Indonesia has banned the import of nearly all consumer goods and tightened customs inspections. The ban covers 8 groups of imported goods: children's toys, electronics, footwear, cosmetics, textiles, traditional medicine and dietary supplements, clothing and accessories, bags.
Now, Indonesia has prohibited the import of 328 types of clothing, 23 types of bags, and 327 other products. This applies to packages from iHerb, as well as clothing and cosmetics purchases from eBay and other online platforms. As reported by the IndoPos office, the ban has already come into effect, and they currently advise against ordering items from the 'prohibited list'—all orders will be scrutinized by customs.
Initially, the restrictions were aimed at protecting local producers from competition with China, but in the end, imports from all countries were banned. While previously, electronics, clothing, bags, medicines, and other items could be imported with significant duties, now the import of these items is entirely prohibited. Carriers mention that the restrictions are temporary, but there is no information on when they might be lifted.
President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, announced the tightening of import rules for goods from China on October 6 during a meeting with ministers. He instructed the heads of relevant departments to review the import and border control rules for these groups of goods within two weeks.
Susividjono Moegiarso, the Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, stated that Indonesia is feeling the strain of relations between China and the United States. He mentioned, 'Goods produced in China can no longer enter the markets of the U.S. and the EU, so China is looking for other markets.' As a result, cheap Chinese goods have flooded Asian markets, including Indonesia. This has led to complaints from business associations about the influx of imported goods and aggressive dumping by Chinese manufacturers, which is causing damage to the industry and internal trade.
Clearly, such a decision will lead to a shortage of goods in the market and price hikes. Some products, such as dietary supplements, are simply not manufactured in Indonesia, and consumers may not always accept local alternatives. Additionally, local producers can now set their prices without fearing competition from China. The impact on how products from Apple, Samsung, and other electronics manufacturers will enter the Indonesian market, and how their prices will change, is not yet known.
President Joko Widodo stated that the Indonesian people are economically colonized due to the large number of imported goods flooding the domestic market. He mentioned that 90% of products sold in e-commerce are imported items with very low prices. He reported, 'Even worn-out clothes are sold for 5000 rupiahs, threatening the Indonesian economy.'
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reported that Indonesia's trade balance had a surplus of $3.42 billion in September 2023. The export volume was $20.76 billion, while the import volume was $17.34 billion.