Turkey, Iran eye customs deal

ANKARA - Turkey and Iran will implement single customs territory to facilitate trade between the two countries, Turkish Customs Minister Nurettin Canikli announced Wednesday.

The initiative ensures restricted customs regulations and minimized control of the transportation of goods between agreed partners to boost trade.

Canikli said that a technical committee from Iran would come to Turkey, adding that Ankara had shown its "determination" to make the project succeed.

According to Turkish officials, trade between Turkey and Iran stood at $22 billion in 2012 before dipping to $14.5 billion in the following year because of international economic sanctions on Tehran. Bilateral trade is expected to reach $15 billion by end of 2015.

Transit fees for cross-border haulage had become a sticking point between Turkey and Iran. Recently, Ankara increased transit fees for Iranian trucks when Tehran hiked its own rates for Turkish vehicles.

Turkey and Iran signed a preferential trade agreement in January 2014 which came into force last month.

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