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Indonesia Mulls Diverting Palm Oil Exports to Africa Over EUDR


Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (center), holding a press conference on improving the governance of the national palm oil industry in Jakarta on Friday (June 23, 2023). (ANTARA/Ade Irma Junida/uyu)

With European nations implementing the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulations (EUDR), the government is thinking of gradually diverting Indonesia’s palm oil exports to Africa, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has said. At a press conference on improving the governance of the national palm oil industry here on Friday, he informed that the volume of palm oil exported from Indonesia to Europe could reach 3.3 million tons per year. "I have conveyed to the European Parliament that we (the Indonesian government) are considering to gradually divert our palm oil exports to Africa in place of Europe… so that there will be no problem in the future," the minister said. The European Union’s new policy requires all exporters to verify that their products have not been obtained through deforestation or from plantations built by clearing forest areas. Exporters would be fined if they violate the rule. The products include palm oil and its derivatives, charcoal, cocoa, coffee, soybeans, beef, timber, rubber, paper, and leather. The regulation applies a benchmarking that classifies countries into three categories based on low, standard, and high risk of deforestation. The EUDR was promulgated in April 2023 and officially took effect on May 16, 2023. The European Union has given 18 months to large companies to comply with the new regulation, while small entrepreneurs have been given 24 months. Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said that the regulation will create ecological discrimination and burden the national logistics sector, which will put Indonesia at a disadvantage. "Because, before our commodities are declared clear, we cannot send them (to European Union members), or (they may request) extra verification," he added. Meanwhile, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan stated that small entrepreneurs will not find the certification requirement easy to fulfill, which will hinder them from exporting their products to European countries.


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