September 22, 2011
Indonesia's fish exports to EU hampered by procedures
As EU and Indonesia did not succeed in attaining an agreement on high import duties, Indonesian fishery exports to the EU will face non-tariff impediments.
Chairman of the Indonesian Fishery Products Processing and Marketing Businessmen's Association, Thomas Darmawan, said that one of the impediments was that export certifications must be made available in 13 languages but the EU has become one region and acknowledges three languages.
There is also a regulation stipulating a laboratory check for antibiotic content in fishery products, which is too expensive for many producers. Based on the regulation, exporters face charges of up to US$4,000 to have five shipments tested.
As a result, the volume of fishery exports to EU has declined. In 2009, as much as 14,013 tonnes of shrimp was exported to EU, while volume dropped to 12,191 tonnes last year.
Yet, the market for shrimp exports to EU is large, reaching 470,000 tonnes per year. Indonesia ranked 10 in the list of shrimp exporters to EU. The leading exporter is Thailand.
Thomas said he was concerned that competition in the EU fishery market would be more difficult because EU-Thailand trade negotiations have improved more progressively compared to those with Indonesia. Indonesian tuna products still face 14% import duties, while Thailand's tuna is only subject to a 5% duty.
As such, Thomas called on the vision group which is discussing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement/CEPA to come up with a solution to tackle these barriers.
The EU's Ambassador to Indonesia, Julian Wilson, said that they guarantee that CEPA would provide access for Indonesian exporters.