Recent fluctuations in exchange rate and quick changes in trade regulations have caused so much fear among computer importers in Iran that they have basically halted any activity for the moment.
After big jumps in exchange rate last spring through summer, the government announced that cell-phone importers are eligible to lower-exchange-rate (42,000 rilas for one USD) in order to supply enough phones to the market. However, after importing goods, the importers were asked to pay the difference of exchange rate with the market prices, nearly 120,000 rials for one USD.
“The experience in cell-phone market was so disappointing that currently all computer related importers prefer not to trade at all”, explains Mansour Shakeri, Head of Computer Importer Association. “The government says that importers can buy up to one million euros foreign currencies. But still no one knows who really is eligible to buy such amount of foreign cash and whether you really can clear your goods at custom office or not”.
New regulations and online registration for importing goods to the country have confused several traders. For instance, the government has announced to assign lower exchange rate to importers of servers, as servers are categorized as “essential goods”.
“But who dares to import servers at an exchange rate of 42,000 rials and later notices that he has to pay the difference with the higher rate?”, asks Mr Shakeri.
If the computer and hardware market in Iran faces shortage in a near future, it should not be surprising.
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