Ministry to continue air cargo rule
The government says it will not change its recently implemented air freight security management system, which requires authorized agents to inspect cargoes, despite protests from business associations over delays and higher costs.
Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi said the regulation, which went into effect for domestic air freight on Saturday, was a preventive measure needed ensure safety and security.
“The ministry is blamed and asked to take responsibility whenever something regrettable happens in aviation. We are trying to enhance the safety and security of aviation,” Freddy said on Tuesday.
Under the system introduced by the ministry’s air transportation directorate at major airports, cargoes, including single packages, must be scanned with X-ray machines manned by certified agents instead of warehouse operators.
Six companies have been designated as agents: PT Angkasa Pura II, Birotika Semesta, Pajajaran Global Service, PT Ghita Avia Trans, PT Duta Angkasa Prima Kargo and PT Fajar Anugrah Semesta.
The Transportation Ministry has delayed implementing the new regulation for international air freight, saying it needed to further discuss the system with the customs and excises directorate general.
Business associations have denounced the regulation, claiming the new inspection system was time consuming and had raised inspection costs from Rp 60 (less than 1 US cent) per kilogram to between Rp 600 and Rp 850.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said that all agents must set inspection prices between Rp 250 to Rp 600.
“We hope with the new regulation, no more extra payments will be required. A company used to pay Rp 60 per kilogram, however, it actually spent much more money on additional payments, such as for bookings for incoming planes,” he said.
Separately, Hariyadi Sukamdani, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Kadin) vice chairman for fiscal and public policy, said cargoes have been backed up at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport since Monday evening as agents do not have adequate infrastructure.
“There will be chaos in deliveries on Thursday,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Hariyadi said that the agents had set a “promotional” inspection price of Rp 430 per kilogram.
“After the promotion, who can ensure that they will not increase prices? Don’t use flight safety as reason to increase commercialization,” Hariyadi said. (rcf)