"The policy on tea import duty, which is currently 20 percent, should be reviewed, and if possible, the import tariff should be increased," Kadin Chairman Rosan Roeslani noted in a statement here on Thursday (March 14, 2019).Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has called on the government to review the import tax on low-quality tea to protect the national tea industry.
"The policy on tea import duty, which is currently set at 20 percent, should be reviewed, and if possible, the import tariff should be increased," Kadin Chairman Rosan Roeslani noted in a statement here on Thursday.
Kadin also urged the government to reconsider applying non-tariff barriers, such as halal and Indonesian National Standard or SNI prerequisites, to reduce the imports of low-grade tea.
Roeslani remarked that imported low-quality tea was usually mixed along with Indonesian tea to be marketed domestically and overseas.
Mixing imported low-quality tea with Indonesian teas, considered one of the best in the world, will reduce the quality of Indonesian tea and affect the national tea industry.
"We will seriously study it because rampant tea imports will have an impact on the tea plantation business, not only the people's plantations but also those owned by the state and the private ones," he pointed out.
Some 46 percent of the tea plantations in Indonesia are owned by people.
He also urged the government to lobby European countries for Indonesia's tea exports hampered by the maximum permitted residue levels (MRLs), a prerequisite imposed by Europe.
Kadin also called for conducting rejuvenation of old tea plants by replacing them with high-yield tea plants that could annually produce 2.5 to five tons per hectare as well as for replacing old machines used in the tea industry.
Reporting by Ade I Junida, Fardah