Government Enforces Strict Rules on Food Imports by Destroying Imported Food Stocks at Local Supermarkets.
(7/12/2009) The Bali branch of the Agency for the Supervision of Food and Drugs (BPOM) has conducted on-site destruction of imported food items at several locations around Bali.
On Friday, July 10, 2009, a total of 277 different products were crushed and burned in the parking lot of the Bali Deli. The items, not included on the BPOM's list of approved imports included products from Portugal, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, South Korea, U.S.A. and China. These products covered a wide range of food products such as sardines, chocolate, syrups, biscuits and canned tuna fish. According to Bali Post, merchandise destroyed at Bali Deli totaled 277 items representing 53 different products.
BPOM conducted a similar operation at the nearby Carrefour Supermarket on Jalan Sunset, following an earlier raid at the Carrefour branch on Jalan Iman Bonjol.
The parking lot destruction of illegal food products at Carrefour included 70 kilograms of candies and marshmallows.
A spokesman for the Bali BPOM told the press that if local retail operations continue to sell food items that have not passed the rigorous and detailed inspection and registration process required under Indonesian law they could face criminal prosecution with fines as high as Rp. 600 million (US$58.800).
Recent changes in the law now require that all imported food items sold in Indonesia must undergo a protracted testing and registration process. Because of the costs involved and the problems local distributors face in providing information on production processes, imported items are becoming harder to find on the shelves of local supermarkets. Meanwhile, hoteliers and restaurants fear the new rules will make it nearly impossible to secure small quantities of special ingredients needed in the preparations of some cuisines. The cost and complexity of new registration and testing rules make the importation of such small quantities of specialty food items economically non-viable.