Guide to Customs Tariff Classification in Indonesia

Guide to Customs Tariff Classification in Indonesia

Understanding customs tariff classification is crucial for businesses engaged in international trade with Indonesia. The Indonesian customs tariff system is a comprehensive framework that categorizes goods imported into the country, determining the applicable duties and taxes. This classification impacts the overall cost, compliance, and logistics of importing goods. In this guide, we will provide an in-depth analysis of the customs tariff classification in Indonesia, including the classification process, relevant regulations, and practical tips for businesses.

The Harmonized System (HS) Code in Indonesia

The foundation of Indonesia’s customs tariff classification lies in the Harmonized System (HS) Code, an internationally standardized system of names and numbers to classify traded products. Managed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the HS Code ensures uniformity and simplifies international trade.

Structure of the HS Code

The HS Code is composed of six digits, structured as follows:

  • Chapter: The first two digits represent the chapter, categorizing goods broadly (e.g., Chapter 84 for machinery and mechanical appliances).
  • Heading: The next two digits further specify the category within the chapter (e.g., 84.71 for automatic data processing machines).
  • Subheading: The final two digits provide a more detailed classification (e.g., 8471.30 for portable computers).

Indonesia further extends the HS Code to eight or ten digits to accommodate specific national requirements, adding precision to the classification process.

Tariff Classification Process in Indonesia

Determining the Correct HS Code

Accurate classification is critical for compliance and cost management. The process involves:

  1. Identifying the Product: Understand the nature, use, and material composition of the product.
  2. Consulting the HS Code Directory: Utilize resources such as the Indonesian Customs Tariff Book and the WCO’s HS Database.
  3. Seeking Expert Advice: Engage customs brokers or consultants for complex classifications.
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Binding Tariff Information (BTI)

Businesses can obtain Binding Tariff Information (BTI) from the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGCE). A BTI provides legally binding decisions on the correct tariff classification for a specific product, offering certainty and reducing the risk of disputes.

Regulations Governing Customs Tariff Classification

Customs Law and Regulations

Indonesia’s customs tariff classification is governed by several laws and regulations, including:

  • Law No. 10 of 1995 on Customs: Provides the legal framework for customs procedures and tariff classifications.
  • Minister of Finance Regulation No. 213/PMK.011/2011: Details the customs tariff nomenclature and duty rates.

Trade Agreements and Preferential Tariffs

Indonesia is a member of various trade agreements that influence tariff classifications and duty rates, such as the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPA). These agreements may offer preferential tariffs for qualifying goods, emphasizing the importance of correct classification to benefit from reduced duties.

Read More: How to Know HS Code for Export Goods from Indonesia

Common Challenges in Customs Tariff Classification

Complexity and Ambiguity

The vast array of products and the detailed nature of the HS Code can lead to complexity and ambiguity in classification. Misclassification can result in penalties, delays, and additional costs.

Regular Updates HS Code for Customs Tariff

The HS Code undergoes regular updates and amendments to accommodate new products and technological advancements. Staying current with these changes is essential for accurate classification.

Documentation and Compliance

Proper documentation, including detailed product descriptions and specifications, is vital for accurate classification. Incomplete or incorrect documentation can lead to disputes and reclassification.

Practical Tips for Effective Customs Tariff Classification

Invest Tarrif in Training

Ensure that your staff is well-trained in customs tariff classification and stays updated with the latest regulations and amendments.

Use Technology and Software

Leverage customs classification software and databases that streamline the classification process and reduce errors.

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Engage Experts

Consult customs brokers, legal advisors, and trade consultants for complex classifications and to navigate regulatory changes effectively.

Maintain Accurate Records

Keep detailed records of all classifications, including supporting documents and correspondences with customs authorities. This documentation is crucial for audits and resolving disputes.


Navigating the customs tariff classification system in Indonesia requires a thorough understanding of the HS Code, compliance with national regulations, and awareness of international trade agreements. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, businesses can achieve accurate classifications, minimize costs, and ensure smooth import operations.

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

Topic: customs tariff classification, Indonesia, HS Code, import regulations, trade agreements, compliance, customs law, tariff classification process, BTI, customs duties

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