|  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Iranian trucks run in breach of protocol

9 May 2012, Wednesday /AYDIN ALBAYRAK
Iranian trucks transporting Turkish goods to third countries are violating a trade protocol between Turkey and Iran, members of the transportation sector have claimed.

Iranian trucks are normally not authorized to transport goods from Turkey to third countries, as the two countries do not have an agreement on the practice. On the other hand, the number of empty Iranian trucks entering Turkey is claimed to have significantly increased recently.

“The truck is declared to be headed for a third country at Turkish customs, but it is actually loaded in İstanbul or Ankara, and goes, for example, back to Turkmenistan,” Erdal İlhan, vice president of the İstanbul-based International Road Transport Union (UND), told Today's Zaman. Officially, the destination of the truck is written as Iran on paperwork, but the truck heads for Turkmenistan and the destination is rewritten at the Bazargan border gate on the Turkish-Iran border. As per regulations, Iranian trucks entering Turkey to transport goods to Iran are allowed to carry no more than 550 liters of fuel at the entrance. “But some Iranian truck drivers who tell Turkish customs they are passing through Turkey in transit enter Turkey with 1,000 liters of fuel, pick up a load here, and go back to Iran,” İlhan said. In this way, Iranian drivers can return to Iran without having to buy fuel in Turkey, thus gaining a significant edge in profit margin compared to Turkish transporters, who have to pay much more for fuel in Turkey.

The troubles Turkish transporters suffer from have not changed since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent visit to Tehran. Turkish trucks headed for Turkmenistan, for example, need to pay 1,050 euros (approximately $1,350) for a round trip, and the fee is nearly $800 for Tehran-bound trucks, while trucks carrying a Turkmen, Kirghiz or Uzbek license plate pay only $320 for a transit pass.

As a result, Turkish transporters have been losing business to their Iranian counterparts because of the inequality Turkish transporters are “illegally” subjected to by Iran. “Nearly half of the transports from Turkey to Iran are being operated by Iranian trucks. And that figure can only be expected to increase,” Ercan Arslan, chair of the UND Iran-Turkic Republics Working Group, told Today's Zaman. Arslan believes the pressure of international sanctions will increase the efforts of Iranian transporters to gain more business in Turkey. And Iranian transporters have an “unjust” edge over Turkish firms. By not having to pay any fees in Turkey and paying much less for fuel, Iranian transportation firms are offering prices for transportation between Iran and Turkey $2,000 to $3,000 cheaper than that of Turkish firms. And Turkish trucks sometimes have to wait, round-trip, for around 10 days at Iranian border gates, which loses them time and money. “If the trucks could return faster, we could send three trucks to a destination a month instead of one,” İlhan noted.

Turkish transporters feel frustrated in the face of the Iranian attitude towards Turkish trucks. In Iran, Turkish trucks are not allowed to buy fuel at the market price. Instead, they have to pay $0.38 per liter, which is approximately double the market price, even though Turkish trucks already pay a considerable transit fee to Iran. Iranian trucks pay no such fee in Turkey.

“Iran is violating the protocol signed between the two countries by not allowing Turkish trucks to buy fuel at market price,” Arslan said. Furthermore, the amount Turkish trucks are paying as a transit fee is not insignificant. The total figure amounts to nearly $240 million annually, according to Arslan. The Iranian route is important for Turkey as about 90 percent of land transports to the Turkic republics pass through Iran.

 
 
BUSINESS  Other Titles
Central bank head denies reports that he resigned
Turkey signs FTA with Malaysia, looks to boost trade volume
Tough year ahead for Turkish banks, Fitch says
Competition Authority investigation of THY to resume soon
Cut off from the world, Gazans consumed by poverty
Galatasaray to pay $35 mln in tax penalty
EU agrees to Putin's call for gas security talks
Twitter: No current deal to open office in Turkey
Ankara says Russia's South Stream pipeline could run to Turkey
Turkish central bank meeting eyed for signs of political meddling
Turkish cement firms eye assets after Holcim-Lafarge merger
CHP raises issue of irregularity in loans for Sabah-ATV sale
TUSKON key in trade with Turkey, top Russian group says
Number of job seekers hits 10-year high
Gül attends event of group labeled ‘traitors' by Erdoğan
'Banning social media disaster for any government's global image'
Pakistan publishes list to embarrass tax cheats into paying up
Turkish schools help to enhance trade relations with Africa
Unemployment rate sees decrease year-on-year in Jan
Pegasus Airlines to start flights to Bahrain
...
Bloggers