Apparently smuggling practices were hard to eradicate because it had become a vicious circle which involved many parties and seving various interests. Smuggling of any commodity used clothes not an exception was done by greedy individuals who whished to reap big income by breaking export-import regulations. Indonesia was losing a great deal from these practices, materially or non materially.
The criminal act of smuggling was extremely disadvantageous and distorted Indonesia’s balanced life. Loss borne by the state due to smuggling came to trillions of Rupiahs. Beside material loss, smuggling also incurred non material losses like death of the local garment industry which caused mass dismissal of workers, and this was not to mention the germs and bacteria stuck in the used garments. Meanwhile to import used clothes from abroad brought dishonor to Indonesia.
Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Textile Industry (API) Ade Sudradjat disclosed that imported used clothes were particularly aimed at the marginal group. He stated that used clothes had potential market in Indonesia especially among the low income group, promised no added value to the domestic textile industry. For that matter Ade stated that he fully supported acts by the Tax Dept. in strengthening harbor customs gates to shield off invasion of used clothes. “In terms of health we are most disadvantaged as we have no idea about the hygienic state of the products and we never know who used those clothes before” Ade remarked.
According to Ade, the invasion of used clothes was a indirect impact of International Fee Trade Agreement. That Free Trade might bing benefit to Indonesia, is should be responded to correctly nad make sure it was beneficial to growth, that Indonesia might enter the international marked. He underscored that if used clothes were allowed to enter Indonesian market it was almost sure to undermine marketing of domestic products; in the end the Indonesian market would be dominated by imported products only.
He urged related Indonesian institutions, particularly law enforcers to foster collaboration more intensively. Ade rated that this firm and synergic commitment was an effort to crackdown on smugglers who operated in many regions. Indeed to abolish smuggling was not an easy task and needed a lot of patience, indeed it was a hard challenge afield. Therefore law enforcers who were in charge to monitor and control import must never be off guard in screening the goods entering the custom checkpoints.
Further Ade said that snuggling did not only disadvantage the state because they evaded taxes but also people’s economy because they robbed market share of the local industry. The smuggled goods was by far cheaper than locally produced goods sold by retailers. Many traders complained because the commodities they sell were outsmarted by smuggled goods. “If this condition were allowed to go on it could kill tax-paying traders” Ade concluded.