The government is being urged to lift a ban on raw materials and leather imports to avoid damaging the leather industry.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and five leather related industry associations have written to the government complaining that the ban – imposed to counter the threat of foot and mouth disease – is hitting the domestic industry’s raw material. Local supply only accounts for 40% of total raw material requirement.

The signatory leather organisations comprise the Association of Indonesian Footwear (Aprisindo), Association of Indonesian Leather Tanning Industries (Apki), the Association of Indonesian Exporters and Handicraft Producers (Asephi), the Association of Indonesian Cattle Traders (Pepehani) and the Association of Indonesian Leather Handicraft (Askrakindo).

The government banned imports of raw leather materials from April 20 including pickle, wet-blue, crust and finished leather over fears that the leather could bring foot and mouth disease into the country.

The Association of Indonesian Footwear (Aprisindo) claims that many footwear makers are being forced to scale down their operations due to the shortage of raw materials.