Not many people know how import to Indonesia works. If you are one of the people curious about them, do read this article for your daily dose of business information.
Registration is paramount
Unless you want to be seen as a black market dealer, you will need to register yourself at the trade department. Both exporters and importers are legally bound to register their status at the aforementioned department, so whether you are exporting those bunches of tobacco or importing that sweet Gucci handbag, register yourself at said department and get working!
There is one thing to notice when you are importing something. When it comes to importing stuffs, there are three importing licenses that you need to consider. There is the API-U, which is a general import license. There is the API-T, which is a limited import license. There is also the API-P, which a product import license. Each three licenses are used by different companies from different sections, and if you already got one license, you are only permitted to import things that are included in your license. If you import things that are not permitted by your license, be ready for some trouble and make it double.
For exporters, the thing you will need is a tax number or a trade license. The tax number can be earned from the tax office while the trade license can be earned at the ministry of trade. Exporting is much more simpler than importing, which should be obvious because Indonesia REALLY need to boost their export levels.
Documents are the next important things
After you got your license, you need to have several documents before you can conduct an import or export. If you are importing stuffs to Indonesia, you will need things like a commercial invoice, a bill of lading, a certificate of insurance if applicable, a packing list, an import permit, and a customs import declaration. I am sure you already understand what are those stuffs are (if you are truly serious about importing to Indonesia at least).
If you are exporting stuffs from Indonesia, you will need a bill of lading, a commercial invoice, a customs export declaration, a packing list, export declaration of goods, a certificate for insurance, a permit for export, and a certificate of origin. More of the same, just with a bit alteration here and there. If there are no differences between export and import documents, confusion will surely be rampant.
The taxes and the tariffs
Now this is where things get interesting. If you are an importer, be prepared to pay a big amount of money. Indonesian got a tariff of 170 percent max, and that is pretty high in my opinion. If you are importing things that can be dangerous to Indonesian health, be ready to pay a big pile of money because those things are the most taxed thing over here.
If you are an exporter, however, you can rest easy because the government usually does not put an imposing tax and tariff on you. Like I said before, Indonesian really needs to up their export game, hence the low tariffs. Export import Indonesia can be an expensive thing, but so does export and import in anywhere else.
Learn more about Indonesia tax and regulations from Ditjen Pajak website.