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Iran Free Trade Zone: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to Iran's Free Trade Zones

Iran’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) are strategically situated in both port and non-port areas, exempt from some of Iran’s national regulations. These zones leverage benefits such as tax exemptions, customs duty forgiveness, absence of cumbersome foreign exchange and administrative procedures, and expedite the processes of exports and imports. This accelerates foreign investment and technology transfer, contributing significantly to the country’s development. By 2024, Iran boasts eight Free Trade-Industrial Zones: Kish, Qeshm, Chabahar, Aras, Anzali, Arvand, Maku, and Imam Khomeini Tehran Airport.

List of Iran’s Free Trade Zones

TitleStatusProvinceLocation in Iran
Kish Free ZoneOperationalHormozganKish Island
Qeshm Free ZoneOperationalHormozganQeshm Island
Chabahar Free ZoneOperationalSistan and BaluchestanChabahar
Aras Free ZoneOperationalEast AzerbaijanJolfa
Anzali Free ZoneOperationalGilanAnzali
Arvand Free ZoneOperationalKhuzestanAbadan and Khorramshahr
Maku Free ZoneOperationalWest AzerbaijanMaku
Imam Khomeini Airport Free ZoneOperationalTehranImam Khomeini Airport
Iran’s Free Trade Zones

1. Kish Free Zone: Iran’s Pioneer FTZ

Iran Free Trade Zone
Kish Free Zone

Kish Free Zone, the pioneer among Iran’s FTZs, stands out for its excellent location and the array of facilities and services it offers. This zone encompasses the islands of Kish, Hendurabi, and the Greater and Lesser Farur, operational since 1969. Kish has a rich trading history, serving as a hub between Mesopotamia, India, and Iran. Historically, the island’s primary trade was in pearls, a tradition that continues today. Kish is a hub for diverse industries, including electrical and electronic equipment, food and pharmaceuticals, chemicals, clothing, and even an automobile manufacturing unit. Foreign cars and world-renowned brands are available in Kish’s shopping centers, making it a unique shopping destination within Iran.

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2. Qeshm Free Zone: A Hub of Diversity

Iran Free Trade Zone
Qeshm Free Zone

Qeshm Free Zone, located 37 kilometers from Bandar Abbas and north of the Strait of Hormuz, spans around 300 square kilometers. This island, with a history of approximately 500 years, features numerous ports like Bahman, Shahid Zakeri, and Hamoon. Qeshm’s strategic location on the maritime routes of the Persian Gulf, the Oman Sea, and the Indian Ocean has made it a focal point for services, trade, oil, gas, and energy investments.

What to Buy in Qeshm Free Zone?

Qeshm is ideal for acquiring food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products. Shoppers can find clothing, bags, shoes, and both Iranian and international snack foods at competitive prices. The Persian Gulf Shopping Center and City Center malls are among the best places to find branded goods.

3. Chabahar Free Zone

Iran Free Trade Zone
Chabahar Free Zone

Established in 1992, the Chabahar Free Zone is near the Makran coast and the Indian Ocean, bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its strategic position as a transit corridor from North to South and the East-West corridor makes it pivotal. Chabahar’s geographical advantage offers a direct path to the Oman Sea, making it a prime location for shopping with a variety of household, electrical, and cosmetic products.

4. Aras Free Zone

Iran Free Trade Zone
Aras Free Zone

The Aras Free Zone, located in Jolfa and bordered by Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey, is one of Iran’s most significant FTZs for global trade and transit. Since its inception in 2005, Aras has aimed to boost trade and services, agriculture, clean industries, tourism, and cultural exchanges. Its proximity to Tabriz, a major industrial hub, adds to its appeal for purchasing sanitary and beauty products, clothing, bedding, food items, and home appliances.

5. Anzali Free Zone

Iran Free Trade Zone
Anzali Free Zone

Established in 2005, the Anzali Free Zone includes the districts of Rasht, Anzali, and Astaneh Ashrafiyeh. It features ten mechanized docks with a capacity of around 50,000 tons, aiming to expand transportation, trade, tourism, agriculture, and clean industries. The zone offers tax and duty exemptions similar to other FTZs, making it an ideal place for bulk purchasers.

6. Arvand Free Zone: A Northwestern Hub

Iran Free Trade Zone
Arvand Free Zone

The Arvand Free Zone, with its significant position in the northwest of the Persian Gulf and borders with Iraq and Kuwait, includes traditional towns like Khorramshahr and Abadan, Shalamcheh, and Minoo Island. This zone, covering approximately 37,400 hectares, is one of Iran’s busiest FTZs, offering a variety of electrical appliances, clothing, beauty products, and international food items.

7. Maku Free Zone

Iran Free Trade Zone
Maku Free Zone

Situated in West Azerbaijan, the Maku Free Zone is one of Iran’s largest FTZs, located along significant global trade corridors and near Turkey and Azerbaijan. This zone is a critical gateway for goods traveling from Europe and has a vibrant market for Iranian and Turkish goods, including clothing, snacks, and electrical appliances.

8. Imam Khomeini Tehran Airport Free Trade Zone

Iran Free Trade Zone
Imam Khomeini Tehran Airport Free Trade Zone

The Imam Khomeini Airport Free Zone aims to enhance the region’s position as a primary air freight hub and a secondary passenger transport hub. This economic and trade zone

strengthens the airport’s strategic importance.

Where to Shop in Iran’s Free Zones?

For household appliances, Chabahar is the top choice. For branded goods, Kish and Qeshm are the go-to destinations. Each zone offers unique shopping experiences, catering to various needs and preferences.

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Conclusion

The primary goal of Iran’s FTZs is to eliminate trade barriers caused by high tariffs and complex customs regulations. These zones facilitate quicker ship and plane turnover through reduced customs inspection procedures and allow for the free construction, completion, and maintenance of goods. For more information on Iran’s Free Trade Zones, visit their official website at https://www.freezones.ir/en.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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