Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu bowed Monday to pressure for an immediate limitation on the entry of five categories of goods into certain ports and airports by issuing a revised policy that will take place on Jan. 1.
Under the policy, five categories of goods including garments, footwear, toys, electronics, food and beverages can henceforth only enter the country through five designated ports and certain international airports.
Only garments will enter the country using pre-shipment inspection (PSI) procedures as of Jan. 1 while the four other categories of goods will use these inspection procedures as of Feb. 1.
The ports that will serve as entry points include Belawan in North Sumatra, Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Emas in Semarang (Central Java), Tanjung Perak in Surabaya (East Java) and Makassar in South Sulawesi .
The policy is aimed at strengthening supervision of the customs office against the possible smuggling of these products.
Mari's earlier decision to delay the implementation of the policy to Feb. 15 from Dec. 15 drew opposition from the business community which demanded immediate restrictions to protect their business sustainability.
Trade Minister Fahmi Idris said his ministry was drafting a proposal requesting the Trade Ministry to extend the categories of imported goods that could enter the country only through the designated ports.
It is therefore proposed that these import restrictions will be extended to apply to cosmetics, ceramics, steel, energy-saving lamps, cell phones, auto parts (spark plugs and filters) and bicycles, according to Fahmi. -- JP