Bali Customs Guidelines: Allowed, Restricted, and Prohibited Items for Entry and Exit

Whether you are planning a short trip to Bali or a major import or export operation, it is essential to understand the regulations governing what you can and cannot bring into and out of Indonesia. The country enforces stringent import and export regulations, and failure to comply can result in significant consequences.
Legal Consequences: Violations of import/export regulations can result in severe penalties, including detention, imprisonment, or even the death penalty for drug-related offenses.
Bringing personal belongings into Indonesia is regulated by specific rules and limitations. Familiarizing yourself with these regulations beforehand is crucial to avoid any legal entanglements.
Personal Responsibility: Passengers are fully responsible for the items they bring with them to Indonesia. Do not accept items from strangers, and personally pack your baggage to ensure you know its contents. Thoroughly check items received from acquaintances, including the packaging.

Importing to Indonesia

Prohibited Items

1. Drugs
Drugs are strictly prohibited! This includes hard drugs, marijuana, psychotropics, opiates, and any cannabis-containing products such as hemp oils, seeds, various drops, hash cookies, and chocolates—regardless of their legal status in other countries.
Important Notice: Passengers arriving from locations such as Goa, Thailand, and Amsterdam should be aware of thorough security checks upon arrival in Indonesia. It's crucial to note that even the smallest amount of drugs can lead to immediate arrest. Drug importation carries severe penalties in Indonesia, including the death penalty if it's proven that the drugs were intended for sale, or long-term imprisonment if they were for personal use.
Additionally, Indonesia is a major destination for international drug trafficking. To avoid becoming a victim of narcotraffickers, follow these precautions:
  • Do not accept items from strangers.
  • Pack your own luggage: Personally pack your bags to ensure you know the contents.
  • Check items from acquaintances: If you are asked to bring a package to Bali, thoroughly inspect all items, including the packaging.
Remember: passengers are fully accountable for all items they carry.
2. Pornographic Materials
Films, images, or items containing elements of pornography.
3. Chinese Literature
Books, periodicals, press, manuscripts.
4. Chinese Media
Films, CDs, audio tapes, video recordings.
5. Chinese Medicines
Including traditional medicines.
6. Communist Literature and Symbols
Items associated with Chinese or Soviet communism.
Warning: Wearing a T-shirt with a sickle and hammer or displaying a Soviet or Chinese flag can result in detention or imprisonment.
7. Goods for Sale
- Wholesale items and new items in packages may attract customs' attention. Customs duty and fines for such items range from 100% to 500%, and failure to pay can result in confiscation.
- Items packaged in cardboard boxes will be regarded as goods intended for sale.
8. Cordless Home Phones
Non-cellular cordless phones used at home are not allowed for import to prevent production of custom-made walkie-talkies.
9. Ozone-Depleting Materials
10. Miscellaneous
Large quantities of plastic bags, antiques, handicrafts, etc. For more information, please refer to the customs website:

Restricted items

Restricted items require specific permissions, such as health certificates or import licenses, to be imported legally.
1. Cosmetics
Only cosmetics for personal use are allowed. Batches of cosmetics or trade samples require an SKI (import certificate from the Ministry of Trade) and permission from BPOM (National Agency for Drug and Food Control).
2. Medicines and Supplements
- Traditional medicines, dietary supplements, and vitamins must be accompanied by a medical certificate in English, verifying they are for personal use.
- Allopathic medicines necessitate prescriptions and a letter from a doctor in English.
For medicines beyond personal use, approval from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) is necessary.
5. Firearms and Their Replicas
This includes replica toy firearms. Special permits from the Indonesian police are required for security company personnel entering the country with firearms. All other types of weapons (pneumatic, hunting, sports) also require licenses and special permits.
6. Ammunition
Except for law enforcement agencies with special permits.
8. Food Items
   - Fresh fruits
   - Poultry meat
   - Certain types of sugar: crystal raw sugar, refined sugar, white crystal sugar
   - Certain types of rice
To bring in animal, plant, and fishery products, authorization from the Agricultural Quarantine Agency (Badan Karantina Pertanian) is necessary. For food items, beverages, medicines, and other products, approval from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) is required.
Note: Generally, there are no issues with bringing small amounts of food for personal use with you in your luggage.

Limited Imports

Limited Imports typically involve a numerical limit or value cap (e.g., a maximum number of electronic devices or a total value limit for personal items).
For example, in your hand luggage, you can carry:
- Up to 50 ml of perfume or 250 ml of eau de toilette
- Up to 500 g of coffee or 100 g of tea
Exceeding these limits will result in import duties (see below).
Keep in mind that items such as video cameras, binoculars, radios, and sports equipment can be brought into Indonesia as long as they are taken out upon departure. Upon entry, a customs officer may request a deposit, refundable upon exit, based on the value of the item.
1. Tobacco and Alcohol
In your personal luggage, you are allowed to bring:
- Up to 200 cigarettes
- Up to 25 cigars
- Up to 100 grams of tobacco or other tobacco products
- Up to 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
Exceeding these limits will result in confiscation during inspection.
2. Electronics
Passengers arriving to Indonesia are limited by both the number of devices and their total value. If either the number of devices or the combined value exceeds these limits, you must declare the excess items and may be subject to additional customs duties.
Per Device Type Limit: Each passenger is allowed to bring a maximum of two devices of each type (e.g., two cell phones, two laptops, two tablets, or two drones).
Overall Device Limit: Despite the per-type limit, the total number of electronic devices a passenger can bring must not exceed five. For example, you could bring two cell phones, one laptop, one tablet, and one drone.
Value Limit: The combined value of all these electronic devices must not exceed USD 1,500. This means that while you can bring up to five devices, their total value should remain within this financial limit to avoid additional customs duties or declarations.
Any additional devices beyond these limits must be declared using the electronic customs declaration (E-CD), which all arriving passengers must complete.
Typically, personal items are generally not heavily scrutinized unless they appear to be intended for sale.
4. Clothing
International passengers can bring up to 10 pairs of NEW shoes, bags, or textile items. If returning from a shopping trip, it is advisable to remove tags from new items to avoid issues.
While customs regulations limit the import of new clothing and generally prohibit used clothing, customs officers typically do not confiscate personal belongings. These rules primarily target shuttle traders and online stores. As Indonesia is a major textile producer, the government supports local production and encourages citizens to purchase locally made products.
5. Large Sums of Cash
The limit for importing and exporting cash is 100,000,000 IDR (or the equivalent in foreign currency). Amounts exceeding this limit must be declared, and you must use the red corridor at customs. For amounts over 100 million IDR, prior permission from Bank Indonesia is required, and all bills will be checked for authenticity.
6. Luxury Items
Luxury items such as bags and jewellery may be classified as goods for sale by customs officers. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the number of luxury items in your luggage to a reasonable quantity that suggests they are for personal use rather than for resale. This helps avoid suspicion by customs officers that the items might be intended for commercial purposes.

Import Duty Limits on Personal Items

If the value of your personal items exceeds USD 500, import duties and taxes will apply. The import duty rate is 10%, plus VAT of 11%, and income tax according to the applicable law for the item. To prove the value, keep receipts for new items.

Bringing Pets into Indonesia

A common concern among expatriates and those planning long-term stays in Indonesia is how to bring their beloved pets with them. Although many believe it's a complex and costly process, specialized logistics companies and agencies can assist with pet import and export. While pet importation is done at the owner's risk, there are numerous successful cases.
For cats or dogs, the following conditions apply:
Age: Minimum of 4 months.
Rabies Vaccination: Administered no later than 30 days before departure and no earlier than 12 months prior to the trip.
Health Certificates:
  • A health certificate issued by a state veterinarian (with a fully filled-out passport including all vaccinations). 
  • An additional health certificate from a veterinarian.
Additional Rabies Antibody Blood Test.
Import Permit: Issued by the Directorate General of Livestock Services of Indonesia shortly before departure.
Two days before the pet's arrival in the country, contact the Animal Quarantine Department at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Upon arrival, all animals undergo a 14-day quarantine in Jakarta, though some carriers offer shorter quarantine periods. After quarantine, owners can either collect their pets or arrange for delivery. Carriers handle deliveries with care, providing regular photo updates.
However, there are inherent risks, primarily due to stress during long flights and separation from owners. To mitigate this, consider checking with the provider if you can visit your pet in Jakarta.
For more information, reach out to the Directorate General of Livestock Services and the Animal Health Protection Management.

Sending Packages to Indonesia

Sending packages to Indonesia involves navigating some complexities. Here's what you need to know:
- Each box you ship to Indonesia must not exceed 30 kg in weight.
- All shipments undergo scrutiny at Jakarta's customs, where most are inspected and opened.
- Used personal items, particularly clothing, receive particular attention. Second-hand items may face import prohibitions or additional taxes, potentially leading to detainment at customs.
- Recipients may need to pay taxes, often surpassing the items' value. The final calculation, inclusive of customs storage, duty, VAT, and income tax, depends on the declared value and a separate assessment by customs authorities.
- Shipments valued below three US dollars are exempt from import duties.
Here are some tips to minimize costs and streamline the process for your items:
- If the recipient is Indonesian, taxes will be considerably lower.
- Pack clothes and other items separately, seal them securely, and include tags and receipts. Customs may verify the actual price of branded items online.
- When completing the inventory, remember to specify the value for each item you ship. It's recommended to keep the values minimal. In cases where customs suspect violations, they may assign a value of 25,000 IDR to each item.
Additionally, direct purchases from foreign stores containing over 10 pieces of clothing are likely to be detained at customs. In such cases, you'll be required to visit the local customs office to calculate the import duty.

Exporting from Indonesia

Prohibited Items

1. Animals and Plants
Includes their by-products. Specific rules apply for exporting domestic pets.
2. Animal Products
Products made from animals or their by-products.
3. Plant Products
Products made from plants.
4. Python Skins
Export is prohibited.
5. Durian Fruit
Not allowed for export.

Items Requiring Special Documentation

1. Marine Biota
Requires veterinary certificates from the seller and confirmation of a quarantine base registered with local agricultural quarantine authorities in the destination country.
2. Wood Carvings and Cultural Items
Certain items may be prohibited for export, so check each item separately and obtain necessary export documents.
The list is extensive; an official document in Indonesian is available through the link.

Useful Resources

Indonesian Customs Website:
The customs regulations in Indonesia are governed by:
- Minister of Finance Regulation 188/PMK.04/2010 "On the Import of Goods Carried by Passengers, Vehicle Crews, Persons Crossing Borders, and Cargo".
- Government Regulation No. 29 of 2021 (GR 29/2021).
- The list of prohibited import goods is available in Trade Ministry Regulation No. 18/2021.
- Official website of the Indonesian Tax Service.
For more detailed information on imported items and goods in Indonesia, you can contact the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. Alternatively, reach out to customs, the national agency for drug and food control, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), and other relevant authorities.

Indonesia's Premier Cargo Service

For shipping goods from Indonesia, cargo companies offer valuable assistance. We suggest considering Cargo Indonesia Group. They specialise in delivering goods to and from Indonesia via sea and air freight, handling consolidated containers, and managing customs clearance.
Contact: Telegram @Cargoindonesiagroup
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