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Indonesian Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

Indonesian Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

The island nation lying between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is a rich and diverse land. Whilst there is rice aplenty in Indonesia, the country relies on a lot of imports for other food necessities. In the last decade, the agro-food imports of Indonesia have more than quadrupled, rising to about $18.4 billion in 2013, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

Indonesia has a strong need to import wheat to make bread and noodles. The main things that they export include rice, sugar, soybeans, and corns. The main export partners include Australia, Thailand, Brazil, and the United States. However, currently, Indonesia is importing much more than they are exporting and therefore facing some economic challenges with their trade partners. 

In terms of Indonesia's food (import) regulations, there are some strict guidelines to adhere to. For starters, all food packaged for import must have labeled in the Indonesian language, Roman text, and Arabic numerals. Food that comes from certain animals, such as pig, must have strict labeling also. All imported food that is processed must be registered with BPOM. There is also an import fee applicable, and all imported items will undergo a physical inspection upon arrival in Indonesia. 

For imported fresh fruit and vegetables, there are some treatments that need to happen. These include cold treatment for Mediterranean fruit fly, Queensland fruit fly, and vapor heat treatment for anatrespha. Furthermore, Indonesia requires all imported meats to have an Islamic purity (halal) certification so that it is religiously safe for the Muslim community to consume it. 

Indonesia's food standards are rather high when it comes to imports. An import permit is required for any food products that contain animal products and animal-based ingredients. There are shifting regulations and requirements when it comes to importing meat, dairy, poultry, and fresh fruit. It is important to stay up to date with the Ministry of Agriculture to understand these. 

A recent law passed in January 2005 means that all imported products must have a nutritional label on them as well as all the other aforementioned labeling. Indonesia takes breaches of mislabeling information on imported goods very seriously, and there are criminal proceedings if charged. 

The best way to ensure things run smoothly with Indonesian imports is for the exporter to confer with the local government body where they are shipping products to. Having a local importer or agent on the ground is the most productive way to stay attuned to the varying rules and regulations surrounding Indonesia’s import laws. 

While there are many strict regulations in place, how they are actually enforced can fluctuate throughout Indonesia. Doing adequate research before importing or exporting anything to Indonesia is the safest option. 

More information on the Indonesian food importers directory is available at Nutrada. 
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Author avatar Chris 2 weeks ago

Dear Sir

Hello. This is Chris Kim who is earning Ph.D at Kasetsart University.
I would like to ask about pre-shipping investigation for importing Indonesian fruits.
Is it still same with before COVID19 that visiting exporting farm and packing facilities (importing countries' quarantine officers) or skip the process?

Your kind reply with some documents would be highly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Regards,

Chris