Welcome to Iran. One of the oldest civilisations, Iran is a diverse, multicultural country full of rich history and exciting opportunities.

This market has distinct economic and geopolitical significance in the Middle East region. It comprises large state-owned sectors and smaller agricultural and services sectors, and is strongly influenced by oil market developments.

Iran is an emerging and sometimes complex market with opportunities for New Zealand exporters.

If you’d like to find out more about this diverse market, download our Iran market guide on this page.

The MFAT website has more information on doing business in Iran. It includes the latest information about what the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal could mean for New Zealanders doing business in this market.  

Quick facts

Here's a snapshot - you can find more detailed data in our guide.

 Export market ranking1  NZ's 40th largest export market
 Free trade agreements   None
 Ease of Doing Business ranking2  124 of 190
 Corruption Perceptions Index ranking3  130 of 180

1 Source -
2 World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2018
3 Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 

Getting to Iran

There are no direct flights from New Zealand to Iran, however Emirates, AirAsia, Qatar Airways and Thai Airways offer non-direct flights. Flights take approximately 19 hours.  

When to visit

The Iranian calendar is a solar calendar which varies each year. Given this, it’s a good idea to check when Iran’s national holidays are as some businesses may close over these periods. You can find a list of holidays in our guide on this page. 

Before you go, check
Safe Travel for travel advisories on Iran.

Cultural tips 

As an Islamic country, Muslims will stop for prayer a number of times each day. And, if you visit during Ramadan, it’s not only polite to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours, it’s illegal.

There are also other important points to note like the significance of strong local relationships, being mindful of conversation topics, and ensuring any business gifts are appropriate.

We recommend making sure you have plenty of prior knowledge before you venture into this market. You can find more cultural details in our guide on this page.

Working in-market

Getting the most out of your visit means hitting the ground running. Co-working is an excellent option if you’re staying put for more than a few days. Facilities vary, but typically you can expect a desk, and access to wifi, printer/scanner, tea/coffee and a lounge area. Some facilities may offer extended perks such as parking and on-site cafes. If you’re visiting the market solo, it also means the chance to work in the company of other like-minded business people and freelancers. Co-working spaces can be searched by city on Nomad List. 

Connect with NZTE in Iran

If you’re an NZTE customer and preparing to visit Iran, please get in touch with your Customer Manager to discuss your plans and possible areas of assistance. If you don’t have a Customer Manager, contact our Advisor Team for more information.

Iran market guide

Listen to our recent webinar for more information about Iran.
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  • I'm visiting my market. How can NZTE help me?

    If you’re an NZTE customer, please get in touch with your Customer Manager to discuss your plans and possible areas of assistance. If you don’t have a Customer Manager, contact our Advisor Team for more information.

  • I want to find an in-market distributor for my business
    NZTE doesn’t maintain lists of distributors for specific products and markets. We encourage companies to do as much of the initial search process as they can for themselves, while bringing in professional help where needed.

    You’ll find useful information on researching, finding and selecting the right distributor for you in our Export Essentials guide to understanding your channel partner options.
  • I want to find out about regulations and tariffs for export
    Regulations and tariffs should be one of the first things you find out before exporting. They often determine whether a market will be easy or hard for you to export to, or whether you should try to do business there at all.

    Understanding regulations in your export destination is a must-do. For an introduction to what you need to think about, see our guide on understanding international compliance requirements. This includes tips on how to research regulations, as well as insights on local regulations, standards, health and safety, and dealing with local bureaucracy.

    It’s a good idea to take a look at the rest of the international compliance process while you’re doing your work on regulations – see more information in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.

    If you’re planning to export food or food-related products, you should also check out the food exporting page on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website. MPI maintains a list of Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs) for New Zealand food products in different export markets – search and identify OMARs for your product online

    Tariffs can make your products more expensive and less attractive to overseas buyers, so you need to know the charges your products will attract before you commit to a new market.

    You can get a big head start in finding tariff information by using the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) tariff finder or the World Trade Organisation’s tariff download facility. You can search the databases by product name, but they work best when you know the approximate Harmonised System (HS) code for your product. HS codes are used by customs authorities around the world to identify products and apply tariffs. The longer the code is, the more precisely it describes your product. The first six digits of an HS code are usually the same worldwide – after that, there can be up to eight further digits, which often vary from country to country.

    New Zealand Customs can help you to find out the first six digits of your HS codes – email

    To get a longer and more precise HS code for a particular market, look up and contact the local customs authority online, or talk to a customs broker or freight forwarder who has done business in that market.
  • I want to find out about packaging and labelling for export
    Packaging and labelling requirements can be very different from country to country, so get as much information as you can before making the decision to export. 

    Depending on where your products will be sold, you might need to use different materials or labels, and include different types of information. In some countries, you might have to translate all your packaging or labels into the local language – in others, applying a sticker with a few key details will do the job. 

    Make sure that you check out all of the requirements for packaging and labelling before tackling a new market, including anything that’s needed during transport or distribution. 

    You’ll find more details on the kind of things you need to think about in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.

    We suggest that you work with a customs broker or freight forwarder, or get advice from a lawyer in-market, to understand all the requirements for your product and the place where it’s headed. The Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder Federation (CBAFF) has a list of customs brokers and freight forwarders within New Zealand.

Export Essentials Workshops

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