- MUST KNOWS!
Advises of the Customs Administration of I.R. of Iran to all the Iranian and foreign passengers, tourists and Iranians residing abroad
- Maximum allowed luggage (weight and value)
- Carrying foreign exchange into/out of the country
- Bringing in and taking out gold and silver by passengers
- Regulations of luggage trade with CIS countries
- Clearance of home appliances of Iranians residing abroad
- Import of vehicles
- Temporary entry of vehicles
- Import of occupational equipment of Iranians residing abroad
- Mailing goods
- Mailing commercial samples of goods to abroad
- Export of musical and vocal works and musical instruments
- And other advises of the Customs Administration of I.R. of Iran
- Customs Regulations Concerning Luggage
- OUTGOING PASSENGERS
All passengers are allowed to take a reasonable amount of their noncommercial personal belongings and luggage out of the country.
Exit of Iranian handicrafts and products (excluding carpets the regulations of which will be mentioned separately hereinbelow) by passengers is allowed and subjected to no value limitation. However, such products should not be taken out of the country for commercial purposes.
Passengers are allowed to take out only 150 dollars’ worth of the imported products (made in foreign countries).
- DRIED NUTS AND FRUITS
A noncommercial volume of dried nuts and fruits are allowed to be taken out of the country by passengers. With each passport, a maximum of 10 kilograms of pistachio and 100 grams of saffron is permitted to exit the country. Companions of the holder of a passport who travel with his/her passport are not allowed to take out any amount of pistachio and saffron, even by the permitted amount mentioned above.
- CARPET AND KELIM
All passengers traveling by airplane are allowed to take out only one hand-woven carpet measuring maximum 6 square meters with each passport. Therefore, the exit of two carpets even measuring less than 6 square meters is not permitted.
For the exit of carpets, travelers are obliged their passports and tickets.
Companions of a passenger who travel with his/her passport are not entitled to take out any carpet.
Passengers traveling to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Syria are not allowed to take out any carpet.
Exit of carpets by the Pilgrims of holy shrines and sacred places is forbidden. Meanwhile, the exit of pistachios (shelled or unshelled) dried nuts and saffron by travelers is not also permitted.
The highly valuable carpets, antiques and historical objects and articles of cultural heritage are not allowed to be taken out of the country.
- FOREIGN EXCHANGE
The rules of the Central Bank of I.R. of Iran stipulate that every traveler holding a valid passport can take with him/her U.S. $ 1,000
(Bank note, travelers’ check) at most. Companions of a passenger traveling with his/her passport are allowed to carry U.S. $ 500 each.The exit of foreign exchange more than the authorized amount requires transfer permit issued by the state banking network or other licenses.
The exit of Iraqi Dinars, Russian Roubles and Afghani of Afghanistan is not allowed either by passengers or merchants.
Every passenger is permitted to take out 500,000 Iranian rials.
- GOLD AND SILVER
Every traveler is allowed to take with him/her max. 150 grams and 3 kilograms of, respectively, shaped gold and silver not ornamented with jewels.
- ARTWORKS AND ANTIQUES
The exit of antiques, genuine artworks, manuscripts and ancient books, calligraphy, miniatures, precious coins, objects of historical value and cultural legacy is forbidden.
- WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION
The exit of weapons, ammunition and military equipment is forbidden.
The exit of narcotics and all other goods subjected to the General Prohibition of Import and Export (mentioned herein below) is impermissible.
- GOODS AUTHORIZED TO ENTER IRAN BY PASSENGERS.
1. Home appliances, either portable or non-portable, powered by electricity, gas and kerosene. 2. Spare parts and accessories for home appliances mentioned in Article. 3. Spare parts and accessories for automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles. 4. Tableware and house-keeping implements and utensils. 5. Personal belongings and their spare parts and accessories. 6. Bags and suitcases. 7. Apparel, handbags and shoes. 8. Textile. 9. Foodstuff, including pastries, chocolate, fruit juice, non-alcoholic beverages. 10. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, eau-de-Cologne, perfumes and so on. 11 .Cosmetics. 12. Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco and so on (authorized once). 13. Laptops and their accessories. 14. Sport equipment and gear. 15. Stationary. 16. Bicycles and tricycles. 17. Artificial flowers. 18. Airguns. 19. Machine-made carpets. 20. Hand tools (electrical and non-electrical). 21. Newspapers, magazines, calendars, albums and other products pertaining printing industry.
General Prohibition of Import and Export
According to the rules and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran entry of the following items is proscribed.
- 1. Alcoholic beverages 2. Playing cards and so on used for gambling 3. Weaponry (gun, knife, sword and so on), explosives and ammunition 4. Narcotics 5. Any type of publications, films and pictures as well as all products contradictory to the religious and national ethics of Iran 6. Any type of written material opposing Islam, disturbing social order, corrupting ethics and national dignity 7. All other products, which are banned by law and religion or proscribed by customs, tariff table.
- CUSTOMS RULES CONCERNING IRANIANS RESIDING ABROAD
All Iranians who have been living abroad for at least one year and the last six month of their residence has been consecutive are allowed to enter all their home appliances free from custom duties, commercial and other taxes.
- CUSTOMS DUTY EXEMPTIONS
All the used home appliances of the Iranians residing abroad may be imported duty-free at the time they return to Iran and no taxes and benefits will be levied on them provided:
The appliances in question arrive at one of the customs offices of Iran, at least one month before the arrival of the owner himself/herself, along with the owner and or nine months after the owner’s arrival. The owner should not have used the same exemption at least in the past five years.
The last 6 months of the owners’ residence in abroad should have been consecutive. The state officials who are assigned to a post abroad for a period of one year or more, in case of a premature return they will be excluded from the mentioned exemption.
The import of automobiles, motorcycles and powerboats is excluded from the mentioned exemption. The occupational tools and instruments of the Iranians residing abroad are duty-free.
- IMPORT OF AUTOMOBILES
The import of new or used cars into the country is authorized only through the license of the cabinet members of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Consequently, the Iranians residing abroad are not practically authorized to import automobiles.
- TEMPORARY IMPORT OF AUTOMOBILES
The temporary import of automobiles is permitted on the following conditions:
All foreigners and Iranians residing abroad are permitted to temporarily import automobiles through Trip Take (Carnet de Passage) licenses issued by the organization of the origin country in charge of automobiles traffic.
The authorized period for the automobiles temporarily imported to Iran is 3 months after which the same should be taken out of the country.
The individuals lacking Trip Take License can obtain the permit through payment of a cash deposit or bank guarantee at the entry point. However due to bureaucratic complexities involved, this way is not recommended.
The Iranians residing abroad can temporarily import their cars into the country with Trip Take License only on the condition of residing abroad for a period of at least 6 months before entering.
- RULES PERTAINING TO THE TRAVELERS OF CENTRAL ASIA (LUGGAGE TRADE)
All tourists and nationals of the Common Wealth of Independent States who travel to the Islamic Republic of Iran are permitted to export an amount of authorized goods equaling the foreign exchange they have declared to the banking system of Iran when entering.
Exit of goods worth maximum 1,000 U.S. dollars by the legitimate travelers is permitted needless to foreign exchange declaration document issued by the banking system.
All Iranian passengers traveling to the CIS countries are permitted to take with them amount of the authorized goods worth maximum US $500. Over luggage is authorized through the foreign exchange earned abroad and based on the banking system declaration. The mentioned regulations are effective concerning crossing borders. The travelers destined to the CIS countries via air can get their cargo transported via land.
- RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING MAIL OF CARGO
Mailing goods for noncommercial purposes excluding those banned by law or religion are permitted, regardless their price, needless to possessing Business and Export Licenses provided all other rules and regulations are observed.
Every person is permitted to mail a maximum amount of imported goods (made abroad) worth 80 U.S. dollars.
Mailing hand-woven carpets is forbidden regardless measurement.
Mailing antiques, original art works, manuscripts, coins and precious stone is forbidden.
Mailing basic goods such as foodstuff and medicines is illegal.
Entry of Goods through Post
The clearance of all non-commercial goods, excluding those banned by law or religion, entered through post is permitted duty-free for a maximum of 50,000 Rials worth per individual. To clear such goods payment of commercial benefits, possession of Business and other licenses stipulated in the Export and Import Law are not required.
- GENERAL PROHIBITION (MAILING GOODS)
Goods banned by law and religion are:
Weaponry and ammunition, objects used for gambling and alcoholic beverages, narcotic drugs, magazines, newspapers, pictures, signs and any type of written material opposing Islam, disturbing social order, corrupting ethics and national dignity.
The clearance of equipment, goods and materials such as radio receivers, telecommunication equipment, books and publications, films and tapes, computer sets and accessories, seeds and shrubs, etc. requires licenses issued by relevant ministries and departments.
- MAILING COMMERCIAL SAMPLES
Mailing all types of goods, made in Iran or abroad, as commercial and testing samples, and those for analyzing and repairing purposes is permitted provided the volume is noncommercial, and the goods are not antiques or banned by law and religion. In such cases Business and Export Licenses are not required.
- EXIT OF VOCAL ART WORKS AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Mailing noncommercial amount of all vocal art works, Iranian and foreign musical instruments made in Iran is exempt from depositing foreign exchange guarantee and may be done with the license of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Mailing abroad any amount of vocal art works (CD or Tape) possessing copy license issued by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is permitted provided all customs rules and regulations are observed.
Mailing tapes which lack copy licenses is approved by the provincial departments general of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The same departments are in charge of issuing the required licenses.
- OTHER POINTS:
Hiding any types of goods with the intention to conceal them from the customs officers is considered smuggling and will be treated with according to regulations pertaining smuggling of goods.
Disconformity of the contents of a passenger’s luggage with the items mentioned in his/her customs declaration form will be considered violation of customs rules and regulations.
For further information about customs rules and regulation, interested individuals may refer to the web site of the Customs Administration of IR.
- REMEMBER TO TIP!
Politeness is incredibly important in Iran. In Iran, there is something called Taarof.
Taarof dictates certain social behaviors, including politeness and hospitality. Taarof is a big part of Iranian culture, and since it's so important, you will find that Iranians are very accommodating to guests.
It is common to give monetary gifts to servants or others who have provided services. But there is no fixed amount. It should be reasonable for both parties.
Tipping In Iran can be strange to some. However, there are times where you should tip, so use our tipping guide below on your travels throughout Iran!
- Taxis: It is not expected, but you can round up the fare to make it easier.
- Hotels: It is common to tip the bell boys, and servants, though tipping the staff is something optional yet accepted.
- Restaurants: It is totally up to you. But It is common to tip the servants. Again, tipping the staff is something optional yet accepted.
- Guides & Drivers: Besides above you should tip any tour guide about 10% and the driver about 5%.
- LEGAL BEVERAGES
Under the law, it is forbidden for Iran's Muslim citizens to have alcoholic drink.
According to the rules and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran entry of Alcoholic beverages are proscribed.
Try to think of your trip to Iran as a cleansing experience, where your body can recover from all that overexposure to alcoholic toxins. Alcohol is strictly forbidden to Iranian by law.
Instead, you will have the opportunity to taste all kind of different non-alcoholic local drinks of Iran.
- BRING ENOUGH CASH!
Plastic money such as credit and debit cards are not widely accepted in Iran which means that you will have to carry enough money in paper currency for the trip. Estimate your total needs before you travel to Iran so that you carry enough cash with you to cover all your travel costs and any shopping you plan to do together with some amount reserved for contingencies.
Money changers are available on the streets in shopping areas and most jewelry stores in major cities. American Dollars, British Pounds, Euros and even Indian Rupees can be exchanged freely.
Iran is still a cash economy, so bring enough hard currency for the duration of your stay. US dollars and euros are the most useful, and new and large (USD 100 or EUR 100 or higher) bills in good condition are preferred and usually get a better rate. Trade embargoes mean that banks will not forward cash advances on your foreign credit cards and they are only accepted by select stores for large purchases, such as Persian rugs. Most will be happy to forward you some cash on your credit card at the same time as your purchase. If you are desperate for cash, you can also try asking these shops to extend you the same favour without buying a rug or souvenir, but expect to pay dearly for the luxury.
In theory central banks in provincial capitals are able to cash Travellers’ cheques, but the paperwork and time involved make them impractical for tourist use.
ATMs exist in most cities, and there are point-of-sale devices in some larger stores, but only local bank cards are accepted. Bank Tejarat is now providing a prepaid smart-card service for foreign tourists travelling to Iran. Using this service, you can buy a prepaid smart-card with foreign currency which can be used on the domestic ATM and point-of-sale network for withdrawing rials. You can apply for this service at some travel agents, if they support the service, or by visiting the special Tejarat Bank kiosk in Tehran's Mehrabad international airport. Before your departure, the remaining credit on the card can be changed back to foreign currency. Since the domestic ATM network is prone to malfunctions, and point-of-sale devices are not common in stores, having a cash reserve (either rials or foreign currency) is still recommended.
- MONEY & CREDIT CARDS
CURRENCY IN IRAN
The currency in Iran, or the money used, is called the rial (pronounced ‘reeyaal’). The rial is like the dollar or a pound in that is made up of 100 pieces, in Iran called dinars. However, due to high inflation one riyal is worth so little that no fraction of it is really used on a day to day basis.
The rial was first introduced as the currency in Iran in 1798 as a coin. Back then it was worth 1250 dinars. Then in 1825 the rial ceased to be issued. The kran of 1000 dinars was then issued as part of a decimal system. The rial replaced the kran at par in 1932, although it was divided into one hundred (new) dinars.
When talking money in Iran you may hear the term “toman”. The toman is an old term but is no longer an official currency. However it is is still used on a daily basis in Iran and it refers to the amount of ten rials.
The rial (ISO 4217 code IRR) is the currency of Iran. Although the "toman" is no longer an official unit of Iranian currency, Iranians commonly express amounts of money and prices of goods in "tomans." For this purpose, one "toman" equals 10 rials. Despite this usage, amounts of money and prices of goods are virtually always written in rials. For example, the sign next to a loaf of bread in a store would state the price in rials, e.g., "200 Rials," even though the clerk, if asked, would say that the bread costs "20 tomans."
There is no official symbol for the currency but the Iranian standard ISIRI 820 defined a symbol for use on typewriters (mentioning that it is an invention of the standards committee itself) and the two Iranian standards ISIRI 2900 and ISIRI 3342 define a character code to be used for it. Although the "Toman" is no longer an official unit of Iranian currency, but the people commonly express amounts of money and prices in toman than rial.
One toman is equal to 10 rials. Despite this vast common usage of toman, banknotes are in rial, amounts money and prices on the goods are in rial and as tourist the people may try communicate through rial to you than toman. So it’s a practice for your math to get use to Rial and Toman and their relations to foreign currencies.
It’s hard to give a number as the exchange range as it changes a lot, so better to look for the exchange rate once you are doing it here in Iran.
There are both coins and notes in use here in Iran; the biggest existing coin is 5000 Rials and the smallest is 250 Rials, and in notes the biggest is 100,000 IRR and the smallest is 1000 IRR. There is also a 500,000 IRR travel check in use that functions very much like the biggest note in use.
Credit Cards in Iran, the global banking system here is the subject to international embargoes at the moment; and that’s why you are required to make your tour payment in cash on arrival, and also you are highly recommended to take enough cash on you for the daily expenses and small shopping because you are not able to withdraw money from your bank accounts in Iran.
Also it doesn’t mean you cannot use your credit cards in any way. In spite of the international embargoes on banking community here, you are able to make payment for big shopping (normally more than 400 or 500 USD) by using your credit cards.
Some Iranian traders have worked towards a bit of solutions to ease the restrictions on trading. They, very simply, open up a bank account in one of the nearby countries like UAE and transfer the money from clients’ credit cards into their bank accounts. So, feel free to take your credit cards on you for shopping.
In order to use a credit card in Iran the digits number and on the cards must be bulged (raised), but not printed (the old faction manual machine is in use) to complete the payment procedure.
- GREETING & CUSTOMS
"SALAAM", this is the most in use in Iran which means hello.
Greeting is very outstanding as it takes normally a longer time than it does for the other nations. The most frequent word is “SALAM” (means Hello) in Iranian greeting.
In Iran men and men shake hand and kiss like three times if they see each other after a while, so don’t be shock if you see men kissing each other on cheeks. The same for women that they shake hand and kiss as well.
Iran is a Muslim country so you may not see men and women shake hand or kiss largely when greeting, that’s possible when they are relatives. However, it’s a lot easier for the younger generations and modern Iran of nowadays. This means Iranian younger generation shake hand widely in greeting, no matter men or women. In case of foreigners is also largely fine with shaking hand, So you may largely shake hand with younger people you will meet, doesn’t matter man or woman, unless they show no interest in doing it.
- FOOD & DRINKS
Iran cuisine is diverse as well as its nature, landscape, the dialects and many more, with each province featuring dishes, culinary traditions and styles distinct to its region.
Typical Persian main dishes are combination of rice with meat, lamb, beef, chicken, fish and some onion, vegetables, nuts and herbs. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic Persian flavorings such as saffron ,dried limes, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and use in some special dishes. It includes a wide variety of foods ranging from rice, Ghorme Sabzi, Gheimeh, Aash the thick soup, vegetable Soufflé, white rice alone or with addition of meat and/or vegetables and herbs, and a diverse variety salads, pastries, appetizers, and desserts is extensive.
Fresh green herbs are frequently used along with fruits such as plums, pomegranates, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. A wide range of dried herbs as well as the rose and flavor water of the herbs is also in use for medical purposes.
Don’t miss to taste, Chelo Kebab (the barbecued lamb and rice), Jojeh kebab (the barbecued chicken and rice) are like the national Iranian dishes which you can mostly taste everywhere round the country. There are m ````any special dishes highlights, typical of each city richer in herbs and vegetables that you should seek as you go from one city to the next.
Never say no to an offer for eating in an Iranian house. This is the greatest chance to appreciate the real taste of Iranian dish.
Here are some the examples of the foods, drinks or the specialties of famous Iranian cities that you may not miss them as you are traveling into these cities:
- Different kind of kebab
- Baghali polo (lamb shank and green rice and large beans)
- Fesenjan (chicken, pomegranate sauce and walnut)
- Dizi (grains, boiled lamb, potato, tomato and fat)
- Mirza Ghasemi (eggplant, egg and tomato sauce)
- Hoseini Kebab (Lamb barbecued with meat sauce)
- Dolme (eggplant, green pepper, rice and lamb with pomegranate sauce)
- Beryani (the roasted lamb with vegetables)
- Khoresht Mast (the saffron yogurt and red berries)
- Gaz (nougat)
- Doogh va Goshfil (yogurt drink with greasy light brown sweet)
- Kalampolo (rice, cabbage, vegetables, lamb ball)
- Tahchin (shaped cut rice with lamb or chicken and saffron)
- Khoresht Bademjan (eggplnt, lamb meat, tomato)
- KofteSabzi (rice, lentils, vegetables and grain)
- Aash Reshte (thick soup with vegetables, grains and wheat starch)
- Aash Doogh (yogurt drink, grains, vegetables)
- Aash Sabzi (thick soup with grains, green vegetables, rice)
- Halim bademjan & Kashke Bademjan (eggplant and Diery)
- Ranginak (date with walnut and wheat starch and cinnamon sauce)
- Halva Zard ( rice starch, rose water, sugar, saffron)
- Ice cream (traditional ice cream with milk fat slices in it) also the modern flavor types
- Falodeh (the ice noodlewith rose water or lime juice)
- Noone Yokheh (thin bread layer tied on each other in nice cut shape, sugar, rose water and coconut powder)
- Koloche Masghati (biscuits and jelly sweets)
- Fresh fruit juice (orange, melon and carrot with ice cream)
- Bidmeshk-o- Nastaran (mix of two flavor herbs water)
- Tas kebab Shotor (camel meat and potato and chili sauce)
- Aash Sholi (thick soup with vegetables, grains and spice)
- Falodeh Yazdi (ice noodle, rose water and black juice seeds)
- Yazdi cake
- Qottab (round sweet with rose water, herbs and starch
- Chihar loz (pistachio, almond, coconut and saffron)
- Sohan (sugar, sweet, pistachio and rose water)
- Arakiyats (the flavored water of the herbs)
- Fresh fruit drinks
- WHAT TO WEAR?
Women wear non-transparent, loose garments covering all their bodies except for the hands and face. Color is a free choice, but red, orange, pink or similar colors are not put on during national or private sad occasions. Black is not a must. Chador is not a must either, but when it comes to visit a holy mausoleum and you have the opportunity to experience wearing a chador for a few minutes.
Men put on non-transparent garments too. They may wear short-sleeve shirts or T-shirts (unlike women), but not shorts in the public. The choice of color is the same for men as well. Due to the heat of the Sun and in order to protect your skin, do not forget to put on some Sun block cream on your skin.
The headscarf you get used to within a day, without fail!
For women the dresscode can be off-putting, however, it is not necessary to dress in ugly shapeless coats. Most Iranian ladies give a lot of attention to their clothing and make-up and especially in the cities, the rusari or headscarf is worn in such a way that quite a lot of hair is visible. Also the manteau or overcoat is tight fitting (especially with the young girls) and pretty. Only in Mashhad and Qom you should take care to dress more traditionally, i.e. black and not revealing. As a tourist you will be treated with even more leniency. The headscarf you get used to within a day, without fail!
Men can wear almost anything including tie, even bow tie. The only thing the men will not use in Iran and it is not customized to Iranian society is the shorts. Iranian consider using shorts in their privacy than on the street.