Learn more about import taxes on IMEI and how to get your phone registered.
- What is IMEI and why can I not use my phone?
- How do I find my IMEI number?
- How do I register my IMEI number in Indonesia?
- What are the import taxes on importing a phone?
- Sample calculations to activate IMEI.
- Circular / surat ederan issued by the customs department.
- Alternative solutions.
1. What is IMEI and why can I not use my phone?
If you want to use an Indonesian SIM phone card in your overseas, imported phone or tablet, then it won’t work.
Before you can use an Indonesian phone number you will first need to pay import taxes on the estimated value of your “imported” phone (or buy a new phone locally).
How does the Indonesian government know if your phone is purchased in Indonesia or overseas? They manage to do this by checking the IMEI number of your phone (IMEI = International Mobile Equipment Identity).
Every phone has a unique IMEI number. GSM networks use this IMEI number to identify valid devices, and can stop a stolen phone from accessing the network.
If your IMEI is not registered in Indonesia then you can only use your phone with your overseas SIM card. Your WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and any other messaging/voice apps will continue to work.
If you want to use an Indonesian SIM card in your phone then you will need to register your phone and pay the import taxes.
2. How do I find my IMEI number?
You can do a search on the website from the Indonesian customs department to check if your phone / IMEI is already registered in Indonesia or not; https://imei.kemenperin.go.id/
Below are a few methods to find your phone’s unique IMEI number;
- Dial *#06# from your phone. You will get a response with your IMEI number.
- Go into your phone settings and look for “about phone” to see the IMEI number.
- If you can open your phone; the IMEI number will be printed behind your battery.
- If you still have the box then the IMEI number may be on the box (sticker).
3. How do I register my IMEI number in Indonesia?
You can register your phone / IMEI at the Indonesian customs office and online.
If you arrive in Indonesia then you can register at the customs office in the airport. When you go through customs you let them know that you wish to register your IMEI number.
You will need the following;
- Your phone.
- IMEI from your phone.
- Your arrival flight ticket.
If your phone is less that USD 500 value then there will be no import taxes. If your phone is valued above USD 500 then you will incur import taxes.
This is a YouTube video by the Indonesian Customs office on how to register your IMEI upon arrival in Indonesia – “Easy Way to Register IMEI at Indonesian Airport“.
If you have already entered Indonesia then you can also visit your nearest customs office. Before you go visit the customs office you will need to register online through this website: https://www.beacukai.go.id/register-imei.html.
After successfully registering online you will get a QR code. With this QR code you visit the customs office to process the registration.
4. Import taxes for phone.
The import taxes will depend on a few things. As a passenger you are allowed to carry 2 phones per person with a combined value of up to USD 500. If your phone(s) are not above the maximum allowed USD 500 value then you don’t have to pay import taxes.
If your phone(s) have a value above the allowed USD 500 then you will be taxed on the value that exceeds USD 500. For example if your phone is valued at USD 700 then you will only be taxed on USD 200 (700 less 500).
The import tax will be ~30% if you have an Indonesian Tax Number (NPWP) or ~40% if you don’t have an Indonesian Tax Number.
Breakdown of taxes on IMEI gadgets;
- 10% import tax.
- 10% VAT (PPN).
- 10% income tax if you have an Indonesian Tax Number (NPWP).
- 20% income tax if you don’t have an Indonesian Tax Number (NPWP).
5. Sample calculations to activate IMEI.
These are two sample calculations assuming you do not have an Indonesian tax number (NPWP). The first sample is if you register your IMEI upon arrival in Indonesia. The second sample calculation is if you do it after you have arrived.
1. If you register your phone at the airport customs department upon arrival in Indonesia. Price of phone SGD 1,150 = USD 848 USD 848 - USD 500* = USD 348 USD 348 x Rp 14,700** = Rp 5,116,000*** Import Tax Rp 5,116,000 x 10% = Rp 512,000 VAT (Rp 5,116,000 + Rp 512,000) x 10% = Rp 563,000 Income Tax**** (Rp 5,116,000 + Rp 512,000) x 20% = Rp 1,126,000 Total to Pay Rp 2,201,000 Notes: * USD 500 duty free limit reduced from value of phone. ** Exchange rate is different every day. *** Rounded up to the next thousand. **** If you have an Indonesian tax number (NPWP) then the Income Tax lowers from 20% to 10%.
2. If you are already in Indonesia and you register your phone at the nearest customs office. Price of phone SGD 1,150 = USD 848* USD 848 x Rp 14,700** = Rp 12,466,000*** Import Tax Rp 12,466,000 x 10% = Rp 1,247,000 VAT (Rp 12,466,000 + Rp 1,247,000) x 10% = Rp 1,371,000 Income Tax**** (Rp 12,466,000 + Rp 1,247,000) x 20% = Rp 2,743,000 Total to Pay Rp 5,361,000 Notes: * USD 500 duty free limit does not apply. ** Exchange rate is different every day. *** Rounded up to the next thousand. **** If you have an Indonesian tax number (NPWP) then the Income Tax lowers from 20% to 10%.
6. Circular (Surat Ederan).
Open the following link to see the Indonesian language pdf document to circular concerning IMEI registration procedures for imported telecommunication devices issued by Ministry of finance – Directorate general of customs and excises.
7. Alternative solutions.
If you don’t want to pay these taxes then these are two alternatives;
- Buy a cheap phone locally. Local phones are already registered. You can use the local phone to install useful apps (Grab, GoJek, etc …) or use it as a data hotspot for your more expensive import phone.
- Buy a tourist SIM card. These are usually valid for about 60-90 days depending on provider. Normally you can only use this number once but there have been people saying they can extend it.
Have you done the registration of your IMEI in Indonesia? Share your experience in the comments below so that we can update this information and help others.