In late June, the Iranian government shut down the online auto import registration system saying that the import regulations are being revised.
Although the officials in the Industry Ministry mentioned managing auto import market and preventing from exit of foreign currency from the country as some reasons for stopping this system, taking this action in a non-expert and highly challenging way has caused many problems for the auto market in the country.
A large number of cars were stuck at the customs because the importing companies were not able to release them. Some of these companies were forced to cancel about 30 percent of their sales contracts and dismiss some of their personnel from their jobs.
Auto market disorder which led to high and illogical rise in the price of imported cars as well as some increase in the price of domestically-manufactures cars was another repercussion of the action.
“While car import has risen during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-Septemebr 22) that should normally reduce the price, we have been witnessing increase in the auto price”, Ali Aliabadi Farahani, the director general of Exports-Imports Regulations Office of Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), stated.
Mojtaba Khosrotaj, the head of TPO, has said: “We have shut down the online application system, because we wanted to move based on the new regulations in line with transparency in auto imports. We have submitted our proposed regulations to the government and the application system will not be up until the government approves the new regulations.”
He said the new regulations encourage domestic production, joint venture and promotion of exports.
Then in a press conference on December 18, the official said: “The previously made registrations are valid until the end of the calendar month Dey (January 20, 2018), but the decision on the issue of auto import registration system will be made by the next three coming days.”
And on Saturday (December 23), Mehr news agency reported that the Majlis (Iranian parliament)’s Article 90 Committee, which is charged with investigating complaints against the government, will investigate the case of stopping auto imports in the current Iranian calendar week, which ends on Friday (December 29).
The report said that the mentioned committee to be attended by some officials from the Ministries of Industry, Finance and Agriculture as well as the Management and Planning Organization (MPO) and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) will look into the matter.
Now the question is how this committee should investigate a case that its related regulations are not still approved. It appears that there are pressures on Majlis that have made the Article 90 Committee to take action in this due.
And anyway there is still no news about any decision made by the government on new regulations and the importers cannot still make any application for car imports.