According to statistics released by the Customs Administration, the study of the trade balance from year 1390 to 1395 (2011-17) shows it has been improving year to year. The latest statistics in the first 8 months 1395 (March 20–October 22) shows a figure of $734 million which increased significantly compared with the trade balance of 1390 (2011). Accordingly, the trade balance recorded in 1390 (2011) is minus 13.428 billion dollars. That means the trade balance, which shows the country's manufacturing and business capacities, has been improved over $14 billion in the eleventh government.
Masoud Karbassian, head of The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), describes the measures taken by IRICA to improve the trade balance.
Please explain the role of customs in a positive trade balance.
After launching the comprehensive customs system, the process of exports was facilitated so that the time required for exports reduced from 7 days to 1 day.
You have also developed various packages to support the production and export. What are these packages?
The average effective tariff was 6% in 1391 and 1392, but now it has reached 12% due to some low tariffs, because we have made the value of goods real. The facilitation of export processes, the definition of legal economic actors, and interaction with other countries so that they can do their exports are all in order to manage imports and facilitate exports. The fact that, based on the information within the system, manufacturers can decide what to produce and at what price, is a real tool to support domestic production.
What needs to be done to sustain the positive trade balance?
I cannot say much about sustainability. We've already implemented ASYCUDA. UNCTAD had given us 300 thousand dollars and we, for example, have implemented this project. As to the sustainability, I just can say if it is a national issue and in the field of resistance economy, we need to guarantee its survival.
What is the trade policy of the ministry?
Law is the trade policy-maker in the world, and I agree with that. Have governments in European Union made decisions in this area? There should not be new directives every day. These directives have no effect on smugglers. We're at a time when the government is the largest importer, exporter, and the decision maker.