Import license

Export Import License that Your Company Should Have

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 28 August 2017
  • 7 minute reading time

Does your company have the right and proper export import license?

Indonesia is one of the strongest economies in the Southeast Asia region. Its economic growth is pegged at a steady rate of 5.8% increase within the last 10 years with all its companies required to secure export license Indonesia. Its economy is stable enough for the country to be a part of G20; the only country accepted by the organization from Southeast Asia.

One of the main sources of the country’s economic stability is its export industry. In fact, Indonesia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of crude palm oil. At the same time, Indonesia is the second largest exporter of coal. The country is also at the second spot for the largest cocoa and tin producer in the world. And, Indonesia is the fourth largest natural gas exporter in the global industry. Indonesian government and companies export gold, nickel, coffee including marine and forest resources.

Indonesia is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This allows them to trade with several countries, even with companies abroad such as countries in Great Britain. ASEAN’s Free Trade Area (FTA) is one of the association’s Asian Economic Community (AEC) agreements. Therefore, the 10 member countries will benefit 0% tariff for the movement of goods and services among ASEAN countries.

With its strong economic and strategic location, it is no surprise that Indonesia is attractive among investors. Investors who want to trade with local companies or establish their exporting or importing business in Indonesia, especially. Of course, to participate in the exporting or importing industry, a company need to be familiar with the Indonesia export regulations.


business import license

Required Export/Import Licenses in Indonesia

You don’t have to memorize all the necessary licenses to accomplish in order to operate an export/import business in Indonesia. However, to start operating an importation or exportation business in the country, it would be best to be acquainted with their pertinent licenses, registrations, trading laws, and other relevant regulations. Here are some of the export import license Indonesia that will enable company to join the mentioned industry in Indonesia.

Business License

A business license is a paramount necessity for whatever business a company is engaged in. There are different types of business licenses. It is important for you to determine which type of business license you are going to secure. A construction company should obtain a construction business licence. While, a company engaged in manufacturing should secure an industrial business license.

Indonesia has a trade policy that started in 2015. The policy states that all new and current foreign companies should undergo a financial audit in order to apply for a permanent business license and other form of licenses relevant to the export/import industry. The regulation ensures that companies have an actual investment plan and did not just submitted the documents to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) for compliance purposes.

A business license (izin usaha)or more recently known as permanent business license (izin usaha tetap) can be obtained from the office of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) or the Regional Investment Coordinating Board (BKPMD). The license is issued to companies that were created based on a foreign investment company or PMA. BKPM issued the license as an operating permit for the company to engage in business activities related to commerce and trading products and services.


Import License

When your company has already secured a business license, the next step is to obtain a specific license for importation, such as an import license Indonesia. A business license would only warrant business operation in Indonesia, but it will not allow your company to carry out any importation activity.

There are several types of import licenses Indonesia, but according to the Ministry of Trade, a company can only have one import license for its operation.  To import products to Indonesia, a company needs to secure an Indonesian Importer Identification Number or Angka Pengenal Importir (API). (After obtaining an API, the company should apply for a Custom Registration Number (NIK) as well.) Here are three types of Indonesian Importer Identification Numbers:

  1. General Import License or API Umum (API-U). Trading or importing finished products will use this license and the application process can take two months.
  2. Producer Import License or API Produsen (API-P). The license is specifically for importing unfinished products, raw materials and goods or materials for production purposes.
  3. Limited Import License or API Terbatas (API-T). You can accomplish this type of importer identification number from Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The products imported with this license are automatically provided with a 2.5% withholding tax as opposed to the regular 7.5%.

[2020 Update for Import License Application]

Good news for investors and importers, the application for import license has been much simplified. The application can be done online via what is called the Online Single Submission (OSS) system.With the OSS, there is no need for investors to obtain an API and a NIK (Customs Registration) as basic import licenses anymore.

NIB serves as the Basic Import License

With this new system, all business entities will need to register themselves through it online. After completion of registration at the OSS, each business will get a Business Identity Number NIB (Nomor Induk Berusaha), provided that all documents submitted are complete.

The NIB will not expire as long as the company is in operation. This NIB number makes all processes much easier as it replaces the Company Registration Certificate, Importer Identification Number (for import license), and Customs Registration NIK (Nomor Induk Kepabeanan).

As such, import companies or companies engage in import activities do not have to go through the process of acquiring API and NIK anymore. However, importers need to make sure that they still comply with technical import requirements with relevant authorities.

Related article: Import and Export License in Indonesia

Medical Distribution Licenses (Izin Penyalur Alat Kesehatan/IPAK)

Both foreign and local companies that intend to distribute medical equipment in the country have to secure two types of licenses:

  1. Indonesian medical distribution license
  2. Medical devices registration

To obtain a medical distribution license, a company has to find a local partner or a local company with a medical device distributor’s license from the Ministry of Health. If you need assistance on setting up your company in Indonesia, Cekindo can help you through the process along with finding a reputable local counterpart or distributor for you. We are also an expert in assisting our customers in terms of obtaining registration and due licenses.

Read more: Medical Product Registration in Indonesia



trademark registration indonesiaIn order to protect a company’s trademark, it is best to register your trademark based on Indonesia’ Trademark Act No. 15 of 2001. An applying company has to go through a formal evaluation to ensure that the trademark is not a duplicate of existing trademarks in the market. After the examination, Trademark Official Journals will publish your trademark in it.

It will be pending for three months to pave the way for opposing parties who may want to challenge the trademark application. The owner can renew the trademark registration when the validity time is over in 10 years. Food supplements, food and beverages and other commodities are the goods and services that your company needs trademark for.

Read more: Trademark Registration in Indonesia

To assist you with your trademark registration and import and export license Indonesia, call our Cekindo office or send us an email today.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

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Disclaimer: The information is provided by PT. Cekindo Business International (“InCorp Indonesia/ we”) for general purpose only and we make no representations or warranties of any kind.

We do not act as an authorized government or non-government provider for official documents and services, which is issued by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia or its appointed officials.

We do not promote any official government document or services of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, including but not limited to, business identifiers, health and welfare assistance programs and benefits, unclaimed tax rebate, electronic travel visa and authorization, passports in this website.

Frequent Asked Questions

There are three things business owners need to consider before setting up a business in Indonesia: the type of business entity, capital requirements, and regulations.

Indonesian regulations separate local companies from foreign companies. Generally, foreign-owned companies (PT PMA) have more limitations than their local counterparts (Local PT). However, to pursue more foreign direct investment in the country, the government has taken several bold initiatives to increase the ease of doing business and provide numerous attractive incentives for foreign investors.

There are two main types, namely, primary business licenses and non-primary business licenses. The primary ones commonly apply to various industries, such as general and industrial business licenses. Additional non-primary ones are included, depending on the operations of your business. Examples of non-primary business licenses are operational and commercial licenses.

Yes, you must apply for it to be able to issue work permits for your foreign employees. This permanent business license is also a prerequisite for the applications for other business licenses and import licenses.