Indonesia comes under fire over meat import licensing
The US and Canada, with the support of the EU, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland, have complained to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) import licensing committee, claiming that Indonesia’s tough licensing for meat and livestock imports could seriously damage trade.
“We are very concerned about the trade restrictiveness of these and other barriers to Indonesia’s agricultural markets, including BSE-related bans,” an official spokesperson from the USTR told GlobalMeatNews. “We will seek to address our concerns in bilateral discussions.”
In a communiqué released by Washington and Ottawa, the countries asked Indonesia to clarify its procedures: “We understand that the government of Indonesia has developed, and is developing, new non-automatic import licensing requirements that will apply to livestock and livestock products, including meat.
“These new requirements appear to be complex and non-transparent and could significantly impair trade in these products.”
Indonesia replied to the concerns in writing, dismissing the allegation that the procedures were not fair or clear “because all importers meeting the necessary requirements are allowed to import”.
A spokesperson from the American Meat Institute addressed the latest developments: “Indonesia must provide clear procedures on imports. And if they make changes, they need to let the WTO know.”