The practice would be detrimental to the national steel industry and jeopardize infrastructure construction, Secretary General of the Indonesian National Construction Contractor Association (Gapensi) Andi Rukman Karumpa noted in a statement here on Tuesday.
"Amid the high demand for steel in line with the massive infrastructure projects, we found imported steel failing to meet the standard and having the SNI marking manipulated. This will endanger the construction projects and harm domestic steel producers," Karumpa affirmed.
The police had earlier blown the lid off an alleged manipulation of SNI marking on imported steel from Thailand. The marking on the imported product was manipulated to make it resemble a local product of PT Gunung Inti Sempurna (GIS) bearing the SNI certification.
The Jakarta Police named six suspects in the case, including the director of PT GIS, and seized 4,600 tons of imported steel.
Karumpa noted that steel imports are allowed, though strategic projects, such as the toll road construction work as well as the PLN and Pertamina projects, should utilize domestic component.
"The government would calculate the demand, and the local producers will supply it," he stated.
Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita had earlier reiterated that the government will safeguard the domestic industry from the flow of steel imports.
"It will require an instrument to boost the competitiveness of national products while simultaneously ensure the health and safety of consumers and the environment," he stated.
The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) data indicated that the demand for iron and steel in 2020 had reached 16.39 million tons, and it was expected to increase 6.3 percent to touch 17.29 million tons in 2021.
Indonesia's iron and steel imports are mostly directed to meet demand in three industries: automotive, electronics, and shipping. The average utilization of national steel production has ranged between 40 to 60 percent.
Related news: National steel producer PT GRP pumps in Rp12 trillion investment
Related news: Krakatau Steel calls for governmental regulation to curb steel imports