Indonesia - Country Commercial Guide
Prohibited and Restricted Imports
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The implementation of the new Omnibus Law was Indonesia’s most serious attempt at business reforms. Under Government Regulation No. 29 of 2021 (Reg 29/2021), the law gives the Ministry of Trade (MoT) the authority to issues approvals, verifications, obligations, and licenses on import-export activities. Moreover, the MoT now has the authority to grant greater autonomy and ease of obtaining a business license for importers or exporters. Businesses will now only require a Business Identification Number (NIB) to begin their import or export activities. Obtaining a NIB can be done through the Online Single Submission (OSS) system. Previously, businesses had to apply for one of three types of import licenses: API-U (General Import License); API-P (Producer Import License); and a Limited Import License, also known as API Terbatas (API-T). The NIB now doubles up as an API-U, API-P, and an API-T.

For certain types of goods will still require an additional import license from the MoT such as: An importer registration license; An import approval license for producer importers (companies that import materials used in the manufacture of their own products); or A general import approval license. And import license holder would still need to declare all goods imported into Indonesia to the Indonesian Directorate General of Customs and Excise.

Before importing or exporting goods, businesses should check with the Indonesian Harmonization System (HS) Code. The code is used to classify every category of products due to specific products may require additional licenses or registration. In addition, the HS code is one of the factors that determine the rate of taxes and customs duties, as well as any specific import/export requirements for that product.

The import of some products is regulated based on the Restricted and Banned Goods List, also known as the “LARTAS list.” Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade regulations 18 (MoT Regulation 18/2021) provides an updated list of the types of goods that are prohibited from being imported to and exported from Indonesia. To check on specific import restrictions, importers can check using INSW’s portal at Menu “Lartas Information”. The regulation provides new categories of goods that are prohibited for import, namely, finished hand tools, sugar, ozone-depleting substances, certain drugs and foods, and hazardous and toxic materials, among others. The categories of goods that are prohibited for export include scrap metal, cultural heritage goods, subsidized fertilizers, mining products, forestry, and certain agriculture products.

The prohibition applies to the import of goods from outside Indonesia’s customs area to the free-trade ports and free trade areas, and the export of goods from free-trade ports and free trade areas.

In addition, the regulation also applies to the import of goods from outside the customs area into an exclusive economic zone, the export of goods from the exclusive economic zone to outside the customs area, and the import of goods from outside the customs area to a bonded zone, and the export of goods from a bonded zone to outside the customs area.

The Minister of Finance issued a regulation No. 102/PMK.04/2019 (PMK-102), a regulation on re-exporting imported goods. Under the existing rules (PMK-149), the re-export of imported goods can be carried out based on the approval of the Head of the Customs Office in cases such as: imported goods are not in accordance with the purchase order, imported goods are wrongly delivered, goods are broken, or the goods are not allowed to be imported due to a government policy.

Transshipment or moving ships is under the objects of supervision of the Indonesian customs authority. There have been many issues in the form of frequent transshipment in the middle of the sea which is detrimental to the country and has become a mode for illegal and/or fictitious exports. As an archipelagic state, the sea and air are open spaces that contain obstacles, challenges, and disturbances that need to be prevented by the country authorities because they have the potential to disrupt the stability of defense, security, socio-political, socio-economic, socio-cultural, and environmental aspects. As regulated by the authorities, the traffic of goods and means of transport must be subject to customs, immigration, and quarantine.

Customs provides a monitoring system including a transshipment transfer control system which has been integrated between customs and airports. Transshipments in the middle of the sea are prohibited and harbormasters are prohibited from facilitating loading/unloading anywhere in the open water or outside a designated port. Procedures for the entry and release of goods into and from bonded logistic centers in the context of export and/or transshipment are under customs regulation PER-10/BC/2017.  Some ports in Indonesia can provide transshipment, such as Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) in Jakarta, and currently the government is preparing another transshipment port, Kuala Tanjung Port located in the North Sumatera Province.

Transshipment is an alternative solution for fuel efficiency especially for the fishery industry. Transshipment for fisheries is regulated under the Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries under regulation 58/PERMEN-KP/2020 concerning Capture Fisheries Businesses in the Fisheries Management Areas of the Republic of Indonesia.