Indonesian customs sends sea patrol to crackdown secondhand clothing imports

Secondhand clothing Indonesia
Logo of Customs and Excise Office. (Courtesy of/

Batam, gokepri – In an effort to prevent the entry and exit of illegal goods into and out of nation’s sea borders, Indonesian customs has launched an Integrated Sea Patrol. The operation, which began on March 21, 2023, involves the Customs units across Indonesia’s western and eastern regions. The primary objective of this operation is to safeguard the country’s sea borders from potential threats posed by illegal goods, such as imported used clothing.

According to the Director of Communication and User Guidance of Customs, Nirwala Dwi Heryanto, this operation is in response to President Joko Widodo’s instructions to crack down on illegal activities that harm the country’s textile industry. “However, surveillance will still be carried out on all goods that violate customs and excise regulations,” he added.

The opening sea patrol for the year 2023 was concentrated at the Tanjung Priok Customs and Excise Operations Base (PSO). The Customs Integrated Sea Patrol is considered to be effective. For example, in 2022, the patrol was able to address 28 import and export violations, with an estimated value of Rp258.47 billion in goods and a potential loss to the country of Rp246.98 billion.

A variety of commodities have been seized, including ethyl alcohol-containing beverages (MMEA), petroleum, baby lobsters (BL), cigarettes, psychotropic drugs and precursors (NPP), sawn and teak wood, cash, textiles, ball presses, and mixed goods.

Previously, Indonesian customs destroyed 450 used clothing and shoe packages found at the Telaga Punggur Port in Batam City in March 2023. The Directorate General of Customs, Askolani, stated that his team discovered 450 used clothing and shoe packages that were smuggled in during the last two weeks of March 2023.

Furthermore, from 2022 to 2023, Customs and Excise has confiscated 7,877 used clothing bales. Specifically, there were 234 cases of used clothing imports in 2022, totaling 6,177 bales. Meanwhile, from January to February 2023, there were 44 cases of used clothing imports, totaling 1,700 bales.

“According to the provisions of commodity importation, such as clothing, it is not allowed to be used. It must be new, except for certain goods that are otherwise specified and exempted by the Ministry of Trade’s regulation,” Askolani said.

It is important to note that the importation of used clothing is prohibited under the Ministry of Trade’s Regulation No. 40 of 2022 regarding Amendments to the Minister of Trade Regulation No. 18 of 2021 concerning Prohibited Export and Import Goods.

Overall, the Customs and Excise Integrated Sea Patrol and related operations demonstrate Indonesia’s commitment to combating the smuggling of illegal goods and safeguarding its sea borders.

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