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Indonesia tightens batik textile imports
Aug '15
In view of rising imports of batik textiles, Indonesia's Ministry of Trade has issued a regulation requiring all importers of batik-patterned fabrics to register with the ministry and seek special permit for import.
Addressing a press conference in Jakarta last week, trade minister Rachmat Gobel said, “There is a rising trend in imports of batik textiles...so, we need to put an effort to preserve domestic batik industry by blocking batik textile imports.”
In January-April 2015, Indonesian batik textile imports reached $34 million, showing a rise of 21.4 per cent over $28 million imports during the corresponding period of last year, a ministry statement said.
Explaining the reason behind the issuance of new regulation, Gobel said, “If the imports continue, our domestic industry will not be able to compete. Our grandchildren will never know if batik is Indonesia's cultural heritage—this is the reason for the issuance of the policy.”
According to Gobel, the batik industry in Indonesia employs 1.3 million people, generating sales value of Rp 5.9 trillion ($440 million).
As per Notification No. 53/M-DAG/PER/7/2015 issued by the Ministry, every company that will import batik-patterned textiles must register and obtain an Import Approval and recommendation from the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs.
Such recommendations must at least contain Tariff/HS code information, the volume of batik textile to be imported, the name of the import destination port, and validity period. In addition, it must be accompanied by information on the product or packaging in the Indonesian language Bahasa Indonesia.
The rules, which will come into effect from October this year, also restrict the number of ports through which the companies may ship in. The seaports are Belawan in Medan, North Sumatra; Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, East Java; Soekarno-Hatta in Makassar, South Sulawesi; while the only airport allowed is Soekarno-Hatta in Tangerang, Central Java.
In addition, all imports must have prior report from an independent surveyor about the origin of the batik-patterned textile.
Indonesia's batik and batik-patterned textile imports increased from $80.8 million in 2013 to $87.1 million in 2014, according to the data from the Ministry of Commerce. 
In 2009, Unesco had recognised Indonesian batik as a world intangible heritage item. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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