In a sudden move that surprised industry watchers, the
Ministry of Trade Republic of Indonesia (the MOT) on April 27,
2022, issued Decree No. 22 of 2022 on Temporary Export Ban
on Crude Palm Oil, Refined, Bleached and Deodorized Palm
Oil, Refined, Bleached and Deodorized Palm Olein, and Used
Cooking Oil (Decree 22/2022). The palm oil export ban came
into force on April 28, 2022.
Decree 22/2022 sets a temporary indefinite ban of the export
of crude palm oil and is expected to drive food prices higher
amid global inflationary pressures. Indonesia is the world’s
largest palm oil supplier and, therefore, the export ban under
the Decree 22/2022 has a major impact on the commodities
global market. Specifically, the rationale for the moratorium
is the increasing scarcity of palm oil products in Indonesia,
which comes on the back of earlier decrees by the MOT
stipulating the maximum retail price of cooking oil.
It is noteworthy that Decree 22/2022 prescribes sanctions
for any exporter who violates the moratorium, which may
include the revocation of applicable business licenses. The
export prohibition under Decree 22/2022 is subject to monthly
review and may be lifted if the issues surrounding the scarcity
of palm oil products is resolved.
Potential Legal Issues
The export ban under Decree 22/2022 will have a major
impact on the performance of all spectrum of contracts that
involve the sale, purchase and trade of palm oil products,
and the financing scheme in the Indonesia palm oil sector.
These contracts need to be assessed thoroughly to ascertain
whether there is a breach in the delay of delivery of the palm
oil product or whether it triggers the application of the force
majeure clause under the contract. Additionally, the export
prohibition may trigger the parties to amend the pricing of the
contract due to the scarcity of palm oil products.
How Can We Help
We have a dedicated team of commodities and shipping
lawyers (including Indonesian-qualified lawyers who speak
Bahasa Indonesia) with a track record of dealing with
Indonesian legal issues and of successfully advising clients
on contracts affected by previous export bans in Indonesia.
We are, therefore, well placed to assist clients in assessing
the risks and providing solutions as a result of the above