Recomendations-business advisor in Jakarta-taxes, customs, insurance

Wobbakobbo

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Jul 15, 2018
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My Indonesian wife and I are looking for a credible business advisor with knowledge about some regulatory and administrative concerns we have. Mostly they pertain to bea cukai, insurance, and tax liability. I have a healthy amount of knowledge about how to operate my business in the United States, but we are having difficulty getting clear answers on anything here in Jakarta.

Perhaps there is another expat on this forum that knows a good business consultant in Jakarta?
 
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jstar

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I have known people using the services of Emerhub and Cekindo. With varying degrees of success.

To be honest, I would put those concerns* you might have out here first. And if you're still not convinced or unsure how to tackle them after obtaining answers from forum members, you could contact advisors with at least some more information to get piece of mind.

Even if we often tend think otherwise, we are not so unique. Many have come here from western countries, have a local spouse and got involved in a startup business. And avoiding reinventing the wheel could save you quite some money.

* areas as customs and taxation are quite well known
 
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Wobbakobbo

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Jstar, thank you for your response. I’ll give it a go here. Regarding bea cukai, I have spoke to a few potential Indonesian business partners that have routes to avoid delays and heavy taxation upon entering the country with equipment needed for business when entering Indonesia through the airport. As I understand these routes are in a gray area of legality, but are the only route to bring in equipment for prices that would allow one to be competitive in this market. It is par for the course here. I would like to know as much about what these partners are offering so I know what Im getting into.

I’ve already had a a nightmare of a situation with bea cukai. A small but expensive piece of equipment that I paid high tax and customs on at the airport in Jakarta in December was not allowed to exit and reenter the country for free repair service in the United States. It took 35 days of both my wife or me speaking with bea cukai and UPS Jakarta every business day to obtain the appropriate paperwork. I really learned how unclear and inefficient things can work here. In the end the reciept and registration paperwork I had obtained in December meant nothing. We heard many different versions of what was needed depending on who we spoke to at bea cukai. In the end we were able to use my wife’s brother’s company, which has no import/export permit and has nothing to do with my industry to obtain the proper permit. The shipment was under my name. My wife used her ktp and personal information, and we had a letter from her brother’s company. The logic behind this makes no sense to me.

Is it necessary to register my business equipment with bea cukai if the receipt and paperwork mean nothing in regards to any future import and export? Do I need that reciept or paperwork for any future tax filing? Does it make any difference if I purchase equipment under my name or my wife’s name?
 

Wobbakobbo

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Jul 15, 2018
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An update on the repair/return situation posted above. The manufacturer in the US who did the repair shipped it back via DHL instead of UPS, which was a cause of concern because UPS has the reimport paperwork. After calling UPS, their import expert says I need to obtain the paperwork from them and get it to DHL, or the package will be held up at processing in Bea Cukai. Well, this morning, the package cleared through customs upon entering the country in a few hours with DHL, without the paperwork (which UPS didn't get to me within two business days of asking). I guess all's well that ends well. My takeaways are never use UPS in Indonesia, and that nothing makes any sense at Bea Cukai.
 

gemima

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Jul 25, 2016
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Good news that you got your equipment in with DHL!
I have also had problems with UPS and instruct people sending items via courier not to use them.
I'm in a similar position as you - I need to obtain specialized equipment in Indonesia that is not available here and I can't import the equipment as my company is a service provider not an importer.
My business is rather unique here (there are a few competitors, 2 or 3 in total) so its unlikely anyone will start selling the equipment I want and I will only ever buy 1 one each item so it just doesn't make financial sense for companies here to sell these specialist items.
It's so frustrating - I have nothing to add to help improve your situation, just saying that you are not alone :(
 

jstar

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We had an almost identical situation but it was with DHL They even forced me to make a Pro Forma invoice! Que? Bit of overkill for a part of a device that needed a repair. (But indeed, it’s their requirement.)

Also we had major issues shipping products to HK and Europe since it almost seemed their (side) business was to make us pay additional customs charges.

After those debacles my wife decided to ship the product internationally via the Indonesian Pos. I expected the worst of the worst. But; they asked us to open the package and took a picture of the contents. For registered shipping and insurance obviously.

Then they sent -on the spot- the picture of the product to Indonesian Customs. (Really!) Who approved it. In one day is was cleared and on its way abroad. And the next times they trusted us and the boxes could be handed over closed.

DHL, UPS etc. for me, will only be used for documents in the future. Obviously domestic is Tiki and JNE, a no brainer.
 
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jstar

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About the other way, the import path.

As so often the more you do things official by the book, the more issues you (seem to) encounter.

We have an import license but barely use it after many issues. The shipment companies (from Europe in our case) have so many good contacts in customs and are so efficient door to door, a DIY doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And then often a friend’s Company in Batam is used. (So a logistics stop is built in.) Which is ridiculous, Tax Free Zone doesn’t mean it can be forwarded without any taxation etc. Nobody really seems to care though. And now they call it a Special Economic Zone and that (according to many) means they can forward items to the rest of RI without any additional customs scrutiny.
 

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