The issue of "consulate approval," which has negatively affected trade between Turkey and Iran, has been settled by Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and ministry officials.
Last year, Iran decided to ask for approval from Iranian consulates for imports from Turkey. This decision led to wasted time due to the bureaucratic procedures in the consulate and costly complaints due to document fees. In response to Iran's attitude, the Ministry of Economy started practicing a "consulate approval requirement" in September.
It was reported that the contact following the instructions given by Minister Zeybekci to the bureaucrats yielded positive results, and Iran lifted the consulate approval requirement last week. The requirement had been applied to Turkish exporters since last year and had negatively affected foreign trade. Iran informed Turkey about the removal of the consulate approval requirement through diplomatic channels.
The obstacles in front of exports and exporters in this market have been removed, and the consulate approval requirement was lifted, which resolves some of the most important problems in foreign trade with Iran.
The Ministry of Economy, which closely followed Iran's sanctions and practices and put a similar implementation into effect in September, is expected to remove consulate approval after the decision.
The Turkey-Iran preferential trade agreement, signed on Jan. 29, 2014, went into force on Jan. 1, 2015. Under the agreement, Turkey provided customs tax reduction or exemption on 140 Iranian agricultural products, while Iran applied customs tax reduction to 125 Turkish industrial products.
In terms of covered products, imports from Iran increased by 41.9 percent to $31.9 million last year, while exports to Iran rose by 39.1 percent to $1 billion when compared to the previous year.
In the first eight months of the year, the imports of agreement-related products surged by 66 percent to $37.8 million, while exports rose by 2 percent to $625.5 million in comparison to the same period of the previous year.