Following a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute between the US and New Zealand against Indonesia, the country has amended its import restrictions to meet WTO ruling.
On 6 June Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) revised and amended the Import Recommendations (IR) as a direct response to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body decision.
The MOA will discontinue the policy of rejecting IRs for certain months around scheduled harvest periods. In addition, the IR length which previously would not exceed six months, has been changed to one calendar year, which importers can apply for at any time.
According to a USDA Gain report, the revised regulation gives the Director General for Horticulture “authority to consider ‘domestic horticultural production’ when issuing IRs” instead of the previous ban during specific months.
The report adds that as recently as 22 June this year, importers reported that the MOA was still not approving IRs for apple imports during the months of August to October; the same months that were banned under previous criteria.
“The overall impact of this revised regulation is likely to be very negative for US fresh fruit export prospects to Indonesia,” the Gain report stated.
US Washington Apples count Indonesia as their largest market in South East Asia, and since Indonesia’s import rules were introduced in 2011/12, shipments have dropped by as much as 50 per cent in following seasons.