The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has issued new regulations demanding that Iranian exporters of petrochemicals promptly repatriate their foreign currency earnings, as Tehran struggles to access its export revenues under tough US sanctions. State petrochemicals firm National Petrochemical Company (NPC) and its subsidiaries and affiliates earned some $10bn in the Iranian 2017-18 calendar year before the US unilaterally reimposed sanctions in May 2018.

The CBI’s 20 May directive requires NPC and its offshoots to exchange a minimum of 60% of any forex earnings from petchems exports (which Iran classifies as non-oil exports) on the Nima official Integrated Forex Deals System, for use by importers of non-essential goods. Additionally, 10% of forex earnings should be sold in banknotes to local exchange bureaus, while the remaining 30% of total earnings should be used by petchems firms to finance the import of the goods, machinery and equipment needed to carry out their business. (CONTINUED - 967 WORDS)