The customs and excise office at Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, is set to send back eight containers of waste paper from Australia after finding them contaminated with toxic and dangerous materials.
The containers of 210,340 kilograms of waste paper had been imported by PT MDI and cleared for departure from a Brisbane seaport, Tanjung Perak Customs and Excise Office head Basuki Suryanto said on Tuesday.
“We carefully examined the suspicious imported goods and found that they were contaminated with toxic waste,” he added.
The containers had been shipped by Oceanic Multitrading, which moored in Surabaya on June 12. They were said to have come with a license from the Trade Ministry, import approval documents and a surveyor’s report. The inspection at the seaport of origin was conducted Indonesian state-owned surveyor PT Sucofindo and partners, according to Basuki.
According to the examination in Surabaya, the waste paper is mixed with various types of garbage, including domestic and electronic waste, oil, plastic bottles and diapers.
Basuki said the return shipment would be conducted soon after the proposal from the importer, MDI, was processed.
“Once this is done, the waste will be sent back to its country of origin,” Basuki said.
He added that his office was currently examining 38 containers of imported waste paper from the United States and another 20 from Germany.
No examination results have been released yet.
According to the office’s data, 18 companies import waste paper through Tanjung Perak Port.
Importing waste contaminated with toxic or other dangerous materials violates Law No. 32/2009 on the environment and can be punished with four to 12 years of imprisonment and Rp 4 billion (US$282,874) to Rp 12 billion in fines.
“It is also a violation of Law No. 18/2008 on waste management, which carries the same penalty,” he said.