GTAI: Indonesia regulates food imports

Photo: Fikri Rasyid / Unsplash

Indonesia makes food imports more difficult and strictly regulates the granting of import licences, says the German foreign trade agency GTAI.

On average, Indonesians spend half of their consumer spending on food. Imports of food that exceed the basic supply are only reluctantly allowed and strictly regulated through the granting of import licenses, reports the foreign trade agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI). In addition to customs duties, there are non-tariff barriers to trade – 436 of these have been identified by the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) in a recent study.

Another instrument of protectionism, according to the GTAI, is the Halal Law, which has been in force since October 2019 and gives the Indonesian government a free hand to stop the import of almost any kind of processed food. So far it could not be implemented due to the lack of own certification capacities, but it is already having a deterrent effect. The extent to which the World Trade Organization (WTO) can prevent a strict interpretation is currently unclear.