Export

2500t of Australian, US, NZ beef stranded at Jakarta port

James Nason, 13/09/2012

An estimated 2500 tonnes of frozen manufacturing beef from Australia, New Zealand and the United States has been impounded at Jakarta’s main port, with authorities refusing to clear the consignments due to concerns over import permits.

Indonesian officials believe the beef, estimated to be worth millions of dollars, has been imported outside allocated quota, and are investigating whether the permits used to import the beef were genuine.

A total of 118 containers, imported by one Indonesian buyer from several Australian, US and NZ exporters, is being held at Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok port.

Government officials have stated that the volume of the consignments was beyond the level of permit allocated to the importer, and that the imports were not accompanied by the required import approval letter, known as an SPI, from the Ministry of Trade.

Trade sources within Indonesia have explained to Beef Central that officials were investigating whether the permit under which the beef had been imported was genuine or whether it had been forged. 

Some of the containers have been held since mid-July, resulting in significant and continually rising demurrage fees for the importer involved.

Exporters could also be caught up if the importer is unable to cover the demurrage costs or if Indonesian authorities order that the containers be re-exported.

One Australian company with beef in the stranded consignment is Fremantle based exporter Allegro Pty Ltd.

Managing director Geoff Bull declined to comment on details of his company’s shipment when contacted by Beef Central yesterday, but confirmed that a number of containers had been held up.

“There are some containers held up which the buyer had import permits for, but at the moment he can’t clear them,” Mr Bull said.

“There is a problem in Indonesia which no one seems to be able to sort out.

“It is a big mess at the moment so we’re just waiting to see what happens.”

He said there were indications that the situation was close to being resolved, but for now it was a case of having to “wait and see”.

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