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Sri Mulyani Speaks Out on Customs' Foreign Travels Baggage Rule that Sparks Online Outrage

26 March 2024 04:10 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaFinance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has spoken out about the customs rules on foreign travelers' luggage that have recently caused outrage on the Internet. The minister stressed that the rule was made to make it easier for Indonesians to travel overseas.

In a video that went viral on social media, a Customs officer said that passengers wishing to travel abroad must first declare the items in their luggage. The video sparked online reactions, mostly negative.

Sri Mulyani claimed that she had discussed the matter with the Customs Department.

"Mr. Askolani (Director General of Customs and Excise) has clarified this issue. Of course, the rule is meant to make things easier, but perhaps the way it is communicated needs to be simplified and clarified," Sri Mulyani said at a press conference in Jakarta on Monday, March 25.

Sri Mulyani said the current regulations were meant to help MSMEs who plan to attend events abroad and return home. She ordered the Customs Department to better explain the rule to prevent negative reactions from the public.

Earlier, Yustinus Prastowo, the Finance Ministry's special officer for strategic communication, apologized for the uproar. He said the General Directorate of Customs did not intend to make things difficult for Indonesians traveling abroad.

Regarding the reporting of passengers' luggage before departure, he said that the rule is stipulated in the Finance Minister's Regulation No. 203 of 2017. In a statement on Sunday, March 24, Yustinus claimed that the rule was made with good intentions and is optional "to make it easier for travelers to safely bring high-value goods."

Examples, he said, include valuable goods that Indonesians need to bring to participate in exhibitions abroad, equipment that is large in size and high in value, such as sports equipment, music equipment, or film equipment.

He asserted that there had been no changes to the existing regulation. Prastowo asked for the public's support for the Customs and Excise Department to implement its rules objectively and wisely so that Indonesians could continue to travel safely and comfortably.

RIANI SANUSI PUTRI

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