Trade Minister (Minister), Rahmat Gobel, said he did not hesitate, but act decisively against import and export licenses that do not follow the rules. So, the minister could argue with his subordinate, the Director General of Foreign Trade, Partogi Pangaribuan, about the revocation of 2,166 operating licenses of Registered Importers (IT) for a particular product. “The Director General of foreign Trade still managed to hold back the revocation. But I said “Do not hesitate. We issue a license, but they did not implement it. The government does not want any repeat occurrences. We want to know who works seriously, and who does not,” the minister told Business News (December 15).
2,166 IT is part of total of 5,017 IT. The importers are not disciplined in implementing obligations as mandated by the regulation of trade minister number three. Importers did not report periodically. Circulation of imported products did not report periodically. Circulation of imported products did not meet national standards. The consequence of the revocation of IT is that importer data cannot be accessed to input data at the Ministry of Trade. “The system has been locked, and it includes administrative penalties for not being disciplined.”
IT revocation cannot be separated from public complaints. On the other hand, the government is also looking at the trends of demand of gadgets, including mobile phones and smartphones, in the country. But the Indonesian national industry has not been able to open a factory for IT products. So, the domestic market is still relying on imports. “More imports, more illegal products. We discipline it, because it distorts our foreign exchange.
Meanwhile, Director General of Standardization and Consumer Protection (SPK) determined the deadline of the circulation of some children’s products without SNI (Indonesian National Standard) until December 20,2014. The deadline is a respite of two months, as it was decided in October this year. “Since the time of our unannounced inspection (sidak) on December 10 in Gembrong Market (East Jakarta), there are still many shops, including SMEs (small and medium industries) who sold these products,” Widodo told Business News (December 15).
At the time of the unannounced inspection, the officer had confirmed to the shopkeeper or retailer. The officer asked where they received a supply of goods. The officer felt the need to check who the manufacturer or importer is not easy. Because of the officer found various types of children’s toys circulating in the market, including in Gembrong market. “We need time to deal with it if we want good results.”
SNI marking of children’s products have first gone through a laboratory testing process. Standardization is based on a reference from the Ministry of Trade, relevant ministries, and the National Standardization Agency (BSN). But the officer found several products without SNI which is mostly made of plastic material. “It is indicated that there is Phtalate content. It can cause cancer to consumers, i.e. children.”
Consumer protection, including children in Indonesia, has come a concern of the government, including the Ministry of Trade. As a result of the spread of hazardous and toxic materials (B3) on toy products, it will weaken the strength of the Indonesian nation. The strength of a nation begins with the immune system of the children. “Rahmat Gobel also warned about this. Supervision, even action on the circulation of toys, should continue to be our concern.”
Businesses, whether importers, manufacturers or retailers, should not escape this responsibility. The health of children will be a major problem for the future of the Indonesian nation. So, in addition to the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act No. 8/1999, the officers in the field refer to regulation of the Minister of Trade. “If they are still selling these products after December 20, we will seal their shops. We have also been coordinating with the Provincial Agency of Cooperatives, Industry, and Trade. Because the government has maximally facilitated them, including SMEs. The Ministry of Industry has given IDR 5 billion assistance for the certification program, especially SMEs.”
The Ministry of Trade also urged housewives, especially those who have small children, to increase alertness. Mothers, in general, are always trying to please their children. Sometimes they granted the request of their children. In fact, a toy is attractive because of the color of the paint that actually contains B3 materials. “We appeal to parents not to buy products that did not bear SNI mark. We also urged traders, importers, manufacturers, and retailers to be responsible for their products. They should help build the health of the Indonesian children.” (E)
Business News - December 17, 2015