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Indonesia: Port overwhelmed by fruit and vegetable importsThe Agriculture Ministry’s Quarantine Agency officials at Tanjung Priok Port say they are overwhelmed by the overflow of imported fruits and vegetables. The situation was caused by the disproportional ratio between the checking and quarantine facilities and the amount of imported fruit and vegetables.
“The quarantine facilities, especially in Tanjung Priok, are inadequate,” said Agriculture Deputy-Minister Rusman Heriawan last week. As a result, many businesses have complained about the absence of cold storage facilities.
The businesses were also unhappy with the higher cost of delivery stemming from a 2011 issued policy which limits the gateways for imported fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, state port-management company Pelindo II was willing to provide an area to be used by the ministry as quarantine area in Tanjung Priok.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry has agreed to postpone the implementation import restrictions. The regulations will now come into force on March 19th.
In the regulation, imported fruit and vegetables can only enter through four places, namely Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya; Soekarno-Hatta Port, Makassar; Belawan Port, Medan; and Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Tangerang.
Before the regulation was applied, there were eight entries for imported fruit and vegetables. One of the entries which has been closed is the Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta. This has generated protest from businesses and other countries.
“If we need a transition period, we can postpone it for the next three months,” said the deputy agriculture minister
Although postponed, the ministry will not annul the import restriction regulation. “It’s okay to postpone it as long it’s still implemented,” said Rusman.
Publication date: 2/21/2012
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