Consultancy to help RI firms in export standards

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The establishment of a new private consultancy means Indonesian exporters will now have more help navigating the myriad export standards imposed by foreign countries, especially Australia.

Australia's Senior Trade Commissioner to Indonesia, Rod Morehouse, said in press release sent to The Jakarta Post on Monday that private company SAI Global Indonesia was being launched here to help local companies overcome difficulties meeting the product standards set by overseas nations.

Morehouse said in the statement: "We often hear of problems faced by Indonesian exporters, small and large, in trying to understand the complexity of Australia's food hygiene requirements, or German electrical standards, or Chinese health requirements".

The arrival of the company was described by Morehouse as an "exciting development" for local companies.

SAI Global is the former advisory arm of government agency Standards Australia, which was commercialized several years ago and now provides services to help companies manage risk, achieve compliance and drive improvement through delivering standards and regulatory as well as technical information.

Indonesian companies exporting to Australia have long faced difficulties meeting the country's import requirements.

As of March, six Indonesian products have been slapped with holding orders (HO) by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), blocking them from the Australian market.

In 2006, nine Indonesian products were hit with the orders.

Only recently, China announced a temporary ban of all Indonesian seafood, claiming checks had discovered toxins, dangerous chemicals and pathogens in the products.

Morehouse said the advent of SAI Global could help Indonesian companies better deal with standards issues.

He said in the statement: "SAI are (sic) able to certify products for export, undertake quality checks on behalf of buyers overseas, and advise Indonesian manufacturers on the standards applying (sic) in target export markets so products are not rejected on arrival".

He continued: "SAI has global links with all other international standards organizations and information in its database on the standards applied in all of Indonesia's main export markets".

Bilateral trade between Indonesia and Australia has grown significantly in recent years, with trade between the two countries rising by an average of 14 percent in the last five years.

Total trade last year reached A$10.4 billion, with Indonesia enjoying a surplus of A$135 million.

The two countries recently agreed to conduct a feasibility study for a free trade agreement to further boost trade and bilateral relations.
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