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Import/Export Procedures of Indonesia

Trade Policy

Indonesia is a member of the WTO (1995), ASEAN (1967) and G20. Indonesia is currently part to five regional free trade agreements (FTAs) and two bilateral FTAs as follows:

  • Regional FTAs signed under the auspices of ASEAN with seven economies individually, including China (the Chinese mainland), Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand

  • Two bilateral agreements with Japan and Pakistan

Indonesia is looking to improve its relations with other countries and expand its FTAs and have launched negotiations with Chile, Australia, India, Europe and Korea. For a full analysis on trade policy see the Indonesia Market Profile on the HKTDC website.


Directorate General of Customs and Excise (Customs Office), of the Ministry of Finance, is the lead agency for trade facilitation. Imports and exports are regulated under the Customs Law (2006).

Import and Export Requirements


Hong Kong companies must ensure they have completed the following:

  • Registered with the Customs Office to obtain a Customs Identification Number (NIK).

  • Obtain an import licence, which is valid for five years and extendible. An import licence can be administered on the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). There are two types:

    • General Importer Identification Number (API-U) that is applicable for general trading purposes

    • Producer Importer Identification Number (API-P) issued to importers importing goods for their own use, such as raw and supporting materials and/or to support production in manufacturing activities

  • Complete an Import Declaration Form (PIB) and submit to Customs Office. The PIB must be accompanies with supporting documentation which includes invoice, packing list, bill of lading, insurance policy, receipts of payment of import duty and related taxes, etc.


All companies in Indonesia wanting to carry out exporting activities must already have a taxpayer identification number (NPWP) and one of the following business licences:

  • Trade license (SIUP) from the Ministry of Trade
  • Manufacturing license from the Ministry of Industry, or other licences issued by the relevant authority
  • PMA licence issued by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM)
  • Exporter identification number (APE)

An Export Declaration Form (PEB) must then be submitted to Customs Office. The PEB along with several accompanying documents (e.g. an invoice, packing list, and documents from the relevant technical bodies) are required in order to obtain the final export approval. The PEB must be submitted no earlier than seven days prior to the export schedule or no later than the moment the goods enter the customs area.

Prohibited Items

For both imports and exports restrictions are imposed at the following levels:

Motorised vehicle tyres, electric light bulbs, matches, certain types of textiles, batteries, iron sheets, fully assembled automobiles and motorcycles, radio and television sets, explosives, narcotics.
Some categories of rubber, scrap metal and antiques.
Restricted and subject to approvalExamples:
Fuel for vehicles, ships and aircraft. Motor vehicles of a type not assembled in Indonesia.
Textiles, plywood and coffee. Certain basic commodities can only be exported if domestic demand has been met, such as flour, palm oil, sugar and petroleum.


Tariff Classification and Import/Export Duties

Indonesia adopts the Harmonised System (HS) and custom duties are levied on both imports and exports. Imports are also subject to VAT and/or STLG.

Import Duties

Committed to trade liberalisation, the Indonesian government has progressively cut import duty rates on most products. Based on its Customs Law, the maximum import duty in Indonesia is 40%. However, most imported items attract duties in the range of 0% to 15%. The rates applicable vary with where the goods are originated, where certificate of origins need to be presented. Rates are put into three categories:

  • Special preferential rates – applicable if there is a special preferential trade agreement (e.g. ASEAN member states). Under the ASEAN FTA, duties on imports from ASEAN countries generally range from 0% to 5% and the aim is to reduce duty rates between ASEAN countries to 0%.

  • Preferential rates – applicable if the country has a Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status with Indonesia. In 2014, Indonesia’s average MFN applied tariff was 6.9% (World Trade Organisation, 2016).

  • Ordinary rates – for any other country.

Export Duties

Goods subject to export duties are leather, wood, cocoa beans, palm oil, crude palm oil and metal mineral products. Export duty is calculated in accordance with a certain percentage of customs value (ad valorem) or specifically based on duty rate or quantity in a certain currency.

Product Standards and Labelling Requirements

Standards are commonly used in most Indonesian industries and the national standards are Indonesian National Standards (SNIs). The National Standardisation Agency (Badan Standardisasi Nasional (BSN)) is responsible for the formulation of the SNIs, whereas the task on accreditation is given to the National Accreditation Committee (KAN).

Regulations for labelling of goods are issued by the Ministry of Trade. All imported consumer goods must identify the importing agents and product labels must be distinctly and clearly written or printed in the Indonesian language, Arabic numbers, and Latin letters. The use of language, numbers, and letters other than the Indonesian language will only be permitted when there are no matching terms, or in the event of trading abroad.


A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Indonesia

  1. Regulatory Environment
  2. Establishing a Presence
  3. Intellectual Property Protection
  4. Staff Recruitment
  5. Tax Considerations
  6. Import/Export Procedures
  7. Further Information

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