You can pre-purchase a tourist eSIM card online through the Airalo service. The prices there may be higher than those of local providers, but it allows you to have immediate connectivity upon arrival. You can enter the promo code EGOR3907 to receive a $3 credit after registration. This can be a convenient option for staying connected while traveling in Indonesia.
If you plan to live in Indonesia for more than 90 days and you have a phone that is not registered in the tax and revenue database (you bought it abroad and it's not legalized in the country), you will need to register it. This can be done on the day of your arrival at the airport in Jakarta or Bali. Make sure to follow the necessary procedures and registration requirements to ensure compliance with Indonesian regulations.
What is IMEI?
IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is indeed a unique identifier for mobile devices. It serves as the serial number for the device and is used for tracking and blocking stolen or illegally imported phones. While an IMEI blockage restricts the device's use on the same network, it doesn't prevent its use on other networks. This system helps enhance security and discourage the use of stolen or unauthorized devices.
How do I find out the IMEI?
1. No matter what type of phone you have, whether it's an iPhone, Samsung, Xiaomi, or another brand, you can typically check your IMEI number by dialing *#06# on the phone's keypad. After entering this code, the IMEI number for your phone should appear on the screen. Note that on some phones, you might need to press the call button after entering the code for it to work.
2. You can also find your IMEI number in the settings of your phone. Here's how to find it on different brands:
For iPhone go to Settings > General > About;
For Samsung Galaxy and Xiaomi go to Settings > About Phone
You can check the registration of your phone on the website by entering the IMEI number. You will receive a response in Indonesian, but you can translate it using Google Translate.
Why register an IMEI?
IMEI registration for a phone is indeed about registering the device itself, not the SIM card. It's a measure taken by Indonesia to combat the illegal importation of mobile devices into the country. All devices legally entering the country should have this registration. This approach to address illegal phones is not unique to Indonesia and is employed in various countries. Phones without proper registration will eventually stop working after a certain period (in Indonesia, it's 90 days, and in other countries, they have their own timelines) because they cease to be recognized by the networks of local mobile operators.
When do I not need to register?
1. You don't need to register tablets, laptops, and other devices if you don't insert a SIM card into them and use them solely on Wi-Fi.
2. If you are a tourist and plan to use a SIM card from your own country while roaming in Indonesia for less than 90 days (arrived in Indonesia for a stay of up to 90 days), you do not need to register your IMEI.
3. If you plan to buy a local SIM card in order to have internet access, when you purchase it, they will temporarily register your phone's IMEI for 90 days for free at the same place where you buy the SIM card. Typically, these SIM cards are referred to as "tourist SIM. So, if you've arrived in Indonesia for a stay of less than 90 days, you don't need to register your phone's IMEI at the airport.
XL Axiata Offices
Also in Changu, the registration of phones is carried out by the Happy Cell cellular communication salon when buying a SIM card and an Internet package.
When do I need to register an IMEI?
1. If you know that you will be living in Indonesia for more than 90 days, then, of course, you need to register the phone you will be using. Phones are registered at customs "permanently," making them legally cleared for use in Indonesia. When you re-enter Indonesia, a phone that has been previously registered at customs does not need to be registered again.
2. If you plan to open a bank account in Indonesia, you will need a permanent local SIM card, and to avoid problems outside Indonesia, you should also register your phone.
Where can I register the phone's IMEI and how much does it cost?
1. In the Indonesian airport. Please note that this is an airport at the Indonesian border crossing! So, if you're flying into Indonesia to Jakarta and then immediately flying to Bali, the airport of entry will be Jakarta, not Denpasar! Customs is always on your route after collecting your baggage but before entering the airport's public area. If you can't find it, don't exit the public area! Ask the airport staff where the IMEI registration is - they will show you.
Registering one or more phones with a total value of up to $500 per person is done for free (this privilege is only available at the airport). When assessing, it's taken into account that the phone is not new. If the device's value is over $500, you'll pay a 35% tax. You can assess your phones yourself - check prices online. Customs officials are usually very friendly and accommodating.
The cost does not depend on how many IMEIs are in the phone (if the phone has 2 SIM cards - 2 IMEIs), register both of them. When registering, be sure to present your boarding pass! Do not discard it until you exit the airport.
You can register your IMEI in advance on the website or when filling out the customs declaration (now electronic customs declaration is mandatory, and it includes a section for those who plan to register IMEI). However, this does not replace the visit to the customs office but only saves you time. After the registration procedure, it may take up to 48 hours for your IMEI to be entered into the database.
2. If you didn't register your phone at the airport, you can register it at the customs office in Denpasar within 60 days (boarding pass and passport are required). However, in this case, you will have to pay tax based on the full value of the phone without the $500 exemption.
Is it necessary to register all imported devices?
There is a myth that all imported devices must be declared. This is not true. Tourists can use their phones in roaming without any issues, and according to Indonesian laws, they are not obligated to register them. In other words, you don't need to hide your phones, laptops, tablets, or second and third phones. You can easily register one phone out of two at the customs without any problems.
What will happen in 90 days if you don't register your phone?
You will still be able to use your phone without limitations on Wi-Fi, such as making WhatsApp calls and accessing the internet. However, your phone will no longer connect to local networks, and you won't receive SMS messages or calls in this state.
What should I do if the phone was not registered, but stayed for more than 90 days?
1. You can obtain or extend temporary registration. To do this, you need to visit the seller or the local operator's office, and they will extend the registration until the end of your visa's validity, or they may refuse, stating that registration cannot be extended without a KITAS (an equivalent of a local residence permit). If they refuse, you can search for an office where they will extend it. However, there is also an option to simply buy a new tourist SIM card (since the seller won't know when you arrived), get it registered for 90 days, and later replace it with your old one. This way, you'll get an extension for 90 days, not just until the end of your visa validity. However, this method can be time-consuming and requires effort.
2. You can insert your SIM card into a registered phone. If someone you know has such a phone, the required SMS will be received on their phone.
3. You can leave Indonesia and then re-enter the country to register your phone at the customs in the airport.
4. Another option is to buy a cheap phone in Indonesia. Such a phone will already be customs cleared, and everything will work in it. However, it must be a phone purchased from an official store.