Ministry of Commerce Promises to Review Inputs on Its Forestry Export Decree

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Ministry of Commerce claimed to have received inputs and opinions related to rejections over the 2015 Minister of Commerce Regulate Number 89 on Forestry Product Export Regulation, which was signed on October 19, 2015.

Director of Forestry Export at the ministry, Nurlaila Nur Mahmud, said that her office was reviewing and studying which parties requested the regulation to be revoked and their reasons.

“We still need to review whether the regulation is, instead, a loss rather than good for wood industry business,” she said in Jakarta, on Friday (11/03).

Nur’s response came after the Independent Forestry Monitoring Network revealed its study showing that the regulation has provided a loophole for exploitation from business people claiming to be small-middle industries and weakened the Wood Legality Verification System (SVLK).

She said that they need to provide strong evidence on the allegation as small-middle industries were no longer required to provide Export Declaration.

“I need to look into the study. We will discuss it and check on the ground,” she added.

The network, or JPIK, released its current investigation, “Loopholes in Legality – How Minister of Commerce Decision is Used by Wood Exporters and Weakens Legal Reform.”

The study, conducted by Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), JPIK, and Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) between 2015 and 2016, investigated companies that were providing Export Declaration to export forest products were mostly members of Indonesian Furniture and Crafts Association (AMKRI).

Muhammad Kosar, National Dinamisator of JPIK, cited violation by CV V&V Logistic, an exporter company of wood furniture based in Semarang, Central Java, provided service to sell Export Declaration document to companies who do not have export permit, such as P.O. Mahogany in Jepara district of Central Java.

Furthermore, CV Greenwood International, an exporter of wood furniture, synthetic rattan and wood crafts, allegedly violates Registered Exporter for Forestry Products (ETPIK) permit and misuses hundreds of Export Documents.

Another example is CV Rejeki Tirta Waskitha, based in Jepara, Central Java, which has not been operating for more than one year but still active exporting by using Export Declaration. In addition, the company’s legality certification was already revoked since December 16, 2014.

“The findings showed that the 2015 Ministry of Commerce regulation has clear the pathway for CV Rejeki Tirta Waskitha to continue on exporting with just Export Declaration,” added Kosar.

The last company is CV Dewi Fortuna, a wood furniture company based in Jepara, Central Java, which had not been operational in many years and no activities in the address, however, the study found that the company is still exporting by using Export Declaration up to November 2015.

“Four companies are just part from ten major companies using Export Declaration. From the findings, those companies sell Export Declaration to companies that are not eligible and do not acquire environment certification which are not suppose to be able to export. In addition, country of destination from those four companies is United States,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ida Bagus Putera, Director General of Sustainable Forest Production Management of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said the findings proved that SVLK worked in legalizing forest products in Indonesia.

“So, our aim to tackle illegal [products] has been achieved, especially JPIK component is included in SVLK. Only Indonesia which provide certification and monitoring component. That’s our added value, the monitoring,” he said.

Reports by Danny Kosasih