In an effort to make domestic fruit more price-competitive, the Indonesian government will make changes to how it issues import permits.
According to a report on Indonesian news site Tempointeractive.com, a new quota policy was issued on 1 May that will cover all horticultural imports.
The move follows the agriculture ministry’s issuance of a decree in January that stipulates importers of 43 specified horticultural products must to be licensed to do so.
In December of last year the government also announced it would limit to four the number of ports through which fresh produce could enter the country.
Under the rules, which are yet to take effect, Indonesian’s main seaport of Jakarta will no longer be allowed to discharge fresh fruit and vegetable imports. The only approved entry points will be the Port of Surbaya, the Port of Medan, the Port of Makasar and Jakarta International Airport.
While the government defends its right to protect the viability of domestic producers against an influx of cheaper imports, many outside the country question whether the raft of new regulation contravene its obligations to the World Trade Organisation.
Imports of fresh vegetables to Indonesia have increased significantly in recent years, more than doubling from 251,903 tonnes of selected fresh vegetables in 2000, to 551,844 tonnes in 2011, according to figures from the Indonesian Bureau of Statistics.