Friday, April 3, 2009

Import of Waste Materials

Many industries in Indonesia consume waste materials to be used as raw materials in their manufacturing process, for example Steel and Paper/Pulp industries.
Unfortunately, our country does not have enough waste material to feed those industries, therefore they have to be imported from other countries.

Importation of waste materials is quite risky, in the sense that they might be contaminated by materials which are dangerous/hazardous/radioactive/ poisonous for our environment therefore forbidden to enter our teritorry.

In order to make sure that the waste materials are safe, HukumOnline reported that on 24 October 2008 the Minister of Trade issued a regulation regarding importation of Non Dangerous & Poisonous materials (B3) i.e. Decree No. 41/M-DAG/PER/10/2008 which require importer of waste materials to possess a Non B3 Waste Materials Import License. Besides, the importers are also required to obtain recommendation from the Minister of State of Environmental Affairs.
Further, the decree stipulates that the loading of such waste materials should be inspected by an independent surveyor appointed by the Minister of Trade. In which case, the exporter should provide the importer with a letter stating:
1)That the cargo is free from Dangerous & Poisonous Materials (B3)
2)If during discharge in Indonesia the cargo is found to contain B3 materials, then the importers should take the cargo back outside Indonesia.
The decree gave penalties to importers of the B3 materials as well as the surveyor which do not comply with the new regulation.

This regulation was supposed to be enforceable on 24 December 2008, but due to strong objections by the importers/industry, especially the Steel and Paper/ Pulp industries, according to Analisa Daily, last December the Minister of Trade revised the regulation with Decree No. 58/M-DAG/PER/12/2008.
And according to Lets Recycle the government postphoned the enforcement of the said regulation until 24 June 2009.

The above mentioned regulation brings mixed feelings for me, on the one hand I am very glad that Dangerous & Poisonous waste materials are prevented to enter our country's teritorry. But on the other hand I felt that the regulation might create complications, e.g criteria of B3 contamination, which would hinder the businesses of Steel and Paper/Pulp industries which are very depended on imported waste materials.

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