Australian citrus and beef released from Indonesian docks

By Sarina Locke

Wednesday, 14/11/2012

The Indonesian Government has agreed to release 700 containers of chilled fresh fruit and vegetables held on the Jakarta and Surabaya docks for the past two weeks.

Some contain Australian citrus.

The Indonesian director-general of foreign trade, Deddy Saleh, says new import regulations will now come into effect from next month.

Fruit exporter Alistair Scott, of Hannay Douglas in Brisbane, says Indonesia is cracking down after reports that oranges have been labelled as mandarins to escape high tariffs.

“That’s exactly right, so that sort of arrangements, whether it be from Australia or whether it be from another country around the world, will not be able to happen because of the independent auditing that’s now been set in place by the Indonesians.”

The latest move follows the decision of customs officials at Jakarta’s dock to release half of the 118 containers of frozen Australian beef.

Up to $10 million worth of meat has been stranded at the port for three months.

Allegro Meats, based in Fremantle, exported beef in August to an importer who had a permit, but allegedly not enough quota.

Now the company says it’s received word from Customs that 63 containers can be released for re-export to other markets.

But Customs wants Allegro to pay for port holding costs.