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Indonesia installs new customs head, pledges faster seaport clearance

Indonesia installs new customs head, pledges faster seaport clearance
Indonesia is injecting new blood into its custom and excise department. Local media reported that the Finance Ministry has installed 45-year-old Heru Pambudi as director general of customs and excise and he has pledged to prioritize internal reforms that could smooth export-import activities for local manufacturers.

Indonesia's creaking logistics infrastructure has come under particular scrutiny from President Joko Widodo in recent months and Heru said that customs clearance processes in seaports would be streamlined to support the government’s drive to push down dwelling times.

The President has targeted the average dwelling time to be cut to 4.7 days from the existing 5.5 days. At the moment, a shipment could spend 0.7 days in the customs clearance process alone, according to Heru.

“The dwelling time issue will be our focus. We should strengthen coordination between the related ministries and institutions, instead of pointing fingers at each other,” the new director general was quoted as saying.

Heru said that he would double the number of firms with status as “priority partners”, which are given almost unlimited access during the customs clearance process. At the moment, around 100 firms had the status, he said.