A Step-by-Step Guide on Import to Indonesia

A Step-by-Step Guide on Import to Indonesia

Importing goods into Indonesia involves navigating a complex web of regulations, paperwork, and procedures. To help streamline this process, we have prepared a comprehensive guide that covers every essential step. Whether you are a seasoned importer or new to international trade, this detailed guide will ensure you can successfully import goods into Indonesia.

Understanding Indonesia’s Import Regulations

Indonesia’s import regulations are governed by a combination of national laws and international trade agreements. The primary body overseeing imports is the Directorate General of Customs and Excise, under the Ministry of Finance. Key regulations include:

  • Customs Law No. 17/2006: This law governs the customs procedures, duties, and prohibitions related to imports.
  • Trade Law No. 7/2014: This law regulates trade practices, including import restrictions and licensing requirements.
  • National Single Window (NSW): This system simplifies the import process by allowing electronic submissions of documents and providing a single point of entry for all regulatory requirements.

Step 1: Obtain an Importer Identification Number (API)

Before you can start importing goods, you need to obtain an Importer Identification Number (API). There are two types of APIs:

  • General Importer Identification Number (API-U): For companies that import goods for general trading purposes.
  • Producer Importer Identification Number (API-P): For manufacturers that import goods to be used in their production processes.

To apply for an API, you must register with the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and provide the following documents:

  1. Company Establishment Deed
  2. Taxpayer Identification Number (NPWP)
  3. Business License
  4. Domicile Certificate
  5. Company Registration Certificate (TDP)
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Step 2: Classify Your Goods

Accurate classification of goods is crucial for determining the correct customs duties and taxes. Indonesia uses the Harmonized System (HS) Code to classify products. Each product is assigned a specific HS code that dictates the duty rate applicable.

You can consult the Indonesian Customs Tariff Book or use the online Indonesia National Single Window (INSW) system to identify the appropriate HS code for your products.

Step 3: Determine Import Duties and Taxes

Import duties and taxes in Indonesia include:

  • Customs Duties: Vary depending on the HS code and the type of goods.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT): Typically set at 10% of the CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value.
  • Income Tax (Article 22): Usually ranges from 2.5% to 7.5% of the import value.
  • Luxury Goods Sales Tax (PPnBM): Applied to specific luxury items at varying rates.

Ensure you calculate these costs accurately to determine the total landed cost of your imported goods.

Step 4: Obtain Import Licenses and Permits

Certain products require specific import licenses and permits before they can be imported into Indonesia. These include:

  • Food and Beverages: Require registration with the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM).
  • Medical Devices: Need approval from the Ministry of Health.
  • Chemicals: Require permits from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
  • Textiles: Require special import licenses.

Check the requirements for your specific product category and apply for the necessary licenses and permits well in advance.

Read More: Guide to Customs Tariff Classification in Indonesia

Step 5: Prepare Import Documentation

Accurate and complete import documentation is essential for smooth customs clearance. Key documents include:

  1. Commercial Invoice: Detailing the value and nature of the goods.
  2. Packing List: Describing the contents and packaging of each shipment.
  3. Bill of Lading: A transportation document issued by the carrier.
  4. Certificate of Origin: Proving the origin of the goods.
  5. Insurance Certificate: Covering the shipment.
  6. Import Declaration Form (PIB): Filed electronically through the INSW system.
  7. Other Specific Certificates or Permits: Depending on the type of goods.
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Step 6: Submit the Import Declaration

Once you have all your documentation in order, you need to submit an Import Declaration (PIB) to the Directorate General of Customs and Excise through the INSW system. This form includes details about the shipment, such as the type of goods, their value, and the applicable HS codes.

Step 7: Pay Duties and Taxes

After submitting the Import Declaration, you will receive a payment notice for customs duties, taxes, and fees. Payments can be made through designated banks. Ensure that you keep proof of payment as it is required for the customs clearance process.

Step 8: Customs Clearance

Once the payment is confirmed, the goods will undergo a customs inspection. The customs authority will verify the documentation and may physically inspect the goods to ensure compliance with regulations. If everything is in order, the goods will be released for entry into Indonesia.

Step 9: Post-Clearance Procedures

After customs clearance, there are additional steps you may need to follow:

  • Delivery Order (DO): Obtain this document from the shipping line to take possession of the goods.
  • Warehouse Management: Arrange for storage or direct delivery to the final destination.
  • Compliance Checks: Ensure ongoing compliance with Indonesian import regulations to avoid future penalties.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Importing goods into Indonesia can present several challenges, including:

  • Regulatory Changes: Stay updated on the latest regulations and trade policies.
  • Language Barriers: Work with local agents or translators to navigate documentation in Bahasa Indonesia.
  • Complex Licensing Requirements: Engage with a licensed customs broker or consultant to manage specific permits and licenses.

By understanding these challenges and preparing in advance, you can mitigate potential issues and ensure a smooth import process.


Successfully importing goods into Indonesia requires meticulous planning, thorough documentation, and compliance with a range of regulatory requirements. By following this step-by-step guide, you can navigate the complexities of Indonesian import procedures and ensure that your goods reach their destination efficiently.

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Indonesia Customs website here.
Collection of Indonesia customs consultations here.

Topic: Import to Indonesia, Indonesian Customs, Import Regulations, Import Licenses, Import Duties, Import Taxes, Customs Clearance, HS Code, Import Documentation, Indonesian Trade

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