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Government acts swiftly to resolve container crisis at Indonesia's busiest port

Jakarta Globe - May 18, 2024

Maria Gabrielle, Jakarta – Chief Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, and Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga visited Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) Tanjung Priok Port on Saturday to address a controversial regulation that has left thousands of containers stranded at Indonesia's busiest port.

Their visit aimed to evaluate and educate stakeholders on the implementation of Trade Ministry Regulation Number 8 of 2024, which was introduced to streamline the process of releasing containers carrying imported goods.

The previous regulation, Number 7 of 2024, had led to the detention of 17,304 containers at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta and 9,111 containers at Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has intervened directly to amend the controversial trade regulation following reports of individuals being charged duties higher than the actual price of goods purchased for personal use.

"We hope that as a result of the new regulation, the backlog of 17,000 containers can be promptly resolved, and goods can be released today. We expect the Customs and Excise Office at Tanjung Priok to swiftly release the commodities regulated under Trade Ministry Regulation 8 of 2024," said Airlangga Hartarto during a press briefing at JICT Tanjung Priok.

Through Trade Ministry Regulation 8/2024, the government has agreed to relax import licensing for a group of goods, including electronics, footwear, apparel, fashion accessories, bags, and valves. In addition, the import of herbal medicines, health supplements, housewares, and cosmetics only requires approval from surveyors to get clearance.

Goods imported since March 10, 2024, will be processed in accordance with the rules outlined in the latest regulation. Airlangga urged all relevant parties, including port authorities, Customs officials, and service offices, to work tirelessly, including weekends and holidays, to expedite the release of the detained containers.

The decision followed reports of individuals facing exorbitant duties compared to the value of goods purchased, prompting swift government action to rectify the situation.

Actress and presenter Enzy Storia shared her unpleasant experience of having a purchased bag detained by Customs due to high taxes, deterring her from reclaiming the item.

An internet user also reported that a man in Sumatra was charged a high duty for the coffin he used to carry his deceased father from a Malaysian hospital.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/government-acts-swiftly-to-resolve-container-crisis-at-indonesias-busiest-por