Iran temporarily bans car imports

Business Materials 7 November 2012 18:35

Azerbaijan, Baku , Nov. 7/ Trend F.Milad/

Iran has temporarily banned car imports in order to prevent spending dollar for importing luxury goods, the Mehr News Agency reported.

The Iranian parliament (Majlis) Member Mohammad Alipour said on October 13 that the parliament plans to prepare a list of unnecessary and luxury goods in a bid to prevent from importing such goods.

The move is aimed to support domestic production and help boost job creation, he added.

On October 7, the Fars News Agency reported that the Iranian lawmakers are preparing a double urgency bill on ban of imports of unnecessary and luxury goods.

MPs are going to investigate on data released by the Central Bank of Iran claiming it has allocated $25 billion for imports in the past six months, according to the report.

Iran imported some 23,000 cars in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (ended on October 21), head of Iran's Costums Administration Abbas Memarnejad said on Sunday.

The figure shows 12 percent increase compared to the same period previous year, the IRNA News Agency quoted Memarnejad as saying.

The cars were mainly imported from the South Korea and China, he added.

Tehran Times reported in September that Iran imported more than 15,750 luxury cars, worth around $341 million during the first five months of the current Iranian year, which began on March 20, showing some 30 percent rise year-on-year.

The cars were mainly imported from the UAE, South Korea and Oman.

Iran's automobile market is highly protected against imports, allowing import of only 40,000 vehicles last year, despite steadily growing demand mostly met through domestic production of some 1.6 million cars per year.

Currently there is an estimated amount of 14 million vehicles in Iran - more than double of the six million registered in 2005.

Iran's car output in the first six months of the current calendar year (ended on September 21), fell by 42 percent compared to the same period last year.

On October 8, Iranian giant carmaker Iran Khodro (IKCO) increased its product prices by 10 percent, while the other Iranian carmaker, Saipa, boosted prices by 20 percent.

Decrease of domestic production and rise of import limitations as well as dollar price growth led to unprecedented increase in car prices in Iran.

On September 15, the ILNA news agency reported that prices of different cars increased by around 35 percent on the average since March 2011.

According to the report, supply has decreased but demand is still high.

Iran plans to manufacture at least three million cars by 2025 and export some one million sets, the Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari said on June 16.