Thu, 23 Oct 2008
From:
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government intends to centralize the points of entry of foreign-made goods susceptible to smuggling in order to simplify their supervision under the impact of the global financial crisis, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said.

"I want the customs directorate general to secure import activities and consider the possibility of centralizing the points of entry of certain commodities," the minister said here Wednesday.

She said the certain commodities she meant were those easily smuggled into the country such as electronics and textiles. Centralizing the points of entry for those goods meant they could be imported only through certain ports in Indonesia.

"Goods arriving at other ports will not be allowed in. So, for instance, any foreign-made textile shipment entering through other ports will be considered illegal and this will simplify supervision," she said.

The minister said reducing illegal imports and smuggling was a step to anticipate a glut in imported goods as a consequence of shrinking world markets.

Besides centralizing the points of entry for certain imported goods, the government would also close ports through which smuggled goods usually entered the country.

"I spoke to the Transportation Ministry to watch over and take action against ports that have the potential of letting smuggled goods through. Such ports must be put under close watch, or closed, if necessary," she said.

The minister also called on the customs service to anticipate a decline in export activity caused by the service`s low performance.

She said the ecoomic slowdown in the US and other western countries would prompt countries that had been suplying those markets to divert their exports to other countries, including Indonesia.

"If their goods come here legally or with the proper documents, there`s nothing we can do because they are legal imports but we ask the customs service to prevent smuggling and illegal imports," she said. (*)



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