The Jakarta Post
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has announced that the government will tighten import restrictions on a number of goods, namely alcoholic beverages, tires, iron, steel, textiles and textile products.
He said the imported goods would have to enter the country through bonded logistic centers (PLBs) in an attempt to prevent smuggling.
“These commodities must pass through PLBs so we can inspect them,” said Enggartiasto in his office in Jakarta on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
He said his office was drafting a regulation on the matter, which would be ready in October. “The policy should be implemented in October,” he said
Trade Ministry International Trade Director General Oke Nurwan said the regulation would be used as an instrument to curb imports. “This is because the increase in imports has been quite high. Whether this is because of smuggling or not we don't know,” he added.
The government recently introduced higher import tax on 1,147 consumer goods in an attempt to curb imports, which were partly blamed for the rupiah weakening against the US dollar.
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data revealed a US$1.02 billion trade deficit in August and $2.03 billion in July. From January to August, the trade deficit reached $4.09 billion, with surpluses only occurring in March and June. (bbn)