Police to Enforce Used Clothing Import Ban at Entry Gates
Pontianak. The National Police will tighten security measures to block the entry of second-hand clothes at all import gates to follow a direct order from the president, Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo said in Pontianak on Saturday.
The government has adopted a regulation banning the import of used clothes for years but secondhand apparel and footwear are sold openly in many cities including Jakarta.
In a recent statement, President Joko Widodo said used clothing imports have done serious damage to the domestic textile industry and he instructed all related agencies to reimpose the regulation.
"I have ordered my personnel across the country to conduct security checks at all entry gates including those with customs clearance offices," Sigit said during a visit to the West Kalimantan capital.
“I also instructed stern measures against smuggling,” he added.
Police are collaborating with the Customs and Excise Directorate to cut off imports of second-hand products, Listyo said.
Earlier, National Police spokesman Ahmad Ramadhan said preventive measures against used clothing imports will be taken directly at import gates to prevent conflicts between police members and traders.
He said secondhand goods were mostly smuggled via small and unguarded entry points like small ports which have no customs declaration office.
The Indonesian Fiber and Filament Yarn Producers Association, or APSyFI, said recently that illegal clothing imports, including about 30 percent of used clothes, reached 300,000 tons worth $2.1 billion every year.
Customs and Excise Director General Askolani said used clothes and footwear made their way to Indonesia through five main harbors namely Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Tanjung Emas in Semarang, Belawan in North Sumatra, and Cikarang in West Java.
“The clothes were smuggled under the undeclared label,” Askolani said. The other way to pass the customs check is by mixing them with lawfully imported goods.