Iraq forbids import of agricultural products from Iran

Iraq forbids the import of certain food and agricultural products from Iran. Eghtesad Online reports that such bans have been applied over the past few years by the Iraqi government in order to protect the domestic production.

In June 2016, all of a sudden, Iraqi government increased import tariffs on Iranian dairy products to 30% which lead to several difficulties for both Iranian exporters and Iraqi importers.

Neighboring countries form the destination for 80 percent of Iran’s export. Among them, Iraq has always had a particular importance because of having longest land boarders with it and close political relationship. Iran’s export to Iraq within the first seven months of Iranian calendar was worth 6 billion USD.

“Last year we exported 2.1 billion USD of food and agricultural products to Iraq”, says Kaveh Zargaran, Head of Agricultural Committee of Tehran Chamber of Commerce. “However, it shows 5 percent decrease with respect to a year before that. This decreasing trend is mainly because of limitations Iraqi government is applying to Iranian exports”.

Iranian exporters claim that every time Iraq puts a ban on a product, after lifting it increases the tariff significantly. But since Iran is not a member of World Trade Organization (WTO), there is little to be done via international channels.

Reza Nourani, Head of National Agricultural Producers Association, believes that there are still many actions which can improve the situation. “We have to have an export pattern for products sent to Iraq”, says Mr Nourani. “Additionally, Iran – Iraq Chamber of Commerce must become more active in this field. We can hold trade fairs in either country to form cooperation. Iranian dairy producers can form joint-venture with Iraqi partners and using such capacities secure their access to its market”.

Donyay-e eghtesad writes that in the first seven months of the year, Iran has exported 3.7 billion USD of agricultural products which makes 13.7 percent of the total non-oil export.

This figure shows 23% increase with respect to the same period a year ago. Main destinations have been India, Switzerland, United Arab of Emirates, Singapore, Netherland, England, Turkey, Brazil, Russia and Pakistan, which have received 77% of the Iranian export.

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