EghtesadOnline: The Central Bank of Iran's underperformance in notifying clear export repatriation rules and lack of a comprehensive data platform to track export repatriation commitments are causing concern for Iranian exporters, a poll by the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture showed.
TCCIM talked to 775 exporters and asked their views about the performance of the CBI with regard to the mandatory but apparently controversial export reparation rules.
They expressed resentment about long list of unhelpful CBI bylaws and its inability to inform them "in a timely manner" about new rules guiding the return of export earnings.
Businesses time and again complain about the rate at which the CBI issues directives and changes regulations, some of which overlap and contradict each other.
In addition, exporters said they were ostracized “simply because they were not aware of their commitments”, according to the results of the poll published on the TCCIM website.
Most demanded "creating a portal allowing companies to regularly check their liabilities" and be update about the rules. The lack thereof has created “confusion, mistakes and missteps” for exporters and added to their business risks.
The TCCIM pointed to rules that oblige the central bank to create an online system allowing exporters' access to data about their earnings and how much they owe. The CBI has so far failed to set up such a platform.
"As a result of such laxity, the commercial cards of some exporters have been suspended for failing to meet their financial commitments" and missing the CBI timelines, the TCCIM said.
Companies pointed to a procedure based on which export data provided by the customs offices are considered as the sole criteria for "settling export repatriation disputes" with the CBI.
It has been claimed that customs officers tend to “overestimate” the value of export goods. Companies have urged (without success) the CBI to reduce the financial commitments to levels below the customs assessment.
As per export repatriation procedures, companies must sell part of their forex earnings via the secondary foreign exchange market, known as Nima. They are free to use part of their overseas earnings to import machinery and raw material for themselves or transfer currency to a third party wanting to pay for imports.
In July the regulator further tightened forex repatriation rules stating that exporters must bring back at least 80% of their earnings in “foreign exchange hawala” and 20% in hard currency. The currency must be sold to banks and authorized exchange bureaus.
Due to the US economic siege export companies are finding it increasingly difficult and possibly impossible to bring money home via banks because all international banks and financial institutions, fearing Donald Trump’s wrath, refuse to handle Iranian transactions.
The CBI says it fines exporters who defaulted and failed to return their earnings. Unruly exporters may face various penalties, including, but not limited to, suspension of commercial cards, closure of bank accounts, travel bans and impounding of their goods by the customs authority.
Highlight: As per export repatriation procedures, companies must sell part of their forex earnings via the secondary foreign exchange market, known as Nima. They are free to use part of their overseas earnings to import machinery and raw material for themselves or transfer currency to a third party wanting to pay for imports
Caption: The Central Bank of Iran has tightened forex repatriation rules.