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Here’s How to Report Cell Phones Purchased from Abroad and Avoid Getting Blocked

Here's How to Report Cell Phones Purchased from Abroad and Avoid Getting Blocked

On 15th September, a new policy aimed at eradicating black market mobile phone sales went live.

Under the new policy, the IMEI number of all mobile phones used in Indonesia must now be registered in a Ministry of Industry database otherwise the phone will be blocked. This applies to locally bought handsets as well as phones bought in by plane or sent via post.

An unregistered IMEI number will result in the phone retaining normal operating features, but it won’t work with an Indonesian SIM card. Phones used in Indonesia before 18th April 2020 do not need to complete any processes.

Specifically for consumers who bought their phones abroad, they must register the IMEI number of their device, as well as declare and fulfil their tax obligations. Cell phones purchased overseas are considered illegal if there are no customs fees or customs taxes paid

Smartphones can still be brought in from abroad. Visitors must follow the registration process and pay the correct fees to the Indonesian Director General of Customs and Excise.

Phones purchased overseas

How do I register the IMEI of a phone purchased from abroad?

According to official statements from the Ministry of Communication and Information, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Finance, and the Indonesian Cellular Telecommunications Association of Indonesia, IMEI registration for mobile phones purchased abroad can be done at https://www.beacukai.go.id/register-imei.html. Alternatively, consumers can download the Customs (Bea Cukai) mobile application available on Google Play Store.

Digital registration must then be completed with Customs and Excise upon arrival from an international flight – not when flying domestically. The Director-General of Customs and Excise says that the process will not take long since the forms can be filled out ahead of time.

  1. Fill Out the IMEI Registration Form

Complete the form on the site or through the Mobile Bea Cukai application. The information to be entered are personal data, flight number, and NPWP, or tax number if you have one.

A maximum of two smartphone devices can be brought it per person or registered through the Director-General of Customs and Excise at the airport. You will also be asked to fill in a complete description of the specifications and IMEI of the smartphone, including the price.

Head of Sub-Directorate for Communications at the Director-General of Customs and Excise, Deni Surjantoro, stated that the registration process must also go through the Ministry of Trade. This will be considered for the needs of doing business or sales.

  1. Report to the Director-General of Customs and Excise Post at airport or seaport

At the end of the registration process, after filling in the form, you will receive a QR code which must be shown to the officer at the Director-General of Customs and Excise post at the arrival airport – the red line, or Goods to Declare.

This QR Code will be used by officers to find the registration data that you’ve entered. Later, the officers will cooperate with the Ministry of Industry for IMEI registration. The officer will check that the information entered matches the device you’re carrying.

  1. Payment of customs or taxes

Activation of the device with an Indonesian SIM card can be done in a maximum of two days. Deni Surjantoro explained that his team would conduct checks related to applicable taxes or customs, namely PPN and PPH.

In simple terms, if the value of the smartphone brought is under US$500, or around Rp7million, it will not be subject to customs duties. If it is more than US$500, then a tax fee will be charged in accordance with the prevailing laws and regulations. Bringing in a large number of smartphone devices from abroad with the clear purpose of trade will result in a different calculation system.

On social media, the Director-General of Customs and Excise also replied that Indonesian workers (TKI) who use devices purchased abroad still have to register for IMEI.

Domestic Purchase

First, check whether the IMEI number – stated on the box or found by dialling *#06# on your handset – of the cellphone or other gadgets have been registered before purchasing domestically. Then, enter the series of numbers into the search field at the address https://imei.kemenperin.go.id/

After making sure the IMEI has been registered, you can trial the phone you’re looking to purchase by putting in a live Indonesian SIM  card. Make sure the device receives a signal from the operator. If the phone doesn’t get a signal, you can assume that the phone isn’t registered.

For online purchases, make sure that the seller guarantees that the IMEI of the device is validated and registered so that it can be used. Offline and online traders are responsible for traded gadgets.

More than 24 hours after your arrival

If you arrived in Indonesia after 18th April 2020, with a phone that hasn’t been used in the country before, your phone may stop working with local SIM cards. In this case, you will need to visit your local Bea Cukai, or customs office, with your phone and proof of your date of arrival in Indonesia, such as a flight ticket.
Your phone can be registered after paying the appropriate taxes and customs. The tax applies to the full value of the phone, there is no US$500 threshold in this instance.

Matters relating to policies and regulations, as well as other matters beyond the authority of telecommunications operators related to IMEI control, can be discussed through the Kominfo Call Center at 159.

Source: Kompas and Medcomm

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