Indonesia regulation could trip U.S. fruit exports

09/13/2012 10:58:00 AM
Tom Karst

New regulations threaten to entangle U.S. fruit exports to an important Asian market.

While the Indonesia government did recently rescind its intention to close the port of Jakarta to imported produce, another regulation set to go into effect Sept. 28 could cause problems for U.S. produce exports, said Mark Powers, vice president of international trade and transportation for the Northwest Horticultural Council, Yakima, Wash.

Tom KarstPowersFrom January through July this year, Indonesia imported $56 million of U.S. fruit, including $41 million in apples and $10 million in grapes.

Indonesia’s new rules add registration and licensing of importers for horticultural products, and also would impose new duties for exporters, Powers said.

The new rule would add labeling and packaging requirements, in addition to an inspection/surveying requirement before each load is exported.

Powers said the new requirement — likely to look at origin information, volume, value and safety of packaging — is not workable the way the exports are handled today. He said it would create logistics headaches for shippers.

“Having a surveyor company checking off the thousands of containers that are going to be going out all wanting to be on the same vessel on the same shipping date loading out of a number of different packinghouses presents a significant problem and cost,” he said.

Powers said the industry is doing it all it can to work with the U.S. government to ask the Indonesian government to postpone or rescind the regulation.

“There have been a number of meetings on this issues between the U.S. and Indonesian authorities but we have no resolution.”

It is unclear when Indonesia will begin to enforce the new rule, he said.



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Anton van Zyl    
Cape Town, South Africa  |  September, 17, 2012 at 06:37 AM

Similar new regulations are also being / have been put in place for export of South African citrus and table grapes to Indonesia. The procedures in place at this stage are already killing trade ex RSA with Indonesia, and the additional "new" rules and regulations will kill trade completely. As per this article it is logistically impossible to adhere to the new additional regulations - the regualtions put in place by Indonesian authorities earlier in 2012 already made it practically (and cost wise) a near impossibility to export fresh produce to Indonesia.

Rebecca    
November, 14, 2012 at 04:02 PM

I agree with Indonesia. As a consumer, I demand information on origin and the safety of packaging. I also want information on whether what I buy is GMO or non-GMO. I think it is a RIGHT to have this information

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