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Update on Indonesia’s Import Regulations

Indonesia Again Revises Recovered Paper Import Standard

ISRI has learned that the Indonesian government has directed preshipment inspection companies to inspect materials for a 0.5 percent prohibitives tolerance. Although ISRI has not yet seen the government’s official policy, preshipment inspection companies are informing their customers of this requirement.

Paper recycling plant

Indonesia is a major consumer of imported recovered paper, which provides about 50 percent of the needs of Indonesia’s eight paper mills and more than 60 paper companies. However, in relation to the global attention on plastics, the government implemented tighter preshipment inspection requirements in June with little notice, resulting in shipments arriving to ports the government deemed as noncompliant although they had been inspected according to the former regime. Because of this, the Ministry of Environment & Forests instituted an import ban on mixed paper and has been working to finalize import requirements for other paper grades.

ISRI and its national Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter have been working closely with the government and inspection companies to enhance their understanding of the ISRI scrap specifications, which has led to the government approving imports that meet the ISRI specifications for outthrows. When ISRI and its PSI representatives visited Indonesia in early July, they were told the government was concerned about the ISRI specifications for prohibitives given the country’s poor waste management infrastructure. ISRI and PSI continue to be in frequent contact with authorities in Indonesia to encourage a final import policy that is based on the ISRI specifications, which are based on the market.

ISRI also is coordinating with The Recycling Association in the United Kingdom, which has sent letters to Indonesian officials expressing concerns about tight import standards. The two associations are looking to jointly visit Indonesia in September to continue technical discussions with the government.

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