The government's plan to impose a number of tariffs on trade security measures or safeguards for imported garment products is estimated to be prone to creating loopholes for certain elements to carry out illegal imports.
"It is necessary to anticipate the rat route. For every increase in import barriers, the import gap for illegal goods can increase," said Celios Director (Center of Economic and Law Studies) Bhima Yudhistira.
According to Bhima, safeguards are actually important, for example to prevent flooding of textiles from conventional routes to e-commerce routes. Especially since the change in society to look for apparel on e-commerce platforms, the phenomenon of cheap clothes from China has emerged.
"Safeguard is a defense for the domestic industry from the onslaught of imports. Many imported products are substituted domestically, but they seem unable to compete," he continued.
So, if the regulation really wants to be implemented, it is necessary to prepare steps to carry out strict supervision. Coordination of customs and port officials, he said, would be key.
"There is a gap but supervision, especially at the border, needs to be tightened for products that are subject to safeguards. Coordination of customs and port officials is key. Garment imports, for example, can enter the red lane for further inspections," he explained.
Meanwhile, in April, the Director of the Textile, Leather and Footwear Industry of the Ministry of Industry, Elis Masitoh, said that there were a number of companies holding import licenses from global brands who objected to import duties on garment products.
These importers ensure that their products are different from local products and will not undermine the domestic market, including the price segment that targets the middle-upper class. However, according to Elis, there is a problem that the HS code for the global brand is equated with other products.
"The problem is, the HS code of the global brand importer is the same as the KPPI recommendation. For example, for shirts or blouses, there is no difference in HS imports for global brands," said Elis at the time.
Regarding the issue of the HS code, Bhima advised the government to take preventive steps in order to ensure that the HS code that you want to apply safeguard is really correct.
"Regarding the HS code issue, the government could also open a complaint service for further investigation if an HS code error is found for different goods," he concluded.