Saturday, February 18, 2012

Indonesia Product Registrations

Product registrations or marketing approvals are required at Indonesia's Department of Food and Drugs (BPOM) for various products from medicines to personal care to foods. The rules on registration vary, some product applications are reviewed, such as pharma products, others like personal care products are just deposited information. There have long been conflicts between IP registrations specifically patents and trademarks, and product registrations, such as for patented medicines or branded products. It is also the case that officials sometimes use the power they have to grant such registrations to elicit unofficial fees.

One of the ways to tackle the problem of corruption when granting official approvals is to use software to take away the decision making power from the officials. A software driven process for applications like product registrations/marketing approvals is such a solution. Customs implemented such a system to reduce delays and corruption when approving imports. Now BPOM have launched a similar system, initially for certain food products, the vast majority of which need only limited review. An online application for marketing approval is made, reviewed and processed online and then granted. Applicants can also submit far more applications online than they can do physically and they no longer need to send someone to the BPOM office.

Let's hope this will clean up the system, and speed up approvals. If it works it may be extended from food products to other areas.

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