By Ebrahim Fallahi

Govt., private sector collaborating to resolve commercial ID card issues

September 20, 2020 - 16:26

TEHRAN – Boosting domestic production and improving foreign trade has become one of the major mottos that the Iranian government is promoting in recent years, an objective that came under the spotlight after The White House made it a goal to limit the Islamic Republic’s economic interactions with the world.

One of the most important contributing factors to the government efforts in realizing the mentioned goals has been the private sector since they account for a big part of the country’s non-oil trade.

To keep track of the activities of the major enterprises and companies in foreign trade, the government has assigned special commercial ID cards to the mentioned companies and traders by which they will be able to clear their imported goods or export their products.

Recently some technical problems with a system for the issuance and extending of the mentioned cards created serious disruptions in the activities of the traders so that the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (TCCIMA) had to intervene and write a letter to the Industry Ministry to focus their attention to the problem.

In an interview with the Tehran Times on Sunday, the Vice Chairman of TCCIMA’s Trade Committee Abbas Argon said: “These ID cards were previously issued by the chambers of commerce after final approvals by the Industry Ministry, but the government decided to put the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) in charge after launching the new comprehensive system of commerce.”

According to the official, following the launch of the new commerce system, the Industry Ministry announced that the process of issuing and extending the commercial ID cards of the enterprises should be carried out through the new system as of the beginning of the Iranian calendar month of Mordad (July 22), and the process for the extension of cards should also change accordingly since the middle of the mentioned month.

However, the new system did not seem to have the necessary infrastructure for such changes and as a result some problems such as delay in the issuance and extension of the cards, and also making the card owners confused in following up the process in the related sources, were created for the traders, and consequently, the mentioned problems raised a wave of criticisms and dissatisfactions among the country’s major enterprises as well as the businessmen, Argon said.

Furthermore, in late August, TCCIMA Head Masoud Khansari released a statement calling on the Industry Ministry and the Trade Promotion Organization to resolve the problems related to the issuance and extension of commercial ID cards, Argon explained.

Following the TCCIMA requests, earlier this month, Industry Ministry agreed for the old system to resume operation in line and concurrent with the new system for a two-month period so that the ministry would have the time to fix the problems associated with the new comprehensive system.

Argon noted that, despite the Industry Ministry’s agreement with the chambers of commerce, it was not possible for the two systems to work in parallel, and this solution has also faced some problems.

The official noted that the two sides are still negotiating to resolve the issues and hopefully the technical issues will be eliminated as soon as possible.

EF/MA

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