Iran's Astara Customs Services head: Creation of free trade zone between Azerbaijan and Iran is one of region's needs (INTERVIEW)

Iran's Astara Customs Services head: Creation of free trade zone between Azerbaijan and Iran is one of region's needs (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 16 / Trend T. Jafarov /

Iranian Astara Customs Services head Said Haji Firuzabadi spoke in an exclusive interview with Trend Persian Desk.

Q: What is the situation on the Azerbaijani-Iranian customs checkpoint after the introduction of visa-free regime for Azerbaijani citizens willing to visit Iran?
A: Since the execution of the law "Abolition of visa regime" February 1, 2010, the number of Azerbaijani citizens visiting Iran, has increased by 200 percent. This increase in recorded by the statistics on the number of foreign passengers entering through the Astara customs checkpoint from January 21 to March 20, 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.
For comparison, about 7,768 people entered the country through the Astara customs checkpoint from January 21 to February 19, 2009, but for the same period in 2010 this figure reached 15,642 people. The number of entering passengers amounted to 7,776 people from February 20 to March 20, 2009, but over the same period in 2010, this figure hit 32,879. During this period, the number increased by 322 percent.

Q: What obstacles are in the direction of expansion of trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran?

A: The volume of foreign trade transactions between Iran and Azerbaijan through Astara customs checkpoint was $27 981 286 last year (the year in Iran ends March 21). Products and goods (having non-commercial nature) belonging to Iranians and foreigners entering the country from the free economic zones and industrial zones are exempt from customs duties and taxes. The value of goods imported into the country once a year without payment of customs duties must not exceed $80.

If this value is exceeded, the goods are subject to customs duties and taxes. They can be brought into the country provided that it is not prohibited under the law, commerce and Sharia.

Passengers leaving the country (Iranians or foreigners), besides personal luggage, can take out the Iranian products in unlimited quantity. Export of the same products of other brands is allowed to the amount of not more than $80, provided that the passenger does not intend commercial purposes.

Export of antiquities, manuscripts, subsidized products is prohibited.

Each passenger can take out a hand-made carpet with not more than 12 square meters or two little rugs.

Foreigners who get education and work in Iran, after the end of service and education can take out personal belongings (in the normal amount) without the submission of trade cards and permits.

Q: How does the Astara customs point operate to ensure passengers' comfortable movement taking into account their growing number?
A: Astara customs office increased staff of qualified personnel at the point of entry and exit to create the conditions for the movement of passengers. There are special corridors for Iranian and foreign passengers.

In addition, after cancel of visa regime number of working hours increased. Despite the implementation of repair works on the bridge at the customs checkpoint, construction of a new bridge is planned for further development of ties between the two countries.

Q: What problems occur during Iranian and Azerbaijani citizens' entry and exit through Astara customs checkpoint? What measures are being taken to solve them?

A: Yes, some problems still remain unsolved. They include the excessive gathering of passengers at the Iranian Azerbaijani customs checkpoint, the discrepancy in the number of employees and passenger numbers (police, customs officers, bank employees) on the terminals. During exit from Azerbaijan, Iranian passengers stay too ling on the Azerbaijani side, especially on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Holdups occur as a result of growth in the number of passengers and vehicles on the bridge.

At present, Iran's various agencies are in talks with the Azerbaijani customs office to solve these problems. An increase in customs staff is already observed. Currently, the problems of holdups and long lines are gradually solved, but large-scale works should be conducted in this area.

Q: How do you assess the level of cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan's customs agencies?

A: Azerbaijani and Iranian customs officers once a month hold meetings at customs checkpoints. They discuss the problems that exist in the field of trade and issues of passengers' entry-exit. In addition, we continuously discuss and take actions to solve the existing problems over telephone.

Q: Is there a need for signing a treaty on the establishment of free economic zone in order to ensure ease of movement of goods between the two countries?

A: Azerbaijani populations meet unilateral cancel of the visa regime between Azerbaijan and Iran with gladness. The two countries' peoples are closely linked by strong historical and cultural ties, and I think that, the establishment of a free trade zone in order to increase cooperation of Iranian and Azerbaijani businessmen is one of the region's needs.

Armenia admits loss of 11 more servicemen
Armenia admits loss of 11 more servicemen
Military uniform price in Armenia increase
Military uniform price in Armenia increase
Azerbaijan close to military victory in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - Russian analyst
Azerbaijan close to military victory in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - Russian analyst
Loading Bars
Latest
Tesla recalls 48,442 vehicles in China
Azerbaijani NGOs apply to relevant int'l structures regarding Armenia's involvement of children in military operations
Islamabad condemns killing of Azerbaijani civilians by Armenian Armed Forces (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Armenia admits loss of 11 more servicemen
Israeli cabinet approves Bahrain normalization accord
Iran boosts pickup manufacturing
Azerbaijan confirms 228 more COVID-19 recoveries
Liberation of Azerbaijani lands from occupation - gratifying – Iranian General
Canadian Azerbaijanis protest against Armenian attacks on Ganja (PHOTOS)
US too knows Armenia is terrorist state, MP
Military uniform price in Armenia increase
Russia’s coronavirus case tally exceeds 1.5 mln
Azerbaijani army destroying military equipment, in background of which Pashinyan took selfie (PHOTO)
554 streets disinfected in Baku (PHOTOS)
Footage about Armenia's missile attack on Ganja prepared (VIDEO)
Funeral service for 13-year-old Arthur, who died due to Armenian terror, being held in church in Ganja (PHOTOS)
Iran assigns lands to develop Pardis Technology Park
Will Iran export water?
Iran to increase in detergents and sanitizers price
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 25
US Azerbaijanis hold protest in San Francisco against Armenian terror (PHOTOS)
Azerbaijani army heroically fighting for liberation of native lands from Armenian occupation (VIDEO)
Names of foreign mercenaries fighting in Karabakh within Armenian army revealed
Armenia must be held accountable for using children in battles, Azerbaijani expert
Azerbaijan announces recent statistics on COVID-19 cases across country
Armenian doctor who issued fake COVID-19 certificates to evade conscription arrested
Iran’s CBI announces volume of funds allocated for imports of essential products
Assistant to Azerbaijani president gives interview to leading Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram
Footage from Azerbaijani Gubadli region liberated from occupation unveiled (VIDEO)
Armenian military attacks against Azerbaijan along bordering regions - acts of aggression as enshrined in UN Charter, says Azerbaijani top official
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijani Aghdam, Tartar and Agjabedi regions - MoD
Azerbaijani president's aide comments on French delegation's visit to Armenia
Volume of loans attracted for purchase of agricultural machinery in Iran revealed
Azerbaijan Army uses precision weapons against Armenian Armed Forces (VIDEO)
Iranian gov't to impose strict limitations to fight COVID-19
Production of home appliances in Iran increases
Export of agricultural products from Iran's Kurdistan region increases
Georgia reports 1 928 new coronavirus cases, 604 recoveries
President Ilham Aliyev gave interview to US Fox News TV channel (PHOTO)
Iran strongly condemns disrespect for Prophet of Islam in France
Iran unveils amount of loans issued to services sector
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling in Iran
Statement made following investigation of Armenia's shelling of civilians in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan close to military victory in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - Russian analyst
Armenia's hopes that Russia to help it fight against Azerbaijan doomed to fail - expert
New refrigeration unit commissioned in Georgia
U.S. Vice President Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19
Azerbaijan forces Armenian troops to retreat in Gubadli direction - MoD
Significant amount of Armenian Armed Forces’ manpower, equipment destroyed - MoD
Azerbaijani troops advance new positions in Khojavend, Gubadli, Lachin directions of front
Over 150 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Volume of loans issued to trade sector in Iran disclosed
WHO reports record increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases of over 465,000 in 24 hours
Samsung chief Lee dies
5.4-magnitude quake hits 74 km off Kawalu, Indonesia
Turkey reports 2,091 COVID-19 patients
Yemen's Houthis targeted two airports and a base in Saudi Arabia
Brazil reports another 432 COVID-19 deaths
Moscow's death toll from confirmed COVID-19 cases rises by 68
Afghan forces kill senior al Qaeda leader al-Masri who was on FBI most wanted list
UK records another 23,012 coronavirus cases with 174 deaths
Helpless on battlefield Armenia spreads false, provocative information - Azerbaijani MoD
Hikmet Hajiyev: Using children under 15 as soldiers is a war crime
8 killed, 4 injured in road accident in Pakistan's Punjab province
Necessary conditions will be created to extradite Armenian prisoners of war and civilians to third countries - MoD
Armenian army's combat equipment destroyed (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry calls on civilians in occupied territories to stay away from military facilities
Ministry of Defense: Armenian Armed Forces resort to provocations to prevent operations of Azerbaijani army
Iran declares amount of loans issued to housing & construction sector
Armenia continues to use underage children in military hostilities (VIDEO)
Photo of another missile launched by Armenia against Azerbaijan unveiled (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev on political objectives of Armenian military attack on Azerbaijan
In center of Baku, there is Armenian church, but mosques on occupied territories were destroyed - President Aliyev
With Georgia our relations are excellent, says Azerbaijani president
Armenian government should not try to frighten its population with Turkey - President Aliyev
And after war with Armenia stops, political settlement enforced, role of Turkey will be very important, very positive - President Aliyev
Wounds of war must be healed by political wisdom, by political will - President Aliyev
Armenian government should understand that they are not now in position to dictate - President Aliyev
Best way for future of Karabakh - to live in peace in harmony, try to become good neighbors again, says President Aliyev
Unlike Armenia, from Russia we buy weapons, we pay for them, says Azerbaijani president
Turkey is not involved in the conflict at all - Azerbaijani president
If Armenia didn’t violate ceasefire today clashes would have stopped - President Aliyev
We cleaned completely the Azerbaijani-Iranian border from Armenian occupants, and there will be no more inconvenience for our brothers across river of Araz in Iran - President Aliyev
If Armenia do not stop, we will go until end to liberate all occupied territories - Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijan became already regional hub for not only for energy, but also for transportation - President Aliyev
Armenia - occupier, obliged to liberate territories of Azerbaijan - Lebanese political scientist
Loans of dead servicemen and persons affected by hostilities to be repaid in Azerbaijan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Azerbaijan begins to return its lands
Azerbaijani army liberates occupied lands with great inspiration (VIDEO)
Religious confessions of Azerbaijan demonstrate solidarity in fight against Armenian terror (VIDEO)
65 Azerbaijani civilians, including women, children, killed since beginning of Armenian provocation - Prosecutor General's Office
State-controlled international television and radio network Voice of America apologizes for its mistake (PHOTOS)
Russian Embassy in contact with family of teenager who died as result of Armenian shelling
Artillery units of Armed Forces of Azerbaijan continue to inflict crushing blows on Armed Forces of Armenia (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani flag to be raised in Shusha, Agdere and other lands - MoD
Armenia gives updated list of its soldiers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone
Weekly overview of Azerbaijan's financial market
Attacks by Armenia on territory of Azerbaijan - another act of military aggression, says Azerbaijani top official
Teenagers honor memory of Russian citizen who died as result of Ganja shelling by Armenian Armed Forces (PHOTO)
Iran discloses amount of loans issued to industrial and mining sectors
All news