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Which authority is responsible for admission and protection of foreign investments in the Islamic Republic of Iran?

The Organization for Investment Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran (OIETAI) is the sole government authority which in accordance with FIPPA is legally empowered to admit and extend legal protections to foreign capital. The license for foreign investment under FIPPA is also released by OIETAI.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:56:40
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Is it obligatory to obtain a license for foreign investment?

For those investment to be covered under FIPPA, it is required. Such a license is released when signed by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:56:19
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Does it mean that each single investment under FIPPA requires a specific license?

Yes. Foreign investment in any single project covered by FIPPA, requires a separate license.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:56:01
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What is the procedure for issuance of a foreign investment license? What documents are required for the issuance of such a license?

The procedure for issuance of an investment license is short and simple. Upon submission of the official application for foreign investment addressed to OIETAI, the application will be put in the agenda of the Foreign Investment Board for review within 15 working days, and subsequently a draft license will be communicated to the foreign investor for confirmation. Should the foreign investor be satisfied with the draft, upon his confirmation, the final investment license will be issued and released. The documentation required include the filled-in application form along with all supplements/annexes, as the case may be, and other documents indicated ...

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asked 04/12/2021 18:55:48
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Which services could be provided to foreign investors by OIETAI?

The organization can be addressed and consulted for any and all issues foreign investors come across. To this end, the investor is in touch with only one single organization through the Center for Foreign Investment Service, which will result in time and cost saving for them.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:55:26
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What is the objective behind establishment of the Center for Foreign Investment Services ?

For the purpose of facilitating and accelerating the attraction of foreign investments into the Country, the Center for Foreign Investment Services was established at the premises of O.I.E.T.A.I., comprising the representatives of relevant authorities. This center acts as a focal point for the referrals by foreign investment applicants to the relevant Organizations.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:55:11
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Does the Organization provide any specific services to foreign investors other than consultancy services?

Of course yes. The Organization, besides offering the consultancy services to foreign investors, provides the following services: 1. Provision of information related to all laws and regulations pertaining to foreign investment; 2. Introducing investment opportunities in the Country; 3. Coordinating with different authorities with respect to applications for foreign investment; 4. Finding appropriate partners/parties, being local or foreign; 5. Contributing towards settlement of disputes between investors; 6. Organizing and arranging meetings and/or appointments with relevant authorities.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:54:51
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What are the types of foreign capital?

According to FIPPA, there are various types of foreign capital which, in addition to cash capital, includes all types of non-cash capital comprising of machinery, equipments, parts, raw material, know-how and expertise services. (For more information please see Article(2) of the Implementing Regulation of FIPPA).

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asked 04/12/2021 18:53:48
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Are all kinds of foreign exchange acceptable as cash capital?

In fact, those kinds of foreign exchange which are acceptable to the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, could be registered as cash capital.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:53:28
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How foreign cash capital is imported into the Country?

Foreign cash capital shall have to be imported into the Country through banking system and/or the official channels acceptable to the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Evidently, the imported foreign exchange shall be among those currencies acceptable to the said Bank.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:53:03
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Is it obligatory to convert the imported foreign exchange into Rials?

That portion of imported foreign exchange required to be converted into Rials at the discretion of the investor, shall be purchased by the recipient bank at the current rate, and its equivalent in Rials shall be deposited in the account of the J.V.C. or the investee firm.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:52:49
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Is it possible for the foreign investor not to convert the imported foreign exchange into Rials but use it for foreign purchases and orders related to the investment project?

Yes, as the foreign exchange may be converted into Rials, it is also possible to deposit the same in the foreign exchange account of the J.V.C. or the investee firm to be used, under the supervision of the Organization, for payments related to foreign orders and/or other necessary expenses of the investment project. Depositing foreign exchange without conversion into Rials protects the foreign investor against foreign exchange fluctuations, and provides the opportunity to use it at his own discretion, whenever required.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:51:49
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What is the applicable rate for the conversion of the foreign exchange imported into the Country?

The rate applicable for the conversion of cash funds imported by the foreign investors is the prevailing rate of the Country's official monetary network or the free (market) rate as acknowledged by the Central Bank of Iran.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:51:32
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Is it necessary to valuate the foreign imported capital before its registration?

Yes. Valuation of capital, whether in cash or kind, is necessary. In both cases, the bank's conversion rate on the date of importation shall be the basis for valuation.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:51:16
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What formalities are required for importation of machinery, equipments, parts and raw materials (i.e., non-cash capital)?

In principal, importation of non-cash capital items related to foreign investment projects are not subject to the formalities of importation of commercial commodities. Non cash items of any type can be imported into the Country upon recommendation by OIETAI based on the approved list, and the statistical (order) registration with the Ministry of Commerce.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:50:56
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Does it mean that importation of non-cash capital is free from local content requirements, allocation of foreign exchange and opening letter of credit?

That is true. It is not necessary to comply with the local content requirement, allocation of foreign exchange and opening letter of credit.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:50:36
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Is there any charge applicable to importation of foreign non-cash (in-kind) capital?

Except for machinery applicable in manufacturing and mining projects, foreign non-cash capital, the same as other goods, is subject to payment of import duties,

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asked 04/12/2021 18:50:19
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What criteria are to be considered for importation of know-how?

Technical know-how and specialized services are considered as acceptable types of foreign capital, so should be valuated and registered then as foreign capital. However, the opinion of the relevant Ministry shall be sought before the importation of technical know-how.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:50:01
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Is it permissible to pay license fee or royalty?

Sure. In cases where technical know-how is not considered as part of foreign capital, the relevant sums and/or approved royalty are payable to technology supplier.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:49:47
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What criterion is set for payment of license fee or royalty to foreign parties?

In any and all manners of payment, the value of imported raw material shall be the basis for calculation of royalty and or license fee. This net amount, after deduction of imported materials value, shall be paid to whom granted the license. In other words, according to prevailing policy, payment of royalty and license fee is calculated on the basis of domestic added value.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:49:30
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Is it possible to register patent right and trade mark in Iran?

According to Patent and Trade Marks Registration Law, industrial and intellectual property rights such as patent rights, trade marks and names, etc. can be registered and protected in Iran.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:49:12
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Is it necessary to provide the list of non-cash capital before importation of the same?

Yes. Prior to importation of non cash capital, the foreign investor is required to submit to the OIETAI the detailed list of the same comprising technical specifications, manufacturer(s)’ name, year of manufacture and price, along with relevant catalogues. Upon confirmation of the list, the said non-cash capital can be imported into the Country in one or more shipments at the discretion of the investor without any other specific formalities.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:48:33
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Is a prior review of technical know-how necessary?

Agreements related to specialized services, to be imported in the from of capital or to be paid for in other ways, shall be submitted to OIETAI along with the foreign investment application. The Organization will then coordinate and consult with the relevant Ministry on the necessity of the know-how as well as its value.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:48:03
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What is meant by the term "foreign exchange transfers"?

The term “foreign exchange transfers” refers to transfer of all sums resulting from the performance of a foreign investment and/or other sums to be transferred in the from of foreign exchange. Such transfers are categorized in two: a. Capital transferssuch as dividends, principal capital, capital gain, sums pertaining to compensation for confiscation or expropriation of foreign capital; b. Other foreign exchange transfers including those resulted from patent, technical know-how as well as engineering and technical assistance agreements, trade marks and name, and similar agreements.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:47:30
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Is there any restriction with regard to the volume of transferable funds?

No, there is no legal restriction with respect to the volume of transferable funds, neither annually nor totally.

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asked 04/12/2021 18:47:10
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