There are several laws in Indonesia which are related to the importation of goods into the country. Some specify how imported goods are to be taxed, some specify restrictions on the importation of certain products, and still others outright ban the importation of certain items into Indonesia.

Indonesia 's Import Laws and Regulations

Why Import Restrictions are Necessary

Every country in the world imposes restrictions on items which may be brought into the country. Although import restrictions may initially appear to be an unwelcome burden on anyone entering the country, there are usually several valid reasons why the items restricted by government authorities are subject to such restrictions. These reasons may range from security risks to the possibility of the smuggling of illegal items to the intent to use such items to oppose the country’s government as well as many others. In Indonesia, certain items are subject to import restrictions. The items which are restricted with regard to importation into Indonesia are those of which the government considers monitoring of such imports necessary.

Items Which Are Subject to Import Restrictions in Indonesia

There are many different items which are subject to import restrictions in Indonesia. Among the most notable of these are certain electronic devices including handheld computers, tablets, and cell phones. There are also several laws in Indonesia which apply to the importation of such items. These are MOT Regulation 82/2012 as amended by Regulations 38/2013, 68/2015, and 41/2016 as well as MOI Regulation 108/2012 which has been effect since January 2013. These laws impose certain import licensing requirements with regard to cell phones, handheld computers, and tablets. According to Regulation 82/2012, importers of such items are not allowed to sell directly to retailers or consumers. They must also utilize the services of a minimum of three distributors before they may become eligible for a MOT importer license. MOT Regulation 41/2016 requires 4G device importers to provide either evidence of contributions which they have made to the development of the domestic device industry or cooperation with domestic manufacturing, design, or research firms.

Indonesian import restriction also prohibit certain products from entering Indonesia. The Restricted and Banned Goods list, also known as the LARTAS list, regulates the entry of such products. These items include narcotics and other illegal drugs, pornographic material in any format, and politically sensitive material in any format. There are also certain items which are only allowed to enter Indonesia if the person bringing them into Indonesia has the necessary license or permit. These include firearms and other guns, hunting rifles, ammunition, and explosives. According to Indonesian laws, anyone who attempts to import such items into Indonesia could potentially be fined, jailed, or both.

Licenses Required to Import Items into Indonesia

In response to stakeholder concerns, in December 2015, the Ministry of Trade (MOT) issued Regulation 118/2015 on complementary goods. This regulation allows companies which are operating under an API-P import license to import finished products for complementary goods, market testing, or for other services which are not the sale itself. However, the products to be imported must be new, in line with the details stated in the company’s business license, and satisfy all import requirements. In October 2015, MOT issued Regulation 87/2015 on the Import of Certain Products. This regulation replaced Decree 56/2009, which had been extended through MOT Regulation 83/2012. Just as had been the case with its predecessors, Regulation 87/2015 requires pre-shipment verification by designated companies (to be referred to as “surveyors” in Indonesia). This verification is to be purchased by the importer. This regulation also limits the entry of imports to designated ports and airports while maintaining non-automatic import licensing requirements on products including but not restricted to electronics, toys, footwear, household appliances, cosmestics, food and beverage products, and footwear. For those who are holders of an API-U license, Regulation 87/2015 serves eliminates the additional requirement to register as an importer of certain products.