Indonesia expected to introduce 2% contamination limit from September

Indonesian Customs officials opening containers suspected of containing illegal waste

Indonesia has confirmed it will shortly introduce a 2% contamination limit on imports of recycled materials.

Expected to be introduced from September, this means that paper and metal imports in particular, will require inspection to ensure the materials meet this threshold prior to shipping from the country of origin.


The move was outlined in a letter to US trade association Institute of Scrap Industries (ISRI). The key part of the letter said: “The importation of Non-Hazardous and Toxic Waste (hereafter referred as non-B3 waste) for industrial raw materials must be verified in the country of origin prior shipment to Indonesia, as stipulated in the Regulation of Minister of Trade of The Republic of Indonesia Number 83 of 2020. The Joint Decree which was enter[ed] into force since May 27th, 2020, regulates that the impurity tolerance limit for paper and plastic non-B3 waste is 2 percent maximum.

“In that relation, the implementation of impurity provisions will be further regulated through the Regulation of the Director General of Foreign Trade Ministry of Trade of the Republic [of] Indonesia, which currently still [is] under discussion with relevant Ministries.”

ISRI vice president Adina Renee Adler said: “ISRI is grateful to the Government of Indonesia for working with us to establish a technical regulation that addresses their interests to import only specification-grade raw materials.

“Our members also received tremendous support from the US embassy throughout the process and we thank them for their hard work and support.”

In September, Malaysia is also expected to introduce new requirements for paper inspections. However, material going there must meet the EN643 standard, which requires only 1.5% contamination limits.

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