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The Indonesian Textile Association (API) is also concerned about the rise of used clothing imports in the country. Previously, President Joko Widodo said that the flood of used clothing products was very disruptive to the national textile industry, so that its distribution had to be stopped immediately. General Chair of the Indonesian Textile Association Jemmy Kartika Sastraatmaja said that used imported textile products, both clothing and footwear, had actually taken the Indonesian market by storm since last year. Most of these imported products come from Europe, America and Singapore.

This phenomenon has had an impact on the performance of the domestic textile and textile product (TPT) industry in both the downstream and upstream sectors. TPT small and medium industry (IKM) businesses are the ones most affected by the flood of imports of used textile products, moreover they generally do not have as much capital as large corporations.

Jemmy admitted that there have been many TPT businesses in the IKM segment who have complained about the difficulty in getting orders due to the rush of imported products on the market. "In fact, the moment of Eid, which is usually awaited by textile SMEs, will soon arrive," he said, Wednesday (15/3).

Contacted separately, Deputy Chair of the Indonesian Textile Association Ian Syarif said, imported used TPT products are usually sold at low prices so there are still demand. This low price is not without reason, considering that these clothes are generally products that are not suitable for use, so they are sold by the original owners.

Apart from that, there is also a mode of importing used clothes whose initial guise is in the form of collecting or donating clothes to non-profit social organizations. However, in reality these clothes are actually sold to other countries.

API also assesses that the trend of importing used TPT products is very detrimental to the national TPT industry which is still struggling to recover. Moreover, the threat of termination of employment (PHK) of employees still haunts the TPT sector this year.

"Due to the large volume of imports, there are several apparel traders who have instead switched to becoming resellers of used imported clothing," said Ian, today.

The ban on the import of used TPT has actually been regulated in Regulation of the Minister of Trade No. 40 of 2022. In this regulation, the import of used clothing and other used goods with HS code 6.309.00.00 is prohibited by the government.

From there, API assesses that actually the government just needs to improve its supervision and prosecution of used TPT importers. However, if supervision is weak, it is highly likely that gaps for imported products to enter Indonesia will continue to emerge.

"The rules already exist, it only remains to be implemented and perfected, especially the rules for inspecting imported goods from post border to border," said Jemmy.