In light of the recent shoe recycling project scandal, Indonesia will tighten import controls at its small ports in order to curb the “illegal import of used shoes”, Reuters reported on Mar. 6.
The intention to tighten import restrictions was announced by Indonesia’s Minister for Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita in a press statement on Monday (Mar. 6).
According to Reuters, the minister said that the revelations from the Reuters investigation show that the “illegal import of used shoes is carried out in an organised manner and misuses social projects”.
“The practice of illegal importation of used shoes must be stopped because it has a bad impact on the domestic footwear industry,” Agus was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Along with clamping down on “illegal” imports, Agus shared that his ministry has also proposed import tax incentives for local footwear manufacturers when importing raw materials for their businesses, Indonesian weekly Tempo wrote.
The ministry also encouraged product development programmes for small and medium enterprises in the footwear industry, according to Tempo.
In 2015, Indonesia banned the import of second-hand textiles including clothing and footwear over hygiene concerns and the impact on local industries.
On Feb. 25, 2023, an investigative piece by Reuters found that some shoes donated in Singapore as part of a joint recycling project between American petrochemicals company Dow and SportSG ended up in a shop in Batam, Indonesia instead of being recycled.
SportSG and its project partners later issued a statement on Feb. 27, stating that “vulnerabilities” in the process chain led to the discrepencies.
SportSG said that the project partners apologise for the lapse, and thanked Reuters for bringing the matter to light.
Top image via Dow/YouTube
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