Are Kratom Exports From Indonesia At Risk in 2024

Kratom and Indonesia Regulators

The Indonesian government is waiting for health standards to be established before regulating kratom exports. Kratom is an herbal plant that is used in tea or supplements. Some of the questions waiting to be answered are the negative side effects if used in high doses. The Ministry of Trade is waiting for the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) and the Ministry of Health to establish kratom export regulations before moving foward.

In Indonesia, BPOM stands for Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan, which translates to the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency. It’s essentially the Indonesian equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). BPOM plays a crucial role in determining the safety and efficacy of kratom before it can be exported. The agency will be responsible for setting up health standards, conducting risk assessments, and developing regulations for kratom export, along with the Ministry of Health.

Some key functions of BPOM include:

  • Formulating and implementing regulations and standards for:
    • Food and beverages (processed and raw)
    • Drugs and medicines (prescription and over-the-counter)
    • Medical devices
    • Cosmetics
    • Traditional medicine
    • Dietary supplements
  • Registering and monitoring all products falling under these categories before they can be distributed or sold in Indonesia.
  • Inspecting manufacturing facilities and conducting product testing to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Investigating and taking action against violations of food and drug regulations.
  • Educating the public about food and drug safety.

The Economic Potential of Kratom

Kratom is a growing industry in Indonesia, with exports worth an estimated $100 million per year. The Indonesian government is eager to regulate the kratom industry in order to boost exports and create jobs. However, the government is also concerned about the potential health risks of kratom.

From 2019 to 2022, there was a consistent annual growth trend of 15.92% in kratom exports. In 2023, there was a resurgence in positive export performance, with the export value growing by 52.04% to US$7.33 million during the January-May period compared to the same period in 2022. The export volume also increased by 51.49% during this time frame.

The Ministry of Trade plans to facilitate the export of kratom herbal plants, pending the results of studies on its narcotic classification. While Indonesia boasts abundant kratom resources, extraction processes are still underway.

During the January-May 2023 period, Indonesia exported kratom to various destinations, including the United States, Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. The United States emerged as the primary export destination, accounting for US$4.86 million, followed by Germany, India, and the Czech Republic.

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