The development of the e-commerce industry certainly offers a way for the trading of goods that is faster and more far reaching than ever. To keep up with the industry’s development requires a robust and safe regulatory environment. Indonesia, with one of the largest e-commerce market bases in the world, is gearing up by issuing Government Regulation 80/2019 (GR 80) regarding Trade through Electronic System – better known as the E-Commerce Regulation – two years after the E-Commerce Roadmap in 2017.
Despite this being a step toward a more secure and organized e-commerce environment, the regulation was issued without public consultation, to industry dismay and concern.
In response to the need for more clarity regarding the regulation, AmCham Indonesia held an e-commerce focus group discussion (FGD) on Feb. 6. Sponsored by Reckitt Benckiser Indonesia as an AmCham Platinum benefactor, the event brought together government officials involved in the regulation along with industry players and associations, and was an opportunity for all stakeholders to gain clarity, as well as express concerns and aspirations regarding the future of the e-commerce industry.
Representing the government were Enzelin Sariah, Head of Electronic-Based Trading Section, the Ministry of Trade; Mariam F. Barata, Director of Application Informatics, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics; Dina Sintia Pamela, Head of Pharmacy Management Sub-Division, the Ministry of Health; Maditus Sutopo, Head of APAC Cooperation Sub-Division, the National Agency of Food and Drug Control (BPOM) and Kenik Sintawati, Head of Cosmetic Standardization Sub-Division, BPOM. Rounding out the panelists was Rofi Uddarojat, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager, Indonesian E-Commerce Association (IdEA). The discussion was moderated by Brasukra G. Sudjana from Asia Group Advisors.
Enzelin Sariah, as one of the leads in formulating GR 80, opened the discussion with a presentation explaining the nuts and bolts of the regulation, as well as the motivation behind them. The presentation was followed by technical accounts from Barata, Pamela and Sintawati as people in charge of implementation from the ICT, food and beverages and pharmaceutical sides, respectively.
The discussion took a more exciting turn during the Q&A session. Participants, from industries ranging from fast moving consumer goods, chemicals, tech, construction, apparel, as well as law and policy consulting firms and the US Embassy inquired on the government’s plans in implementing the regulation. Major concerns include GR 80’s potential overlaps with existing regulations, such as GR 71/2019 regarding the Implementation of Electronic Systems and Transaction, which governs electronic data storage.
There were also questions on the division of duties between ministries and government bodies, e-commerce platform monitoring and auditing, as well as the purpose of various provisions in the regulation. Following the plan to make a separate regulation on the electronic trade of pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical products, companies also inquired on the details of the intended regulation, as well as the implications and timeline of the drafting process.
"E-commerce is both exciting and perplexing as it expands in virtually every market on earth,” said AmCham Managing Director A. Lin Neumann. “Discussions such as this one can help us clarify regulations and hopefully avoid future mistakes. Our biggest ask is for the government to consult with industry before regulations are issued.”
The discussion ended with a government invitation to industry and associations to provide input during the current drafting process of the implementing regulations. For more information on similar events, please contact [email protected].