Fri, 11 Dec 2009
From: The Jakarta Post
By Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The Indonesian Food and Beverage Industry Association (Gapmmi) has asked the government to enforce a 2008 Trade Ministry regulation on imports of some products, including those regulated under a free-trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China (AC-FTA).

“Just use lobby words in renegotiations [to propose it] because the Trade Ministry regulation is due at the end of 2010,” Gapmmi chairman Thomas Darmawan said after a meeting at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) on Thursday.

“Tariffs will be applied as scheduled (under the AC-FTA), but if imports become more strict, it will be harder for products to enter [the country].”

The regulation, which was made effective earlier this year, stipulates that food and beverage, garment, footwear, toy and consumptive electronic imports may only enter the country after a pre-shipment inspection at all international airports and five appointed seaports; Belawan Port in Medan, Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang, Central Java, Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, and Soekarno-Hatta Port in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

For food and beverage products, Dumai Port in Riau was also made available under the regulation.

Importing products through other ports will be declared illegal.

Thomas said the food and beverage industry was mostly concerned about planned zero tariffs on products made from sugar, soybean, rice and corn.

He said the industry would “die” if these products entered the country with a zero tariff, while raw materials were given import duties.

“We need tariff harmonization.

“We can use this for our reasoning [to exclude such products from the AC-FTA],” he said.



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