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Rogue Indonesian tax collector unwittingly threatens supply chain

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, attends the opening ceremony of a new terminal at Tanjung Priok port.

JAKARTA -- Some Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean companies in September were suddenly stripped of taxpayer licenses needed for doing import and export business in Indonesia, then told they had run afoul of the country's value-added law.

The Indonesian tax office that revoked the licenses reportedly reversed itself early this month, following fierce protests from the companies and foreign embassies. But the action could have halted trading houses' operations and even severed supply chains set up by automobile and other producers.

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