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Import regulations and customs duties  - Distribution - Transportation of goods - Standards - Patents and brands

Import regulations and customs duties

A general license granted by the Ministry of Commerce is required to import into Iran. Furthermore, the importer needs the approval of the appropriate Ministry.
The market is open for staple commodities, equipment goods, spare parts and raw materials. Equipment goods, raw materials, medicines, wheat and other strategic goods have no import customs duties. The import is not allowed to finished products competing with a local production nor to local consumer goods. As for the last goods, imports are carried out through non-official channels.
It is important to check, by consulting your national authorities settled in the country, the specific pieces of information, especially given the frequent changes made in import regulations.


Customs duties
The Iranian government may impose rental payments, import tariffs and import taxes. Most of the goods are subject to customs duties.


Import taxes


Regulations governing payments


Structure of import network
Since 1995, the import of basic food products is almost totally entrusted to the State through the intermediary of certain ministerial purchasing groups. Private companies do not enjoy any more the right to import on account of the State. The private sector in all cases was becoming less and less active due to constant changes in rules and regulations which are complex and restricted.

Purchasing groups
These purchasing groups were created at the beginning of the Revolution and were placed under the direction of Ministries. They buy in large quantities in order to obtain a good price and also to distribute the products they import. Further, they are going to disappear to the benefit of the General Trading Corporation (an institution placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce). The role of the General Trading Corporation (GTC) is to import and distribute the basic products that are subsidised by the State.

These co-operatives play a growing role in the economy and operate under the direction of the Ministry of Jihad and Agriculture. There are several types of co-operatives : purchase and distribution co-operatives are private producers, distributors and service co-operatives and then come the rural co-operatives. These rural co-operatives provide agricultural products and resell them. Finally, there are urban co-operatives which are responsible for supplying local consumer products or imported at lower prices than those distributed.

These foundations are aimed at assisting needy persons and families affected during the war. They control commercial companies, production units and agricultural holdings.

Private sector
The role of this sector tends to diminish except for the production of foodstuffs and for export. The companies investing foreign currencies in exports are authorised to import certain products.

The Business to Consumer (B to C) market

The Business to Business (B to B) market


Transportation of goods

By road
The most utilised means of transport is the road transport.

By rail
Railway transport extends over 4,852 km as a whole and has 140,200 km long practicable roads. The ports are : Abadan, Bandar Beheshti, Bandar-e Bushehr.

By sea
As for the merchant fleet, Iran has a 135-ship fleet including 39 cargo vessels, 6 ships for long distance shipping routes and 32 tankers, ...

By air
There is a total of 219 airports, 194 of which are functioning.


In 1993, a law was voted for the quality control of imported and exported products. This law aims at : improving domestic products' quality, improving the production means and the efficiency of industries, controlling the quality of exportable products which have to respect compulsory standards, preventing the export of low quality products and control the quality of imports. Moreover, the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran - ISIRI, has been authorised to lay down standards. Some standards are compulsory for some basic products, the constitution of stocks, the distribution and sale of goods.
The Iranian law requires that any manufacturer or producer be responsible for the quality of products or goods produced. National and international inspections are active in Iran. Many Iranian manufacturers intend to achieve the ISO 9000 standards and certain companies in this country have already obtained certifications.

Patents and brands

On 6 July 1993, the Iranian Parliament adopted the amended text of Paris Convention dealing with industrial property. This Parliament also authorised the government to sign the Convention creating the WIPO (branch of Paris Convention) signed on 14/07/1967 at Stockholm as well as the amendments which followed on 2nd October 1979.

Texts currently applying to patents/brands

  Text Date entered into law Period of validity Comment
Trademark Trademarks Law 1998 10 years :


Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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