Smuggled food & beverages up as controls weaker in elections

Mustaqim Adamrah, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKAR..." /> Smuggled food & beverages up as controls weaker in elections

Mustaqim Adamrah, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKAR...">
Smuggled food & beverages up as controls weaker in elections

Mustaqim Adamrah, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKARTA

Smuggled food and beverages have entered northern parts of Sumatra because of weakening government supervision during elections, alleges a business association.

Franky Sibarani, a director at the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (Gapmmi), said last week a number of products, such as canned milk, biscuits, packaged puff cakes and candies, were found here without the so-called ML code.

The code, which can be found on packaging, refers to the registration code issued by the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) for imported food and beverage products sold in Indonesia.

“Gapmmi members found a number of illegal food and beverage products being sold in traditional markets in Medan (North Sumatra) around late March and early April,” he said in an interview.

“Those products did not have the ML code on them. They were allegedly smuggled from Malaysia and China.”

Franky said eight items and 37 items of smuggled products were also found in Batam, Kepulauan Riau province, and in Pekanbaru, Riau province, respectively.

He could not specify potential losses as calculations were still being made, in cooperation with the BPOM, whose chairwoman Husniah Rubiana Thamrin Akib could not be reached for comments.

Frankly blamed the elections as the reason for increased laxity. While election campaigns boosted demand for food and beverage products, “Government’s supervision under Trade Ministry regulation No. 60/2008 was weakening as government was focusing on elections.”

The regulation to protect domestic industries from smuggled goods, said that imports of food and beverages, garments, footwear, children’s toys and electronics could only enter the country after a pre-shipment inspection via five designated seaports and any international airport.

The five seaports are Belawan Port in Medan, Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang, Central Java, Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, and Soekarno-Hatta Port in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

For food and beverage products, the Dumai Port in Riau is also made available for importation.
Imports of these designated products through any other ports will be declared illegal.

Franky said smuggled products had declined since the regulation stwas introduced, but infringements of the rules had increased in the election period up to April 9.

Smuggled food and beverages may amount to up to 30 percent of annual domestic sales at retail level, the association estimated.

Meanwhile Dhanang Sasongko, chairman of Indonesian Educative and Traditional Toy Association (Apmeti), said last week that no similar cases had been found in children’s toys, as demand for these products was not related to or affected by the elections.

Echoing Dhanang, Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) secretary-general Singgih Witarso and the Industry Ministry’s director for electronic industry said no such cases had been found on imports of footwear and electronics in relation to enforcement of the regulations during the election.
<span style="font-size: 14pt"><span style="font-weight: bold">Smuggled food &amp; beverages up as controls weaker in elections</span></span><br /> <br /> Mustaqim Adamrah, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKARTA <br /> <br /> Smuggled food and beverages have entered northern parts of Sumatra because of weakening government supervision during elections, alleges a business association.<br /> <br /> Franky Sibarani, a director at the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (Gapmmi), said last week a number of products, such as canned milk, biscuits, packaged puff cakes and candies, were found here without the so-called ML code.<br /> <br /> The code, which can be found on packaging, refers to the registration code issued by the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) for imported food and beverage products sold in Indonesia.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Gapmmi members found a number of illegal food and beverage products being sold in traditional markets in Medan (North Sumatra) around late March and early April,&rdquo; he said in an interview.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Those products did not have the ML code on them. They were allegedly smuggled from Malaysia and China.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Franky said eight items and 37 items of smuggled products were also found in Batam, Kepulauan Riau province, and in Pekanbaru, Riau province, respectively.<br /> <br /> He could not specify potential losses as calculations were still being made, in cooperation with the BPOM, whose chairwoman Husniah Rubiana Thamrin Akib could not be reached for comments.<br /> <br /> Frankly blamed the elections as the reason for increased laxity. While election campaigns boosted demand for food and beverage products, &ldquo;Government&rsquo;s supervision under Trade Ministry regulation No. 60/2008 was weakening as government was focusing on elections.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The regulation to protect domestic industries from smuggled goods, said that imports of food and beverages, garments, footwear, children&rsquo;s toys and electronics could only enter the country after a pre-shipment inspection via five designated seaports and any international airport.<br /> <br /> The five seaports are Belawan Port in Medan, Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang, Central Java, Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, and Soekarno-Hatta Port in Makassar, South Sulawesi.<br /> <br /> For food and beverage products, the Dumai Port in Riau is also made available for importation.<br /> Imports of these designated products through any other ports will be declared illegal.<br /> <br /> Franky said smuggled products had declined since the regulation stwas introduced, but infringements of the rules had increased in the election period up to April 9.<br /> <br /> Smuggled food and beverages may amount to up to 30 percent of annual domestic sales at retail level, the association estimated.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile Dhanang Sasongko, chairman of Indonesian Educative and Traditional Toy Association (Apmeti), said last week that no similar cases had been found in children&rsquo;s toys, as demand for these products was not related to or affected by the elections.<br /> <br /> Echoing Dhanang, Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) secretary-general Singgih Witarso and the Industry Ministry&rsquo;s director for electronic industry said no such cases had been found on imports of footwear and electronics in relation to enforcement of the regulations during the election.
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