Goods worth about $863 million were exported from Iran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport Customs in Tehran in the previous calendar year (which ended on March 19), indicating a 58-percent growth year-on-year.
Gholamreza Saffari-Taheri, the head of the airport’s customs, added that last year, 36,307 tons of products valued at $4.89 billion were imported through the same customs, mainly including drugs, raw materials for production of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, IRNA reported.
He noted that the value of imports indicated a 12-percent increase compared to the figure for the same period of the preceding year.
Saffari-Taheri said last year, seven million passengers used the customs’ air border to enter or exit the country, saying the number of the exits and entries were almost the same.
Accelerating customs clearance
On Monday, Iranian authorities set up mechanisms to speed up clearing customs in a major dry port located near Tehran, Press TV reported.
The heads of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) and the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI) signed an agreement on the same day to make it easier and faster for cargoes coming from seaports to get customs clearance at Aprin, a dry port located 20 kilometers to the southwest of the capital in Islamshahr County.
The deal is expected to lead to an increase in the amount of cargo transit at Aprin, a large inland facility at the juncture of Iran’s cross-country rail routes where construction of customs offices and freight terminals began two years ago through government and foreign investment.
Signing the agreement, authorities vowed to cooperate on an extensive level to accommodate container freight transported through the rails from seaports south and north of the country.
Experts believe Aprin will be mostly frequented by cargoes coming from the Shahid Rajayi Port, Iran’s main port for goods located in the Persian Gulf.
The government hopes Aprin could become a model for other dry ports near major metropolitan areas in Iran, including in Mashahd and Zahedan in the east and Tabriz in the northwest.
Building out port and customs facilities across Iran comes as the country has seen a surge in port activity despite a series of American sanctions that seek to choke off its trade with the rest of the world.
Recent figures provided by the customs authorities showed foreign trade over the past calendar year topped $85 billion as the overall weight of shipments exported from Iran and imported into the country exceeded 170 million metric tons.