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ISRI cries foul over new Indonesian regulations

New regulations for importing scrap into Indonesia are said to be so restrictive that they are in effect blocking trade.

According to the US-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Indonesia government has set out the regulations for imports of all scrap materials. ISRI says these are currently only available in the national language and it is awaiting an English translation.

A statement said: ‘Our contacts have provided an initial analysis that describes a policy that is so restrictive as to potentially halt trade.’

ISRI says it understands the key points to be:

  • Only direct shipments will be allowed with no trans-shipment, for example via Singapore.
  • The exporter, who can send only from their own country, must be listed on documentation so they can be verified.
  • A ban on shipments from brokers and traders is being considered – meaning material can be sourced or exported only from processors.
  • A zero impurity threshold.

An ISRI new release adds: ‘The last point contradicts what we learned during a visit to Indonesia in September that the impurities threshold would be 2% at the outset and transition to 0.5% in two years.’

It is understood a regulation on the threshold has been enacted but KSO-Sucofindo, the government agency responsible for overseeing its implementation including pre-shipment inspections, is not ready to use it and has imposed a temporary moratorium on imports. Pre-shipment inspection agencies informed their customers that there be no more inspections after 22 November.

‘We are concerned that it will dramatically restrict trade because of who’s allowed to be part of the transaction, how the transaction is allowed to be conducted and what’s allowed in containers,’ says assistant vice president of international affairs at ISRI Adina Renee Adler. ‘We’re also concerned that despite opportunities to discuss these issues with the government, the final outcome was made without public consultation and without advanced notice or time to transition or prepare for its implementation.’

ISRI has asked US Government officials in Washington and Jakarta to help obtain information as well as communicating its concerns with the new rules.

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