UPDATE: A MULTI-million dollar Australian beef shipment blocked from entering Indonesia will have to be re-exported, trade authorities say.
Indonesian trade and agricultural officials have indicated the nearly $10 million consignment of frozen meat blocked by customs in Jakarta will not be allowed to enter the country due to anomalies with import documentation presented by the Indonesian importer.
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The director-general of foreign trade for Indonesia Deddy Saleh told the ABC this morning that re-exporting the meat will be the responsibility of the importer.
It is unclear where the meat will end up, he said.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said it understands the meat is still being detained at Jakarta’s main port, Tanjung Priok, noting it had not received any official advice to suggest it had been cleared for re-export or been allowed to enter Indonesia.
“Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade advised that it had ordered the detention of the containers by Customs because the importer had already expended its available quota,” DAFF said.
“An investigation has commenced as to the authenticity of the import documentation.”
DAFF said several beef shipments from other countries had also been affected.
“This is a serious matter and we are conscious that exporters may not have been paid for their product,” the department said, adding Australia’s trade relationship with Indonesia was “important and growing”, with exports totalling $2.3 billion in 2011-12.
“The Australian government is actively seeking to have the matter resolved quickly, either by allowing the beef to enter Indonesia or by facilitating its re-export to another market.”
Australian Embassy representatives in Jakarta have been working with exporters, the Australian meat industry and Indonesian authorities to find a solution.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has also written to his Indonesian counterpart Suswono seeking a resolution.