Are you trying to import the ticket number into the JIRA ticket number? You can't do that. When I import I create a field named something like 'old number' and import the old key into that field and only put it on the view screen.
Oops, sorry Joe, I didn't read the question like that, but it makes more sense than what I was guessing at. Jira won't import issue ids you give it because it creates issues sequentially in the project. The only time an issue id is of use in an import is when it is the id of an existing issue in JIRA and you want to *update* that issue, not create a new one. As Joe says, to preserve your "foreign" non-JIRA ids, map the issue id into a custom field.
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