Import Laws and Regulations in Indonesia

4 min read|Last Updated: June 14, 2024|

Starting a business in Indonesia is a great first step towards your business success. With Indonesia having one of the most profitable markets and taking strides to improve the import and export protocols, it is on track to its target of being the world’s top 5 largest economy by 2045.

Under Government Regulation No. 29 of 2021 (Reg 29/2021), the Ministry of Trade (MoT) is the authority that issues approvals, verifications, obligations, and licenses on import-export activities in Indonesia.

Why Import Restrictions are Necessary

Every country places restrictions on the products that can be carried. Although import limits may appear to be an undesirable burden for everyone entering the country, there are multiple good reasons why government officials prohibit certain commodities.

These reasons could include everything from security concerns to the likelihood of illegal materials being smuggled in, as well as the desire to use such items to destabilise the country’s leadership. Certain items are subject to import restrictions in Indonesia.

Items that are Subject to Import Restrictions in Indonesia

When it comes to import laws and regulations in Indonesia, there is a list of items which you cannot import into Indonesia. One of the most notable classifications of items is electronic devices, which include:

  • Handled computers
  • Tablets
  • Cellphones

According to Regulation 82/2012, importers of such items are not allowed to sell directly to retailers or consumers. They must also utilise the services of a minimum of three distributors before they may become eligible for an MOT importer license.

Under the Indonesian import laws and regulations, the governing body has come up with a LARTAS list, also known as the Restricted and Banned Goods List. This list restricts the admission of the following products, among others:

  • Narcotics & other illegal drugs
  • Pornographic content in any format
  • Politically sensitive material in any media

Some products can only import into Indonesia if you have the appropriate permission or license. These include:

  • Firearms and other guns
  • Hunting rifles
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
Indonesia Incorporation Specialist Eric

Licenses Required to Import Items into Indonesia

Whether you are a local PT or PT PMA company, if you are operating under an API-P import license, you are allowed to import finished products for complementary goods, market testing, or for other services which are not the sale itself. However, the products that you want to import must be new, in line with the details stated in the company’s business license and satisfy all import requirements.

Regulation 87/2015 on the Import of Certain Products restricts imports to specific ports and airports while keeping non-automatic import license regulations in place for certain products. Some of these include:

  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Footwear
  • Household appliances
  • Cosmetics
  • Food and beverages
  • Footwear
Indonesia Incorporation Specialist Eric

How much does it cost to import goods into Indonesia

Importing goods into Indonesia can be as costly or as inexpensive. The import charges are determined by the type of item being imported into Indonesia. The Declaration of Imported Items is another name for the total tax on imported goods (PIB; Pemberitahuan Import Barang).

When importing goods into Indonesia, there are three sorts of taxes to consider:

  1. Import duty taxes
  2. Value-added tax (VAT)
  3. Income Tax

Import duties might range anywhere from 0% to 450%. The actual value of determination by the HS Code of the goods that will import into Indonesia. In Indonesia, the value-added tax (VAT) is set at 10%. Income tax on particular items imported into Indonesia is at least 2.5%, but it may be greater in other cases.

Luxury products goods are also subject to luxury goods sales tax (LGST). The rate at which luxury tax is imposed rate depends on the luxury good in question and is set between 10% to 125%.

Alcoholic beverages taxes are between 5% and 20%, brand shoes at 40%, luxury motorcycles at between 60% and 125%, and yachts at 75%. The highest luxury tax rates are for reservation luxury cars. Luxury cars taxes is between 150% and 200%.


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Is parallel import legal in Indonesia?2021-11-19T10:21:20+08:00

In the area of copyright, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia, for example, prohibit parallel importation whereas Singapore and Malaysia allow the practice. 

Are Indonesia’s laws on import restrictions expected to be changed?2021-11-19T10:23:30+08:00

There has not been any major discussion on changing Indonesia’s laws on import restrictions. Thus, they are not expected to be changed in the near future. 

Why must certain items’ importation into Indonesia e restricted?2021-11-19T10:23:07+08:00

The government of Indonesia has had to impose restrictions on the importation of certain items into Indonesia. It had to do so due to the adverse effect of such products on the Indonesian community as a whole as well the sovereignty and general well-being of the country. 

Why do people attempt to import restricted or prohibited items into Indonesia?2021-11-19T10:22:46+08:00

Some of the items which are subject to restrictions or prohibitions of importation into Indonesia include pornographic material, politically sensitive material, narcotics and other drugs, and certain weapons and guns if the person importing them in Indonesia does not have the necessary permit. Some break Indonesia’s import laws due to ignorance of the specific details of the laws; however, there are others who have malicious intent and have attempted to blatantly break the law by forcing such items in Indonesia. 

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Join the discussions

  1. Schaun August 2, 2022 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    I want to import a Microscope into Indonesia (Jakarta), but worry that it will incur total import costs of around 100%. Looking at your restricted items list, it doesnt seem to fall into ay of those categories. There is an option with a LED light – would this be enough to classify it as Electronic???
    OR, If i get a fully non electric model, Optic only, would that be ok?
    How can I be certain that what I order from overseas is not subject to such taxes (total value is 250-400USD+ shipping costs).
    Since this is an educational / scientific device, I would have thought it would be free of any import restrictions.

    • Tiwi August 12, 2022 at 1:12 pm

      Hi Schaun,

      Regarding your question, the official customs department in Indonesia would be in a better position to assist you with this enquiry. They have their own internal rules and tips.

      Hope this helps!

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