Ministry of Finance Clarifies Restrictions on Passengers’ Clothing Items in Airports

Secondhand Clothing Becoming Indonesians' Favorite (photo: Artificial Photography - Unsplash)

The Indonesian Ministry of Finance has provided clarification regarding recent news about restrictions on passengers’ clothing items on airplanes by the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGCE). Earlier reports had suggested that this restriction was aimed at curbing the import of second-hand clothes illegally.

In a tweet on Wednesday (22/3/2023), Yustinus Prastowo, the Special Staff to the Minister of Finance, wrote, “We provide clarification. There has been no statement from the head of the BC Soetta office regarding the restriction of clothing items in the form of used clothing at Soetta Airport.” He also shared a transcript of an interview conducted by the media with the head of the Soetta Customs and Excise Office.

In the transcript, the head of the Soetta Customs and Excise Office clarified that the restriction is not a ban, but a limitation. The reason for this limitation is that textile products need to be protected as there are many industries in the country that rely on textiles, and allowing unchecked imports could harm local textile production. The restriction is mainly limited by quotas set by the Ministry of Trade.

The head of the Soetta Customs and Excise Office also emphasized that the import of second-hand clothes usually takes place by sea and not by air. The restriction is applied to import companies and not individuals, such as airline passengers.

“As we base it on the import approval letter from the trade ministry, and then we supervise it. We cut it based on the quota that is cut,” explained the head of the Soetta Customs and Excise Office, regarding the implementation of the restriction by customs.

In summary, the DGCE has implemented limitations on the import of second-hand clothes, but these restrictions are aimed at companies and not individual passengers. The restrictions are based on quotas set by the Ministry of Trade to protect the local textile industry.

As previously reported, recently, Indonesians have been showing a growing interest in buying second-hand items from abroad, such as clothes and shoes. In response to this trend, the Ministry of Trade (Kemendag) has clarified that all used goods fall under the regulations governing prohibited exports and imports or restricted goods (lartas), including used shoes.

This regulation is included in Minister of Trade Regulation (Permendag) Number 40 of 2022 concerning Amendments to Minister of Trade Regulation Number 18 of 2021 concerning Prohibited Export Goods and Prohibited Import Goods.

According to this regulation, second-hand clothing and other used goods fall under goods that are prohibited for import with a tariff position or HS 6309.00.00, with the description “Used clothing and other used goods” and listed in Part IV as “Types of used bags, used sacks, and used clothing.”

Moga Simatupang, Acting Director General of Consumer Protection and Trade Order (PKTN) at Kemendag, explained that HS 63090000 already represents all used goods as it is described as used clothing and other used goods.

According to him, the description “other used goods” already represents all used goods. Therefore, all used goods are prohibited from being imported into the country, let alone being sold.