Dos and Don’ts for Importing of Personal Effects, To and From Indonesia

importDos for Import – Documents required.

Dos for Foreigners – Documents required:

  • Original Passport
  • Original Residence permit (ITAS Card) valid for 12 months – Issued by Indonesia’s Immigration office
  • Original Work Permit (IMTA) valid for FULL 12 months – Issued by Indonesia’s Labor Dept
  • Authorization Letter from Shipper

Dos for Returning Indonesian Residents:

  • Original Letter of Reference (Surat Keterangan Pindah) from the origin Indonesian Embassy; ONE original letter for ONE shipment; or
  • Original Packing List – endorsed by local Indonesian Embassy
  • Original Passport
  • Copy of Boarding Pass entering Indonesia to reside
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)

In order to obtain DUTY-FREE importation of household goods shipment and in addition to having completed detailed as above, the following regulations MUST also be observed;

  • Expatriates – must submit both Residency and Working permits with validity of one full year (twelve months). Make sure that the Residency permit is completed within fourteen (14) days after arrival to reside.
  • Returning Indonesians – must have been out of Indonesia for at least one year with gainful full employment/ education, and must provide an employment letter from employer overseas or university/school letter and final education certificate
  • Only ONE air shipment and ONE sea shipment are allowed per family (Air shipment must arrive first before the Sea Shipment) and must arrived within 3 months from the arrival date in Indonesia (per Immigration Admission Stamp in passport). Duties and taxes will apply to additional shipments and/or arrive after the 3-month period.
  • All items should have been used for at least 12 months. All new items/prohibited items found by customs will incur duty charges

Dos for Diplomatic / Semi Diplomatic shipment:

  • Diplomatic Exemption Letter – PP8 for Full Diplomatic; or PP19 for Semi Diplomatic (UN, UNICEF, WHO, etc.)
  • Copy of passport (endorsed by the Embassy)
  • Copy of ID cards (consignee and undersigned Authorisation letters, endorsed by the Embassy)
  • Copy of Diplomatic Visa (endorsed by the Embassy)
  • Reference letter from the Embassy stating solely employed by the Embassy (signed by a Diplomatic Executive from the same office)
  • Copy of Diplomatic Note confirming the Diplomatic Executive’s current diplomatic status and position
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Original Packing List (endorsed by the Embassy)

Note: PP8/PP19 must be applied by the Embassy/Organisation in Jakarta to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia (for Diplomatic); to the Ministry of Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesian (for Semi Diplomatic).

Important notes for Import Customs Clearance Process in Jakarta, Indonesia:

For the sea shipment, the average time for customs clearance after arrival is approximately 5 -8 working days. And for the air shipment, the average customs clearance time is approximately 2-4 working days. Note: working days are Monday to Friday only.

Air Shipments
All air shipments are physically inspected by Customs at the air terminal (except a diplomatic shipment).

Sea Shipments
All sea shipments undergo a physical Customs inspection (except a diplomatic shipment

Don’ts for import

Items which will potentially cause problems in clearing a personal effects shipment through customs:

  • AUTOMOBILES (Incl. Cars, Motorbikes, Motorized Buggy/ATV) – Only allowed for certain levels of diplomats. It is prohibited for all non- diplomats.
  • EXPLOSIVES, ARMS AND AMMUNITION – These items are strictly prohibited. Air rifles are also considered as arms, so they are also prohibited from being imported.
  • FOOD ITEMS – Non-perishable food items may be imported in small amounts. Items in cans and other durable packaging in reasonable amounts are allowed for import.
  • ELECTRONICS – All electronics must have had at least one-year-old of usage. Any new items will be subject to duties. Generally, only one of each major appliance (refrigerator, stove, big flat TV) and reasonable quantities of electronic devices are allowed in duty free.
  • CD’s, DVD’s, VCD’s, Video/Audio Tapes – These items can be imported in ‘reasonable’ quantities providing they are not new, pornographic or politically sensitive.
  • STATUES – Although these items are not considered as prohibited items, but they are considered as very sensitive items (due to recent smuggling cases). Customs will hold and take them to Indonesian Directorate of History and Archaeology to be examined. This process can last for 4 – 9 months until a decision is made that the statues are not antiquities. Any supporting documentation e.g. certificates from origin customs, will assist to expedite the clearance process.
  • DRUGS AND MEDICINE – These items are not allowed to be imported in Household Goods shipments without a permit from BPOM. There is also a fee required to submit to BPOM. It is recommended to hand carry everyday medicines and only bring normal household quantities.
  • WINE & LIQUOR & TOBACCO – Importing alcohol (wine, spirits & beer) and tobacco is strictly prohibited. Import of alcohol is allowed for diplomats but limited to annual quota agreed by the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the respective embassies in the country.
  • PETS – There is no limit on how many pets you can import. However, duty charges per pet will apply.
Dos and Don’ts for Exporting a personal effects from Indonesia

Required export customs documents:

For an expatriate (Non Diplomatic shipment):

  • Bill of Lading, Airway bill or other transport documents such as postal receipt, cargo receipt;
  • Commercial Invoice;
  • Customs Export Declaration;
  • Packing List;
  • Export declaration of goods (PEB);
  • Insurance Certificate;
  • Export Permit; and
  • Certificate of Origin.

In some cases, it may also be necessary to provide the following

  • Insurance;
  • Taxpayer ID number (NPWP);
  • A quality statement or quality certificate; or
  • Export LKP (Truth Examination Report), for products receiving Bapeksta facility or subject to PE (Export Tax) or PET (Export Supplemental Tax).

Importers and Exporters must note that the documents may have to be prepared in a special way to comply with the requirements of the import or export country. The required documents depend upon the nature of goods imported (general goods, personal effects, dangerous goods, and livestock among others), regular trade policy of Indonesia government,  specific goods imported to Indonesia such as arms and ammunition, health products, food products, and chemicals.

Full Diplomat:

  • Copy ID card (diplomat)
  • Copy visa (diplomat)
  • Diplomat passport
  • Original letter of approval from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – PP8 (This is obtained by the Embassy in Indonesia from the Indonesia Foreign Affairs Department. Copy of BL/AWB and Packing list are required.)
  • Written statement from local Embassy in Indonesia confirming customer will only be working for the Embassy and will have no other assignments
  • Authorization letter from local Embassy in Indonesia
  • Copy of shipping documents legalized by the Embassy


  • Original PP-19 / Authorization letter from Indonesian Dept of State Secretary
  • Copy of passport
  • Statement Letter from organization in Indonesia confirming that Shipper will ONLY be working for organization and will not have any other assignments.
  • Authorization letter from the organization in Indonesia
  • Original of Shipping Documents (Bill of Lading and Inventory List) legalized by the organization

Semi-diplomatic organizations are still under PP-19 and some are not.

These documents must be accurate and complete – customers will incur significant warehouse and port storage charges if all documents are not provided.

Document for sending vehicle:

Documents required :

  • Title & Registration – must be originals.
  • Bill of lading (either ocean or air)
  • Packing list.
  • Copy of passport.
  • Work permit.
  • Form PP-8 (for diplomats)
Don’ts for Export
  • Electrical items (e.g. TV, DVDs player, stereo set), new furniture will be subject to tax at the destination.
  • Agricultural Products: Fry and Arowana fish, eel fish seed, botia ornamental fish, lobster of 8 cm and paneadae shrimps
  • Forestry Products: roundwood, flakes raw materials, rail pads made of wood or sawn timber.
  • Maritime Products: Sea sand
  • Mining Products: Tin ore and concentrates, arsenic ash and residue, metal or other compounds, especially that contain tin or precious stones