Logistic and forwarding services in Iran


Capital City

78.4 Mio.

National languages
59% Farsi and Persian dialects, 26% Turkish idioms (Aseri, Turkmen), 7% Kurdish, 3% Arabic, 2% Luri, 2% Baluch, other 1%

Iranian Rial (IRR)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 402,7 Mia.

GNP per person
USD 5’164,9

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 367,21 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 30 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Iran

Switzerland and Iran maintain good diplomatic relations and meet regularly for political consultations. As Protecting Power, Switzerland represents the consular and diplomatic interests of the USA in Iran.

Economic cooperation

Economic relations between Switzerland and Iran have traditionally been good, and up until 2008, the volume of trade was on a continual increase. Since then, the international sanctions against Iran have been complicating economic relations so that the volume of trade has been decreasing.
Switzerland has been implementing the UN sanctions that are binding under international law. On a case by case basis, it autonomously follows suit in implementing unilateral sanctions applied by Switzerland’s major commercial partners, namely the EU.


Business language

Persian, English.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system The Anglo Saxon system is still used in the energy sector.


National currency Rial (Rl.) = 100 dinars (D.).
ISO code: IRR

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

Commercial transactions with Iran are subject to extensive EU sanctions. There is a weapons embargo, restrictions and bans (including on dual-use goods, key equipment, goods in the crude oil and natural gas industry, marine technology, software, precious metals etc.), bans on services and investments and financial sanctions. Since the unification of the E3+3 states there have been discussions with Iran regarding their atomic programme. Various measures easing the sanctions were agreed and the talks have been suspended until 30 June 2015. The BAFA can provide more information on this.
The Iranian Export-Import Regulation Act distinguishes between three categories (goods which are 1. permissible, 2. restricted or 3. prohibited).
A licence issued by the MIMT (Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade) is required for category 2. Medicinal products, pharmaceuticals and foods are also subject to registration. The pro forma invoice showing all standard information is required to apply for an import licence. At the end of the invoice, the declaration (affidavit) “It is hereby certified that this invoice shows the actual price of the goods described, that no other invoice has been or will be issued and that all particulars are true and correct.” must appear (signed and certified by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce). There are bans – category 3 – on the import of pigs and pig products, alcohol, certain plant products and goods from Israel.
A general pre-shipment inspection is required for imports from a value of USD 20.000. This is generally carried out in the country of shipment. The Industrial and Engineering Inspection Co. is solely responsible for the import of iron and steel goods (WTN 7306 to 7340) from certain countries of origin (including DE, NL, IT, FR etc.). More information under Pre-Shipment Inspection.
Standard VAT rate: 8%.

Pre-shipment inspection

Inspection certificates are required for imports by private companies from a value of USD 20.000. The Iranian Central Bank has approved several inspection companies (SGS Controll) but for certain iron and steel products Industrial & Engineering Inspection Co. of Iran must be used. The certificate must be certified by the competent Chamber of Industry and Commerce and legalised by the Iranian General Consulate (ask the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for details).

Terms of payment and tenders

Consult banks in all cases. EUR invoices are standard. Delivery on a FOB or CFR basis.
Payment terms are based on the specifications of the Central Bank or the specialist ministry.
All tenders and correspondence should be in English. Payment is generally by means of an unconfirmed, irrevocable letter of credit from an Iranian bank. Payment through exchange or outside of the Iranian banking system is also possible.
The date of shipment may not be before the date on which the letter of credit is opened. The wording of the letter of credit must be checked very carefully as changing a letter of credit is very costly. The letter of credit provisions are interpreted very narrowly, so agreeing these with the bank in question is advisable.
Some imports are not processed by means of letters of credit but rather by payment in advance.

Designations of origin

Only required if goods or packaging have any markings that may lead to the conclusion that they were manufactured in Iran. Then mark with “Made in …” if applicable. Indication of the country of origin on the commercial invoice required.


In addition to the standard markings including the sender, recipient, weight, “Made in …”, order or letter of credit number. The registration number of the Iranian representative and the product description should be included on the external packaging. There are special labelling regulations for foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals, medical tools and electronic goods.


Seaworthy packaging. Where possible boxes should not be heavier than 40-90 kg. Wooden packaging of all kinds must be chemically or mechanically treated to prevent infestation by pests Packaging in hay and straw is permitted if the material is sterilised.
Use of the IPPC standard ISPM no. 15.

Product samples

A security must be paid for product samples with a commercial value.
Samples with no retail value are permitted duty free up to a value of 20.000 Rial. The classification of goods as duty free samples is at the discretion of the customs officials. Brochures and catalogues must be declared as goods with an indication of the customs value (attach a pro forma invoice). ATA Carnet procedure valid.

Shipping and accompanying documents

The date of shipment on the documents may not be before the opening of the letter of credit.

All freight documents and documents from the exporter must include the registration number otherwise customs clearance is not possible. Avoid the designation “Arabian Gulf”. If the Gulf needs to be referred to, use “Persian Gulf”.

a) Commercial invoices, 2 copies in English with all standard information, commercial invoices including the country of origin and the special declaration: “We hereby certify that the prices stated in this invoice are the current export market prices for the merchandise described therein and we accept full responsibility for any inaccuracy or errors therein”. If this does not apply: “We confirm that the prices stated in this invoice are true and correct and are representing the amount payable for the mentioned goods and that no further goods and no further payments cash or otherwise, nor special discounts were agreed, except such mentioned in this invoice. We accept full responsibility for this statement”. Certification by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and legalisation by the consulate.

Documents certified by a notary must then have higher certification from the competent presiding district judge. See the section on “Import control” for certification of pro forma invoices.

Transport insurance must be concluded with an Iranian company.

b) Certificates of origin in English. Where applicable, indicate the following as a country of origin: “Swiss”. For goods originating from UE simply “European Union” is not recognised, use the name of the country. Consular legalisation is then possible but not essential.

c) Bills of lading, uncertified, a notify address and letter of credit number must be indicated.

d) Packing list

e) Inspection certificates may be necessary, discussing this with the importer in advance is recommended, this is generally also set out in the letter of credit.

f) Postal packages up to 31.5 kg: 1 international dispatch note, 2 customs declarations in French or English, as for d) 2 certificates of origin. Air freight packages up to 20 kg: 1 foreign dispatch note with a sticker saying “airmail”, 2 customs declaration in French or English, 3 commercial invoices; airmail shipments: 3 commercial invoices, as for d) 2 certificates of origin.

g) Fees are to be paid before legalisation by crossed check or in cash/transfer to the legalising General Consulate.