Bringing your Mobile Phone to Indonesia and using local SIMcard

pantaiema

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I just got information from Colleagues that those arriving in Indonesia since April 2020, will need to have their IMEI of their phones registered to be able to use the local simcard.
Is it true ??

What about if you are using three (3) I know three have "free at home" where you oculd use three SImcard bought overseas to be used in Indonesia, free roaming. Also AFAIK three also has network in Indonesia so thre should not a problem, imo. Has anone tried this ??
thanks
 

R Cameron

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Yes, a phone's IMEI number must be registered in order to use in Indonesia. Any IMEI that was used prior to April 2020 has been automatically registered, any after April 2020 must be registered. If you are just entering the country with the phone you will not pay any tax for phones up to $500, over $500 you will pay some customs import tax.

There are two exceptions to the registration requirement that I am aware of;
  • There is a tourist SIM available, but is very limited in locations and options at this time. Hopefully they will expand the options and availability, but it will never be a good solution for someone staying for longer periods. https://www.telkomsel.com/en/perdana/tourist-prepaid-card
  • A phone using a foreign SIM card and roaming in Indonesia will work. Generally the costs will be higher than a local card, but this may be a good solution for some people.
 

pantaiema

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If you are just entering the country with the phone you will not pay any tax for phones up to $500, over $500 you will pay some customs import tax.
Is it about a new or used phone ?
Keep in mind when he bought mobile devices in his own countries he already paid duties. Does he need to pay tax for his own belonging ?
There are two exceptions to the registration requirement that I am aware of;
  • There is a tourist SIM available, but is very limited in locations and options at this time. Hopefully they will expand the options and availability, but it will never be a good solution for someone staying for longer periods. https://www.telkomsel.com/en/perdana/tourist-prepaid-card
  • A phone using a foreign SIM card and roaming in Indonesia will work. Generally the costs will be higher than a local card, but this may be a good solution for some people.

So if you are using a mobile devices not bought in Indonesia, you will not be able to use it with Indonesian SIMcard or get hammered by roaming fees ??
It seems to me it is quite extreme as any short term tourist will not be able to use his own phone.
Or alternatively to buy the used phone ito be used with local sim card. But even like this it is still a big problem as he will not be able to use his own number from country of origin ??
 

snpark

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Not for tourist
It works for 30 days or something I think
 

Samoerai

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Is it about a new or used phone ?
Keep in mind when he bought mobile devices in his own countries he already paid duties. Does he need to pay tax for his own belonging ?


So if you are using a mobile devices not bought in Indonesia, you will not be able to use it with Indonesian SIMcard or get hammered by roaming fees ??
It seems to me it is quite extreme as any short term tourist will not be able to use his own phone.
Or alternatively to buy the used phone ito be used with local sim card. But even like this it is still a big problem as he will not be able to use his own number from country of origin ??
Your phone, old or new brought into this country, can be used in Indonesia, with your own sim csrd and with Wifi. If you want to use this phone with Indonenesian SIM card you have to register the IMEI of this phone. When you enter Indonesia in Jakarta Hatta airport (on arrival) and register there right away, all phones with a value lower than 500 dollars (threshold) are free of bea cukai. If I am not mistaken. After 24h on arrival you have 60 days to register on line and pay bea cukai at the tax office at the airport Soekano Hatta or Halim. After 60 days your IMEI is blocked to use in Indonesia with an Indonesian SIM card. It is what it is. I did that with 2 phones. It is around 20 (income tax) + 10 (VAT) +10 (import tax) procent of the value of the phone (present value).
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R Cameron

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After 24h on arrival you have 60 days to register on line and pay bea cukai at the tax office at the airport Soekano Hatta or Halim. After 60 days your IMEI is blocked to use in Indonesia with an Indonesian SIM card. It is what it is.
Are you saying a someone can use their foreign phone for 59 days with any common Indonesian SIM card without registering it? I have heard speculation that this could be the case, but I have not seen anything official or a reputable story of someone who has done it.
 

pantaiema

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Your phone, old or new brought into this country, can be used in Indonesia, but only with Wifi. If you want to use this phone with Indonenesian SIM card you have to register the IMEI of this phone. When you enter Indonesia in Jakarta Hatta airport (on arrival) and register there right away, all phones with a value lower than 500 dollars (threshold) are free of bea cukai. If I am not mistaken. After 24h on arrival you have 60 days to register on line and pay bea cukai at the tax office at the airport Soekano Hatta or Halim. After 60 days your IMEI is blocked to use in Indonesia with an Indonesian SIM card. It is what it is. I did that with 2 phones. It is around 20 (income tax) + 10 (VAT) +10 (import tax) procent of the value of the phone (present value).View attachment 2492
 

Samoerai

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Are you saying a someone can use their foreign phone for 59 days with any common Indonesian SIM card without registering it? I have heard speculation that this could be the case, but I have not seen anything official or a reputable story of someone who has done it.
No, it will not work. The IMEI of your (imported) phone is not registered in Indonesia. So, the combination of IMEI and Indonesian sim card will not work. My own experience when I tried that at the phone shop. Because I am not a tourist, I need my (imported) phone to work with an Indonesian sim card. So I registered my phone on line, with the QR code a recieved I went to Halim airport. There they checked the value and the decided on the bea cukai. To pay the bea cukai you have to go to a bank. It's very ... capek banget.

So, thinking about it. Maybe, technically the IMEI of foreign phones are blocked (anyway) and you have 60 days to unblock it, meaning the IMEI will be registered on a list (that will work with Indonesian sim cards). But this is just thinking out loud.
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TonyVov

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The important thing to remember is that on entering Indonesia with the phone it needs to be registered at the airport to get the 500$ duty free exemption, I believe there is also a 10-day window on this exemption at customs office. Ater that taxes are paid on full value of phone as estimated by Customs (not by you).
The "tourist" SIM card good for 3 months on any phone are only available in Bali in Kuta Telkom office. I believe small warung cannot sell. I have not yet heard of other locations or seen a listing.
 

pantaiema

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I got really surprised to know that even it is your own "used" phone, you will still need to pay duty to be used in Indonesia with an Indonesian simcard.

Keep in mind, when you bought your new phone from any country in the world, you have paid the custom duty. Just imagine if every country on this world applies this principle, you might be paying custom duties 10x+ for the same phone if you are a nomad. Has anyone seen the same practice in other countries.

The issues regarding this IMEI registration is actually not just about the money (paying multiple custom duties for the same phones) but also about personal information that you will have to reveal along with IMEI. Majority of people do not like their personal information to be stored by the third parties for obvious reason. Unless of course it is deemed to be absolutely necessary such as Passport, State ID card or the like.

I have other questions, where people might be able to help:
  • How did they know that you have "non-indonesian" mobile phone without registering it ??
  • Is it requirement that any phone brought into Indonesian territory need the IMEI to be registered?
  • Do they check this using questionary when you arrive in the airport ? If not what happen if you just pass the exit gate without declaring it ?. I am already aware that it will not work with Indonesian SIMcard.
  • I know three (3) in Europe have "feel at home" arrangement where you could used your three allowance without paying any roaming fee. Indonesia, few other countries, and almost all countries in Europe belongs to this "feel at home" arrangement. Has anyone tried this recently and it is still working after 30 days ?
TIA
 
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R Cameron

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It get me really surprised to know that even it is your own "used" phone, you will still need to pay duty to be used in Indonesia with Indonesian simcard.

Keep in mind, when you bought your new phone from any country in the world, you have paid the custom duty. Just imagine if every country on this world applies this principle, you might be paying custom duties 10x , for the same phone if you are a nomad. Has anyone seen the same practice in other countries.

I have the following question:
  • How did they know that you have "non-indonasian" mobile phone without registering it ??
  • Is it requirement that any phone brought into Indonesian territory need the IMEI to be registered?
  • Do they check this using questionary when you arrive in the airport ?
  • I know three (3) in Europe have "feel at home" arrangement where you could used your three allowance without paying any roaming fee. Indonesia and almost all coutnries in europe belongs to this "feel at home". Has anyone tried this recently and it is still working after 30 days ?

TIA
Indonesia has high import taxes on many goods which are produced domestically also. The smartphones produced in Indonesia are not the major brands, but Indonesia would love for Samsung or Apple to establish a factory here. It is a common strategy for countries to implement to protect their local industries.

  • They know it's "non-indonesian" because it's not in their registration list. They are using a "white-listing" scheme where every valid IMEI is registered and anything unregistered will be blocked.
  • Yes, if you want to use it with a normal Indonesian cellular data plan. Registration is not required if you simply want to use it offline and on wifi. For short term travelers there is a tourist plan with limited availability, or they can use their foreign provider with roaming options.
  • No one will check at the airport. It is up to you to go to the registration counter if you want to register your phone.
  • If your billing is still through the foreign company and you are "roaming", it should keep working. If it stops working it is likely because of the provider not the Indonesian government. Roaming plans typically have many conditions in the small print.
 

Hawk256

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I got really surprised to know that even it is your own "used" phone, you will still need to pay duty to be used in Indonesia with an Indonesian simcard.
I have heard that the major reason for this policy was because so many people and companies were importing phones without paying the proper taxes on them. Friend owns a cellular repair shop in one of the malls that has a lot of shops selling phones. The police were in once a month doing raids looking for phones that haven't had the taxes paid. Having a white list makes it very easy for them to make sure taxes are paid. It's unfortunate that everyday people are caught up in it but it really was a clever idea to gain compliance. A few bad apples ruined the bunch.
 

Wisnu

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I couldn't use my mobile phone with Telkomsel sim card when visited Jakarta Nov last year. Instead of return to the airport after quarantined, I stopped at Telkomsel GraPARI. They told me I can use my phone for 3 months. Stayed in Indonesia for 2.5 months only.
Now I transit in Doha, insert my Telkomsel sim card, it still work. Not sure whether it still work when I arrive in Jakarta tonigh. Let see
 

Wisnu

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Landed at Soetta, my phone was not working. No network.
Took approx 5 minute to register IMEI. Easy and free. Still not working. They told me will need 2hours to 2 days to activate it. Let see
 

Wisnu

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Better than expected, just received notification, I can use my mobile in less than a hour.
 

Samoerai

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Landed at Soetta, my phone was not working. No network.
Took approx 5 minute to register IMEI. Easy and free. Still not working. They told me will need 2hours to 2 days to activate it. Let see
Seperti aturan (follow the rules): ... register your phone at airport and you get the tax free treshold (500 dollars).
 

pantaiema

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  • What information do you need to supply when register the IMEI. do you need to show your passport ?? ?? IMEI, definitely. What about other things such as full address, country of residence, nationalities, Tax ID, religion, etc
  • I understand US$500 is based on their valuation. What about if you get the phone on a discounted price, could you argue with them showing the copy of receipt when you bought it online, or showing the website
  • What about you carry 2-3 "used" mobile devices with just below US$500 of each ?
 
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