An Indonesian mandate for lubricants to meet the countrys new national SNI standard took effect last month, but some companies may still be waiting for approvals, industry insiders told Lube Report.
Test lab availability, more than technical requirements, is the biggest challenge for suppliers, said a spokesperson from TUV Rheinland, a global technical service provider headquartered in Hanover, Germany.
The new standard, announced by the countrys Ministry of Industry in September 2018, went into effect Sept. 10 of this year. The standards requirements apply to lubricants for 2- and 4-stroke gasoline engines, high-speed diesel engines, wheels, axles and manual gearboxes, as well as automatic transmissions.
There are around 120 manufacturers, importers or agents active in Indonesia. Since lube oils are a new mandatory standard, the request for labs is currently at its peak, and we can expect it to smooth out in time, added the spokesperson. The Ministry of Industry could not be contacted for the number of companies or products with SNI standards.
The applicant must supply two lots of two liters of the oil type for testing. One sample is retained, the other is tested. In addition, they must supply legal documents, contract agreements and information on the oil itself, [such as] which SNI standard to apply, brand name and SAE or API information, he added.
Testing typically takes one week, depending on the lab, the spokesperson continued. Certification then takes 47 days from time of submission.
The timing is different for different cases, but by experience, it could take two to three months if the products are manufactured in Indonesia and could be more if overseas, said Raymond Widjaja, director of PT Pana Oil Indonesia, an independent lubricant blender.
However, there are some who currently do not meet the standard. We hear some cases of brands being withdrawn from the market, but most of the companies that have [an] established presence and long-term strategy in Indonesia have the SNI approvals, he added. Companies like Pertamina, Shell and Federal Oil, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, already announced their products are SNI-certified.
Such non-trade barriers may prompt foreign brands to manufacture locally. [Pana Oil] has set up a team to look into partnering with overseas brands eyeing to enter the Indonesian market for distribution as we have the capacity to help those brands get the SNI certification, Widjaja said.
The SNI regulation, number 25/2018, also requires lubricant blenders to meet certain administrative requirements such as translating company documents into the Indonesian language and designating a local brand representative for foreign players. Upon approval, they will be required to display the SNI logo on their products.
According to the Ministry of Trade website, there are 12 organizations have been appointed to certify lubricants that meet the SNI standard. Compliance is being enforced by the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia.
SNI had been contested by the Association of Indonesian Lubricants Distributors, Importers and Producers, who submitted an application to the countrys Supreme Court in February requesting judicial review of the validity of the standard. The association argued the existing registered lubricant number already controlled the quality of lubricants in Indonesia, making the new regulation unnecessary.