Iran increases tobacco import duties to support domestic market
Tehran, Iran, June 13
By A. Shirazi - Trend:
The chairman of the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Tobacco Products said the government has imposed a 10 percent increase on tobacco import duties to support domestic production.
Duties on tobacco have increased from 5 percent to 15 percent in a bid to support Iranian farmers and domestic production, Mohammad Reza Tajdar told IRNA news agency reported on June 13.
Foreign tobacco accounts for 70 percent of Iran’s total requirements, he added, noting that the country needs to import in order to satisfy people with different tastes.
“Domestically-produced tobacco cannot suit and satisfy all tastes, and producers should then purchase tobacco from different parts of the world,” Tajdar said.
He added that even Brazil, which is the world’s biggest tobacco producer, cannot only rely on its domestic market and should sometimes rely on import.
Ali Asghar Ramzi, the head of Iran’s Center for Tobacco Planning and Supervision, said recently that Iran’s cigarettes import was 13.6 billion in the fiscal year to March 2015, which increased to 16.4 billion in the next fiscal year, which ended March 2016.
The figure decreased to 3.27 billion cigarettes during the last fiscal year, after launching new production units and developing the production capacity of existing cigarette factories, he added.
He further said that Iran plans to increase the domestic cigarette production to 55 billion during the current fiscal year (to end March 2019).
Iran’s cigarette output stood at 49.3 billion in last fiscal year, 69 percent more year-on-year, the official said.
About 55 billion cigarettes are smoked in Iran annually.
In recent months, Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the administration increased domestic output of cigarettes, decreasing the dependency on imports. Meanwhile, over 70 percent of the tobacco used in Iran’s 12 cigarette factories is supplied through imports.