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My brother teaches English in Jakarta and is getting married in Bali in two weeks. I am going to his wedding. I'm flying into Jakarta and will be there a few days.

As a wedding gift, I bought a new MacBook Pro and am bringing it to my brother. I'd like to avoid paying import fees for this computer.

Obviously I am going to enter the country with the computer and exit without the computer. I understand that if I do not re-export electronic equipment I may have to pay a fee; see http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294225-c2418/Indonesia:Customs.html.

I understand fees are imposed when selling items, but this is a gift. Do I need to pay this fee, and if not, how can I ensure I don't end up paying any fees when departing the country?

Please note that Indonesia has a reputation for its officials charging money for things they should not charge money for (i.e., corruption).

  • How about if you make it appear as if it is your own computer? Ditch the packaging and take it in your carry-on. – MastaBaba Dec 12 '15 at 20:08
  • Yep, that's what I plan to do. The thing in worried about is that I won't be bringing it back home with me. So I'll be importing but not exporting...I wonder if they would notice and charge me. – Chad Johnson Dec 12 '15 at 20:43
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    I think the general policy on this site is that we don't give people advice on how to break the law. – djr Dec 12 '15 at 23:51
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    @ChadJohnson But you are. Taking an item from your country to another one, as a gift to someone who lives in the second country, is importing a good. What you are planning to do is exactly what import companies are doing, only on a vastly smaller scale. You are "cheating" Indonesia out of the taxes it is imposing on regular companies, and you are "cheating" those companies out of the sale of the MBP. The fact that you are trying to avoid "corruption" (avoiding a supposed wrong by committing a wrong does not make a right, as the saying almost goes.) doesn't make it right. – CGCampbell Dec 14 '15 at 3:31
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    "oh, those 10 pallets of computers are gifts to all my friends who're just reimbursing me for the cost of bringing them into the country". – jwenting Dec 14 '15 at 6:39
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Import Duty Exempted Items (Personal Use)

According to Indonesian Customs, personal goods of a value ≤ 250USD per person (or ≤ 1000USD per family) are exempt from import duty. Moreover, electronic items that are intended for personal use can be imported without paying duties as long as they are re-exported when leaving the country. Quoting from the linked website:

Shall I pay Import Duty for goods that I bring into Indonesia?

Passengers goods is exempted from Import Duty and other import levies, if the amount less than FOB USD 250 for each person or less than FOB USD 1,000 for each family If the amount is more than aforementioned amount, the passenger shall pay Import Duty and other import levies for the difference. Foreign passengers goods such as camera, video camera, radio cassette, binocular, laptop, or cellular phone, that will be used during stay in Indonesia and will be brought back when leaving for Indonesia also get the exemption.

Since you are planning to leave the laptop in Indonesia as a gift to your sibling, and since the value of the brand new item is > 250USD, you'll have to declare the latop to customs, and possibly pay import duty on it.

Calculating Import Duty and Taxes

The import duty on laptops is 0%, according to Indonesian Customs (search for HS code: 8471302000):

Laptop duty and taxes Indonesia

This does not mean that importing laptops in Indonesia is free. Indeed, income tax and VAT are also levied on imports. A rapid simulation with the Duty Calculator gives the following results, assuming a laptop value of 1500USD:

Duty calculator results

Which gives a total import tax of 5229375.00IDR which is approximately 369.57USD as of today's exchange rate according to google (1IDR = 0.000071USD).

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