ISRI, PSI Take the Lead on Indonesian Scrap Import Issue

ISRI and PSI Chapter representatives traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, recently to meet with various stakeholders regarding Indonesia’s regulations on imports of recovered fiber.

Adina Renee Adler, ISRI’s assistant vice president of international affairs, and former PSI Chapter President George Chen of G&T Trading International Corp. met July 4-5 with Indonesian government officials, inspection agencies, and domestic recyclers and consumers “to better understand the market, the policies, and the different positions that impact recovered fiber imports into Indonesia,” Adler says. They encouraged the Indonesian government to use ISRI’s scrap specifications as its guide regarding contaminants/outthrows in imported recovered fiber, and they reviewed the implications of the government’s proposed zero-contamination policy. 

In separate meetings with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the Indonesian Pulp & Paper Association, as well as a joint meeting with the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Industry, and KSO Sucofindo (which oversees the government’s preshipment inspection regime), Adler and Chen enhanced their understanding of the government’s current policy of intent to accept zero contamination through 100-percent inspection of imported recovered fiber, including cutting open bales. They also learned that while the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Industry accept ISRI specifications as import guidelines, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry leads the government’s import policy and it is not yet convinced it can accept the ISRI specs because they allow for a small percentage of contaminants/outthrows in imported scrap. Those thresholds “cause concerns because Indonesia’s waste management infrastructure lacks sufficient capacity," Adler says.

In addition to requiring preshipment inspections, Indonesia Customs will check the quality of imported recovered fiber when the cargo arrives at any Indonesia port, Chen notes. If Customs officials find any prohibitive materials, they will reject the entire shipment and return it to the port of origin. "All exporters need to very careful when shipping recovered paper to Indonesia," Chen says.

In their discussions, Adler presented the ISRI national perspective while Chen brought a professional recovered paper trader’s expertise to the table. “George was instrumental in providing a technical perspective on the infeasibility of the proposed inspection regime while also noting the market demand in Indonesia for the high-quality materials processed in the United States,” Adler says. 

As a follow-up to these recent meetings—and before the Ministry of Environment finalizes its import policy—ISRI and the PSI Chapter plan to send technical information and guidance on the role ISRI’s specs can play and the support they can offer to help the government minimize illegitimate contaminated loads “to ensure the continued flow of high-quality recovered paper into Indonesia,” Adler says.

As PSI Chapter President Leonard Zeid of Midland Davis Corp. concludes, "the ISRI/PSI specs are the most recognized and agreed upon specifications. They have been and continue to be used worldwide. ISRI/PSI will continue to promote their relevance and use to help facilitate global trade." 

For more information, contact Adina Renee Adler at (202) 662-8514 

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