export and import license

Export and Import License in Indonesia: How to Get One?

InCorp Editorial Team

Table of Content

Obtaining an Indonesian export and import license is critical for importing goods into the Indonesian market. These licenses are industry-specific and do not permit the importation of goods unrelated to the licensed sector.

Once the establishment process is completed and you obtain the permanent business license. You can directly proceed to apply for an import and export license.

Import Licence

Importing involves legally transporting goods or commodities from one country to another, typically as part of trade activities. The import process entails bringing goods into a country from foreign sources, often requiring customs clearance in both the exporting and importing nations.

There are three types of Import Licenses you can apply for:

1. API-U (General Import Licence)

This license is issued to general trading companies importing fully-made products for sale or distribution in Indonesia. It allows for importing finished products or trading goods with third parties. The application process for an API-U typically takes around one month.

2. API-P (Producer Import Licence)

This license is granted to manufacturing companies importing raw materials or supporting goods for their production processes in Indonesia. API-P does not permit importation for sale or distribution; it is solely for use in manufacturing.

3. API-T (Limited Import License)

This license is a limited importer identification number obtained through the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). Goods imported under an API-T enjoy a reduced withholding tax rate of 2.5% compared to the standard 7.5%.

Read more: Steady Economic Growth in Q1, Thanks to Indonesian Exports

Guide for Importing to Indonesia

When you register as a trading company, you’ll receive a Business License. Trading entitles you to an API-U (General Import License) for importing finished goods/products for resale in Indonesia. If you later add manufacturing activities, you’ll need to revise your business license to reflect this change.

You’ll also need to apply for an Industrial License (IUI) and an Industrial Registered License (TDP), transforming your trading company into a manufacturing company. Consequently, you will be eligible for an API-P license, allowing imports exclusively for manufacturing.

It’s important to note that the Indonesian government prohibits single companies from holding API-U and API-P licenses simultaneously. Thus, if you wish to engage in manufacturing and trading, you must establish two companies to conduct these activities concurrently.

How to Secure an Import License in Indonesia

The processing time of an import license application could be daunting and used to take up to five months. However, good news for foreign investors: implementing the OSS licensing system and canceling unnecessary procedures by the Ministry of Trade has allowed for more convenient and shorter processing times.

With the OSS implementation, foreign investors no longer need to secure an API and a NIK (Customs Registration) as essential import licenses. With this new system, all business entities must register themselves through it. After registration at the OSS, each business will get a Business Identity Number NIB (Nomor Induk Berusaha).

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 that engage in import activities no longer have to go through the process of acquiring API and NIK. However, importers must still comply with technical import requirements with relevant authorities.

You might want to check: Application for IUI and Expansion Licenses is Now Integrated into OSS System

Export Licence

Indonesian exporters must have Export Licenses (ET) to conduct exporting activities. There  are general provisions of export by 13/M-DAG/PER/3/2012, in which export of goods are grouped as follows:

Exportable Goods 

Individuals need to possess an NPWP (Taxpayer Identification Number) and other documents specified by regulations to export. At the same time, business entities require a SIUP (Trade Business License), TDP (Company Registration), NPWP, and other documents as mandated by regulations.

Restricted Goods 

Institutions or business entities dealing with restricted goods must hold an ET (Registered Exporter), SPE (Export Permit), LS (Surveyor’s Report), COO (Certificate of Origin), and other documents as specified by regulations. In most cases, an ET necessitates an SPE during the actual export process. Certain goods, such as coffee, rubber, ironwood, cattle or buffalo, fertilizer, gold, silver, and mineral products, can only be exported after obtaining an SPE.

Below is the list of export-related specific document requirements:

  • Inspection Report:
    The Export Verification and Monitoring Team of Swallow Nest conducted an inspection report.
  • Quota Certificate:
    This certificate provides information about the exporter’s identity, HSCode, the quantity of goods, and export contracts.
  • Statement Letter  (for  Urea  Fertilizer):
    A letter from the exporter stating that the government does not subsidize the exported urea fertilizer.

How to Obtain an Export License in Indonesia 

Obtaining an export license in Indonesia is crucial for businesses aiming to expand beyond the country’s borders. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Understand the Regulations 

Begin by familiarizing yourself with Indonesia’s export regulations. These regulations can change, so staying updated on the latest requirements and restrictions is essential.

2. Choose Your Export Category 

Determine the category of goods you intend to export. Different products may require distinct export licenses, so accurately identifying your class is essential.

3. Business Registration

Ensure your business is legally registered in Indonesia. A valid business entity, such as a PT (Perseroan Terbatas), is a prerequisite for obtaining an export license.

4. Tax Identification Number (NPWP)

Obtain your company’s Tax Identification Number (Nomor Pokok Wajib Pajak or NPWP). This is a fundamental requirement for engaging in any business activities in Indonesia.

5. Apply for an Export License

Submit an application for an export license to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Trade in Indonesia. Ensure your application includes essential documents such as your business license, NPWP, and other required permits.

6. Comply with Documentation Requirements

Ensure all necessary documentation, including a packing list, invoice, and certificate of origin, is complete and accurate. These documents are crucial for customs clearance.

7. Pay the Required Fees

Be prepared to cover the necessary fees associated with the export license application. Costs may vary depending on the type of goods and the destination country.

8. Review and Approval

Your application will undergo a review process, during which authorities will verify the accuracy of your documentation and your compliance with regulations. Once approved, you will receive your export license.

9. Export Declaration (PEB)

After obtaining your export license, you must submit an Export Declaration (Pemberitahuan Ekspor Barang or PEB) to customs authorities. This declaration provides details about the shipment and its destination.

10. Customs Clearance

Your goods will undergo customs clearance, including inspection and assessment for duties and taxes. Ensure that your shipment complies with customs regulations to avoid delays or penalties.

11. Shipping and Monitoring

Once customs clearance is complete, you can proceed with shipping your products. Keep a close eye on your shipment’s progress and ensure it reaches its destination without issues.

12. Record Keeping

Maintain meticulous records of all your export activities, including licenses, permits, and transaction details. These records will be essential for future compliance audits.

Obtaining an export license in Indonesia may involve a complex process, but with proper preparation and adherence to regulations, your business can successfully access international markets and expand its reach. Always consult with relevant authorities or seek legal counsel to ensure you meet all requirements and comply with current regulations.

Apply for an Export License with InCorp Indonesia

InCorp, one of Indonesia’s leading consulting companies, is ready to assist clients who want to obtain an Import and export license for their business purposes in Indonesia. Contact Us for more information.

Verified by

Pandu Biasramadhan

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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