Iran red-tape hurts Turkish olive exports
İZMİR - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey’s olive exports to neighboring Iran is declining. Hürriyet photoTurkey’s olive exports to Iran have fallen eightfold in just one year to 500 tons, mainly due to restrictions from the Iranian government, which Aegean exporters claim is aiming to control the value of the local currency.
Turkey’s olive exports to Iran, which had reached 4,000 tons in 2010, making Iran a significant market for Turkey, receded to 500 tons in 2011-2012 season, as the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters’ Union reported in a written statement.
Iran, struggling with a foreign currency shortage blamed on a U.S. embargo, has been trying to decrease imports to the country by introducing bureaucratic regulations. Lately, Iran has stopped providing import licenses, bringing Turkish olive exports to the country to a halt.
This is not the first restriction by Iran. Prior to difficulties with licenses, Iran raised the tax rate on imported goods from 20 percent to around 90 percent. Turkey was the top olive importer to Iran, but, Iran has been imposing a customs tax on Turkey, Greece and Spain with a 90 percent rate for olives and 50 percent for olive oil, while imposing [a rate of] only 4 percent on Syria, said Kadri Gündeş, a high-level manager of the Aegean exporters’ union.