Govt Urged to Form National Quarantine Agency  

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  • Tumpukan buah buahan impordi sebuah supermarket di Jakarta. Tempo/Rully Kesuma

    Tumpukan buah buahan impordi sebuah supermarket di Jakarta. Tempo/Rully Kesuma

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The association of beef, vegetable and fruit importers as well as groups of farmers and fishermen urge the government to form a national quarantine agency and replace Law No. 16/1992 about animal quarantine and Government Regulation No. 16/1992 about plant quarantine.

    “This is important for trade in the global level,” said Winarno Tohir, chairman of the Andalan Fishermen and Farmers Community (KNTA) on Tuesday.

    Besides protection, Winarno said the national quarantine agency can increase efficiency. In licensing, exporters and importers must always go through licensing applications from six ministries.

    For example, fruit licensing must be submitted to the Agriculture Ministry while license for fish must go to the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry. There are 19 laws that regulate this issue and this different interest is prone to misappropriation.

    “That’s why, it is better to put them all together in the national quarantine agency, which will be directly responsible to the president. In this way, no one will dare to intervene,” said Winarno.

    The Association of Indonesian Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters and Importers (Aseibssindo) chariman Sirotuddin said the failure of quarantine regulation right now can be seen in local markets that are flooded with fruits from China. “Their qualities are not good, not in accordance with Indonesia’s health standard. How come they got in?” he said. One of the examples is Granny apples from the US which contain bacteria that had caused a stir among the people.

    URSULA FLORENE