Circulars and licenses required to import tea
Tea import rules and regulations
The import of tea in packages of less than 10 kg is not allowed. According to the report, importers can import one and a half kilograms of tea from abroad if they buy one kilogram of domestically produced dry tea, and after obtaining a certificate from the country’s tea organization and registering an order with the Ministry of Commerce, they will be cleared with 4 percent entry fee. In case of absence of purchase of Iranian tea, they will be subject to payment of import duties attached to the tables of export and import regulations. Obviously, obtaining all legal permits (standard certificate, health, Atomic Energy Organization, etc.) and compliance with other regulations is required.
Briefly about tea and its properties and tea import statistics
Tea is the name of a plant and a drink made from this plant. Tea is a Chinese word used in China and northern India and has entered the Persian language with almost the same pronunciation. Statistics show that tea is the second most popular beverage in the world after water. Light tea with pleasant aromas was first used in China and only for medicinal purposes, and it was in the 17th century that it also attracted the attention of England and the export trend. And the import of this product began.
The plant’s name is pronounced tea in the southern Chinese dialect and te in the northern Chinese dialect, and both are pronunciations of a single word in ancient China. The people of Western Europe learned the name of this plant from the North Chinese and the people of the Middle East and North Africa learned its name from the South Chinese.
Types of tea can be distinguished according to their type of processing. The leaves of the tea plant become plasticized and oxidized if they do not dry quickly after being picked. This process is similar to the conversion of barley to malt, in which starch is converted into sugars; Its leaves darken rapidly, and its greenery is destroyed, and inks are released. The next step in processing is to stop the oxidation process at predetermined stages by removing the water from the leaves by heating them.
The term “fermentation” (probably by grape growers) has been used to describe this process, and has even been used in cases where no actual fermentation (ie, this process is done with yeast and no ethanol is produced). But without careful control of humidity and temperature, fungi grow on the surface of tea. Fungi cause actual fermentation in tea, which contaminates the tea with toxic and carcinogenic substances, as a result of which the tea must be discarded.
Traditionally, tea is classified into the following groups based on the degree and period of fermentation (oxidation) of the leaves:
White tea: Fresh leaves (buds) that have not undergone [oxidation]; Tea blossoms can be kept out of the sun to prevent the formation of chlorophyll. White tea is produced in smaller quantities than other types of tea and can be relatively more expensive than the same type of tea produced by other methods. This type of tea is less well known in countries other than China, although this knowledge has increased with the supply of white tea in bags, as well as cold and instant white tea.
Green Tea: The oxidation process stops after a short time by heating or steaming, which is a traditional Japanese method, or by roasting it in hot pans, as a traditional Chinese method. Tea leaves can be discarded for drying in the form of separate or granulated leaves used to make gunpowder tea. The latter process is time consuming and is used, for example, only for high quality pekoe teas. The tea is processed one or two days after picking.
Oollong tea: The oxidation process stops between the time standards for green tea and black tea. The oxidation process will take two to three days.
Red Tea: Allow the tea leaves to be completely oxidized. Black tea has been popular in most parts of South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.), and in recent centuries in many African countries including Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The literal translation of the phrase “red tea” in Chinese can be used by tea lovers. The Chinese call it “red tea” because the color of the brewed liquid is red. Westerners also call it “black tea” because the tea leaves that are usually brewed are black. But red tea also refers to rooibos, a herbal infusion common in South Africa. The oxidation process will take about two weeks to a month. Black tea is classified as “pure” or CTC (crushed, dispersed, and complex tea, a method of production invented in 1932). Unmixed black teas are also known by the place, time and season (first, second, or fall) of their production. Lean and CTC teas are also graded according to leaf quality after production and based on the tea grading system.
Pu-erh: (also known as polee on the Chinese plateau), there are two types of this tea, “raw” and “ripe”. The raw or green type can be consumed immediately or left to ripen. During the ripening process of the tea plant, the tea undergoes secondary fermentation and microbial (bacterial) fermentation operations. The ripe powder is made from green tea leaves, which are artificially oxidized to approach the taste of their natural ripening process. This process is controlled by a similar process to combine them, in which both the humidity and the temperature of the tea are closely monitored. Both types of powdered tea are usually concentrated in different ways, including molds, tablets, cups, or mushrooms. While most teas are consumed in the first year of production, powdered tea can be consumed later to improve its taste, and its raw form can be stored for 30 to 50 years and its ripe sample for 10 to 15 years, although experts and fans They disagree about the optimal time period for stopping the tea ripening process. Most of the time, the powder is soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes. In addition, some Tibetans boil Poyer with Tibetan yak butter, sugar and salt, and make very nutritious beef tea. Teas with secondary oxidation, such as Poir and Liu bao, are known in China as black tea. This should not be confused with the English term black tea, which in China is called red tea.
Yellow tea: Either used under the name “quality tea” in the royal court, or a special tea similar to green tea, this type of tea goes through a slower stage than dry.
Kukicha: Also called winter tea, Kukicha is made from small branches and old and pruned leaves of the tea plant during the winter and by roasting. It is commonly used as a healthy food in Japan as well as in longevity diets.
Genmaicha: In Japanese it means brown rice rice tea, it is a green tea that is combined with roasted brown rice (sometimes roasted rice), and is very common in Japan but is also consumed in China.
Flower tea (perfume): Teas that are processed or brewed with flowers and each type of flower is used for a specific type of tea such as green or red tea. The most famous aromatic tea is Jasmine Tea (Huangpin on the Canton Plateau, Huacha, which is a flowering tree in Chinese mandarin), or Green Tea or Aromatic Oolong (or brewed) with Jasmine flowers. Rose, cedar, lychee, asmanthus, and chrysanthemums are also common flowers used in this type of tea.
In addition to the reasonable price, the healing properties of tea, especially in the protection of teeth, made this product known in different continents of the world, and its cultivation continued in Africa and South America. At present, several types of tea such as black, white, green, yellow, oolong tea are exported and imported.
According to the latest statistics provided at the end of June 2016, a total of 11,600 tons of tea was imported into the country, the value of which is equivalent to 54005904 dollars or about 1640 billion rials.
The most important countries that have given tea to Iran are India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, China, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Turkey.
According to the findings of the Research Institute for Planning and Economics of Agriculture and Rural Development, a study of the ten-year trend of the world shows that tea consumption in the world is growing and 4.8 million tons of tea is consumed annually in the world.
According to Fars News Agency, based on the findings of a research project of the Research Institute for Planning, Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of the Ministry of Jihad Agriculture, tea has a unique place in the world and in Iran in terms of consumption and share in nutritional pattern.
Although this product is not comparable to basic products in terms of nutritional content and having the necessary substances needed by the body, but most households use this drink at least once a day with breakfast or to relieve fatigue, so according to demand Society, its market is of special importance.
According to the FAO, the 10-year trend of global tea production has been increasing, and in 2013, 5.3 million tons of green tea leaves were produced worldwide. Of this production, about 85% was allocated to Asia, 13% to Africa, 2% to the Americas and 0.1% to Europe and Oceania. Therefore, the main home of tea production is Asia and China and India account for more than half of production.
Global tea trade (total exports and imports) also reached 3.94 million tons in 2013, with an increasing trend over the period. More than half of global exports this year came from the Far East, with the rest coming from Africa, Latin America and Southwest Asia. The distribution of importing countries is high and Russia and the United Kingdom account for about 20% of imports. Iran is also the seventh largest importer in the world with a 4% share of imports.
Accordingly, tea consumption continued to rise, reaching 4.8 million tons in 2013. Significant increase in demand in China and India has been the cause of this growth. Overall, of the total tea consumption in that year, 800 thousand tons, the share of developed countries and 4 million tons, the share of developing countries.
The study of world tea prices indicates a continuous increase in prices, which is attributed to the improvement of the balance of supply and demand of tea and the weakening of the US dollar in global exchanges. It is concentrated in Gilan province. According to aerial mapping in 1347, 32,000 hectares have been declared and have not changed significantly for almost 42 years (until 1389); However, since 1390, due to the existence of some problems in the production and tea industry of the country, the abandonment of orchards and the stagnation of economic turnover in the production and processing of the product has occurred. For this reason, the area under cultivation of active tea gardens is currently estimated at 20,000 hectares.
Accordingly, the production of green tea leaves and dry tea has also decreased. However, it should be noted that the support of tea growers has led to an increase in yield and green leaf production in 1394 and after the drought in 1393 and reduced yields to the lowest level during the period that led to a reduction in production to 65,000 tons. 1395 The amount of production in 2016 is estimated at 110,000 tons.
Iran’s tea exports have been declining in the last decade, and official imports, with an average annual growth of 5% at present, are 50,000 tons. Also, in parallel with the decrease in dry tea production in this decade, its imports have increased. The import price also increased by $ 4.7 per kilo, which is about 4 times the export price of the product. This means that in exchange for exporting 4 kg of Iranian tea, 1 kg of foreign tea is imported into the country. Meanwhile, considering about 20,000 tons of dry tea production in the country, 24,000 tons of exports and 50,000 tons of official imports, the rest of the demand is made through informal imports (smuggling) into the country, which has its own problems such as lack of Observance of necessary and hygienic standards in the process of transfer, storage, processing and packaging follows.
Until 1999, the country’s tea market was monopolized by the government and the tea organization controlled the market by purchasing a domestically produced product and converting it into subsidiaries by paying a certain fee, importing tea and mixing them. Due to the monopoly of tea production and trade by the government in this way, there is no suitable incentive to improve the quality of green leaves harvested and tea produced, and always pay attention to producers, both farmers and factory owners, only to earn more by increasing quantitatively. Production was focused on quality.
For this reason, an attempt was made to change the monopoly production method into a private production method. In this regard, a plan called “Tea Structure Reform Plan” was approved by the government in 1999, which faced many shortcomings in implementation and not only did not improve the quality of production, but also caused a lot of damage to the structure of this industry, especially tea growers and Brought in tea gardens and led to more accumulation of dry tea produced in warehouses; Therefore, due to many protests, the government decided to buy green leaves from farmers as a guarantee, and in 2005 the task of buying green leaves was assigned to the Rural Cooperative Organization.
In this method, the government has a full presence in the tea market by buying guaranteed products from tea growers, and therefore this method alone can not help to make the tea industry more competitive and quality production.
The guaranteed price of green tea leaves has fluctuated a lot in the last decade. Has had considerable. This issue, by removing some of the concerns of producers, has been an incentive for tea growers to rehabilitate areas of abandoned orchards in subsequent years, so that despite the drought in 1393 and reduced production in this year, green leaf production in 1394 is increasing. Inputs and forecasts indicate that production will reach 110,000 tons in 2016. Also, the guaranteed price of the product in the last two years has grown beyond the general inflation in the country’s economy, and the guaranteed price of deflation indicates an increase in support for Tea growers in these years.
Considering the presence of the government in the tea market as the main buyer, the maximum production is purchased by the government at a guaranteed price and the exchange of products in the open market takes place in the least possible amount. Due to the recent support of the government to significantly increase the guaranteed prices, in the years 1393-95, all production has been purchased by the government. It is considered in recent years.
In this way, the government’s actions in the tea industry in recent years are positive; However, it should be noted that the problem of tea products has not been solved only by the annual increase in the guaranteed price and its purchase by the government, and the annual increase in the guaranteed price may be an obstacle in solving the problem of green leaf quality; Because it confronts tea growers with the approach of producing more products, regardless of quality, in order to sell to the government and compensate for costs and earn a minimum income.
While the above-mentioned support method alone is not able to create a competitive system in this industry; Because with the presence of the government as the main buyer, tea industry activists will not have the necessary motivation to produce a high quality product and invest in this field.
The government also allocates large sums to this sector as subsidies; However, due to lack of proper planning, spending these sums does not change this system; In addition, with increasing age of tea plants, the quantity and quality of green leaves produced have decreased and these plants have become very vulnerable to diseases and pests and have generally lost the desired economic return. On the other hand, due to the operating costs and harvest in tea gardens, tea breeding is less economical compared to other agricultural products.
Certainly, the reduction of the area under cultivation and the decline of the production crop will lead to irreparable short-term damages and long-term consequences, which should not be ignored.
At present, relying solely on guaranteed purchasing tools has led to the perception among government policymakers and private sector activists in the tea industry that a steady, annual increase in guaranteed prices is inevitable; While the development of other support tools in tea will complement the guaranteed purchase support of this product and will moderate the expectations of an annual increase in guaranteed prices.
Accordingly, in the “Development and Improvement of Tea Quality” project, which was prepared by the Institute of Planning, Agricultural Economics and Rural Development in 2013, with the approach of product supply chain analysis, while analyzing the product supply chain and recognizing its problems.