Industry Ministry defends import restriction bid


The regulation mandates ministerial approval to import over half the goods classified in 139 tariff posts and the remainder to obtain a surveyor report. — The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: The Industry Ministry has defended a regulation that restricts the importation of certain electronic devices and household appliances as intended to boost domestic manufacturing, in line with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s directive to address the trade deficit in the electronics industry.

The import restriction, which covers devices such as laptops, TV sets, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines, went into effect on Feb 6.

The regulation mandates ministerial approval to import over half the goods classified in 139 tariff posts and the remainder to obtain a surveyor report (LS).

“We are not against imports. We simply aim to maintain a favourable climate for the domestic industry, particularly for products that can be manufactured locally,” Priyadi Arie Nugroho, the ministry’s electronics and telematics director, said in a statement.

“It also provides importers with assurance regarding the distribution and sales of their products in Indonesia,” Priyadi said. The ministry’s response came after several companies, including foreign investors in the automotive and electronics industries, expressed concern over recently imposed restrictions, citing a risk of out-of-stock events and temporary production stoppages.

In late December, the Trade Ministry issued a regulation on general restrictions for imports.

Priyadi said the restrictions were unprecedented and were intended to encourage domestic players to enhance their production capacity. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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