Updated: Indonesia postpones tightening of scrap paper inspections

Updated: Indonesia postpones tightening of scrap paper inspections

New standard would have required 100 percent inspection prior to shipment and a maximum 0.5 percent impurity level.

April 3, 2019

The Indonesian government had planned to require all scrap paper imports to be inspected before shipment as of April 1. In addition, a 0.5 percent level of impurities in these shipments was to be ensured, according to a letter dated March 22 from the Indonesian inspection agency Sucofindo. However, Sucofindo issued a subsequent letter March 29 that indicates the guidelines have been postponed "until further notice." Therefore, the previous standard, which required inspecting 10 percent of incoming loads, remains in effect.

According to the initial letter to exporters from Sucofindo, the country’s customs department found “discrepancies” in scrap paper imports at the port of Tanjung Emas, leading to the change.

The March 22 letter states that the 100 percent inspection standard was to apply to paper imports until the Ministry of Trade issued scrap paper inspection technical guidelines, at which point they could change.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, originally alerted its members of Indonesia's plans to change the inspection requirement March 27.

ISRI says Indonesia is a major growth market for U.S. recovered paper exports. In 2018, U.S. exports totaled 1.2 million metric tons, worth $150 million, representing a 165 percent and 95 percent increase over 2017, respectively.

The association said at the time of the initial announcement that it was working with the Indonesian and U.S. governments to “advocate for a more open consultative process with the recycling industry" to ensure that import requirements are in line with internationally recognized practices and standards, including the ISRI Specifications, and "pursued within a timeline that minimizes the burden on traders.”