WHO health protocol cripples Iran's exports to Central Asia
Iran needs to implement a health protocol to be allowed to export its goods to the Central Asian countries, the head of Khorasan Province Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Hossein Roshanak told Trend.
"The World Health Organization has issued a health protocol, that includes trade by wagons, trucks and ships. The protocol envisages existence of halls at border crossings where vehicles with cargo should be disinfected. The protocol has been ignored by the Ministry of Road and Urban Development since 2007," he said.
"In recent meeting at the Khorasan Province Chamber of Commerce that was also attended by the Iran's Ambassador in Turkmenistan, we brought up the issue of the protocol," he said.
Roshanak said Iran's private sector wasn't aware of the protocol, and the ministry didn't elaborate on it, simply saying that cargoes from Iran aren't accepted by Turkmenistan, without revealing the reason.
"During the COVID-19 spread Turkmenistan did not allow the entrance of trucks. While it did approve the entrance of trucks and wagons carrying non-food items at first, but from the start of the new Iranian year (started March 20,2020) they stopped accepting those as well," he said.
"So Iran needs to build these sheds for disinfection, and so we're having trouble with exports because of this," he said.
"The construction of sheds takes 20 days to one month. Despite the negotiations between Iran and Turkmenistan, nothing has been done so far," said Roshanak.
"Iran exports to Central Asia must have been done via Turkmenistan but since Turkmenistan stopped allowing us to pass through, all the export has stopped," he said.
"Iran's exports to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and even Russia are transferred by wagons through Turkmenistan's border," he said.
Roshanak added that Iran continues exports of goods through Afghanistan, but it costs 5 times more.
"The Road and Urban Development Ministry should explain its work and why it has ignored the protocol so far," he said.