtesadOnline: The Central Bank of Iran is ready to buy at negotiated rates the foreign currency of exporters whose earnings are blocked in other countries due to the US sanctions, says the CBI deputy chief for foreign exchange affairs.

As per CBI rules exporters can use their earnings to import raw material and other goods and “also can sell their forex to domestic companies introduced by the CBI to enable them import goods," Gholam Reza Panahi was quoted as saying by the CBI website. 

He said there are complaints often from exporters that foreigners are not familiar with Nima (the Persian acronym for the Integrated Forex Deals System) to repatriate the earnings from goods sold to them.  

In a meeting with representatives from the production companies held regularly to review currency issues of producers, Panahi said exporters always lament that Nima is obscure to international businesses. He recalled that the system was in essence created to monitor Iran’s foreign trade, Financial Tribune reported.

Earlier this week, Asadollah Asgaroladi, chairman of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce, criticized the cumbersome mechanism importers need to undergo to buy foreign currency, saying that foreign companies are not familiar with Nima  and demand payment via banks. 

“According to CBI directives, exporters are obliged to repatriate their forex earnings via Nima, but most foreign companies buying from Iran are not familiar with the system,” the senior businessman said. 

The secondary market was created by the CBI in August to facilitate currency exchange among traders and meet the forex needs of importers. In this system exporters are obliged to sell their currency earnings and companies can buy forex from Nima for their raw material and machinery imports. 


Need for Stable Rules 

Panahi emphasized that CBI favors stable rules and regulations in the interest of exporters and importers. “The number of bylaws and directives has been reduced in recent months.” 

However, he noted that the bank’s bylaws and directives are issued based on statuary laws and regular “updating of rules is indeed necessary to underpin transparency.”

One typical example of such regulations, he noted,  is the recent directive about repatriation of currency earnings of exports that seeks to help promote the economic wellbeing of the nation.

According to the CBI forex repatriation rules, all exporters of goods and services are obliged to return their export earnings to the country.  Rules stipulate that earnings of up to €1 million are exempt from selling through Nima, but companies may use it to import  goods and services needed for their own businesses or sell it to other importers.

For earnings of up to €1-3 million, exporters are obliged to sell 50% of these amounts on Nima and for revenues over €10 million they should sell 90% via Nima. 

“Based on the present conditions and within legal frameworks, CBI efforts have been mobilized to boost the manufacturing sector which in turn eases business conditions and helps create jobs,” he said. 

Massoud Khansari, president of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce recently said during volatility in the currency market a large number of directives were issued by the government and the central bank many of which were rather confusing and in contrast each other.  


Iran foreign trade Central Bank of Iran US sanctions foreign currency central bank Exporters Currency Rules