In case your business is about importing goods to Indonesia, you will have to obtain licenses to be eligible to do that. We have a thorough guide on how to set up an import company.

In this post we explain in more details the different types of import licenses and how to get them.

API (Angka Pengenal Importir) – Importer Identification Number

In order to be able to import, you will need API. This serves the purpose of keeping a database of importers and regulating the import activities. There are four types of API:

1. API Umum (API-U)
General Importer Identification Number.
This type of import license given to a trade company to import goods in order to be traded in Indonesia.

2. API Produsen (API-P)
Importer Identification Number for producers.
This type of import license given to industrial companies need to import goods for capital and raw material in order to support operational activities and production.

3. API Terbatas (API-T)
Limited Importer Identification Number. Given to direct investment company to import goods in order to support production with BKPM facility

(Emerhub’s Note: we offer company registration and representative office service. Check out our company registration page.)

4. API Khusus (API-K)
Importer Identification Number for contractor.
Having an API doesn’t make your company automatically able to import goods. For some commodities to be imported need additional import license or even should passed some test and get certification from specific departments and ministries. Below we explain further about special importer identification number.

NPIK (Nomor Pengenal Importir Khusus) – Special Importer Identification Number

NPIK or else Special Importer Identification Number is needed if your company importing one out of 8 the goods below:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • Sugar
  • Textile and textile products
  • Shoes and other foot apparel
  • Electronics and its components
  • Toys

NPIK can only be obtained if you already hold an API.

The journey of obtaining import license is not stopping until API and NPIK. For specific goods you need to check in the certain ministries to get recommendation and certificate.

For example, for all electronic and telecommunication devices, you need to get certificate from Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Getting certificate means that all devices you wish to be imported should be tested in their laboratory. This also applies to other specific commodities or goods.

We would be more than welcome to assist you figure out what type of licenses you need for your import.

Comments (19)

  1. YUNI
    January 28, 2013

    dear Indosight bloger

    my name is Yuni and im indonesia, i would like to ask you how do i get the Import licenses in Indonesia and what should i need to prepare to get it. as i want to start a small import business in indonesia. thank you

    best regard
    Yuni Rahmawati

    • admin
      January 28, 2013

      Dear Yuni,

      first of all, you will need to have a PT (limited liability company) registered. If you are Indonesian citizen, this process is of course shorter and easier because you won’t need approval from BKPM.

      Once your PT is registered, you can start applying for the API-U and other import licenses. Note that the license is given for the specific product.

      We will be happy to assist you with all of the steps. I will send you a private message regarding that.

      Best regards,


  2. jessica
    June 18, 2013

    dear sir,we wud like to import table lamp hs94052000 to can we do to get the import licence. we got PT company alrd.tks

    • Indosight
      June 18, 2013

      Hi Jessica, what are the activities listed in your company’s articles of association?

  3. Steef Vendy
    June 26, 2013

    Hi Indosight,

    The blog is so wonderful, it helps me a lot in considering a lot of things.
    I was about to buy some supplements online from USA which would be shipped to Indonesia (It’s not much tho, probably around 50KG) and I am kinda surprised on how complicated this can be after reading your blog mentioning the licences needed to import goods in Indonesia. I also have read your other article about under-name importer as a solution for import licenses and I heard this is not allowed anymore in Indonesia, is it true? if it is so, what other solution would you suggest? I am an Indonesian citizen by the way.

    • Indosight
      June 26, 2013

      Hi Steef,

      Undername import means that you use another company to import your products. As long as they have the valid licenses, it is no problem. The challenge is that new import regulations restricted the number of licenses to only one classification per company. So it is increasingly harder to find companies with the right license to be your importer.

      Since your product volume is very small, the importers might not be interested to take your case. You might try with personal cargo, there are many companies for that in Indonesia.

  4. palupi
    June 28, 2013

    hi marlissa..
    i am an indonesian. and just about to import electronics from china. unfortunately i found this website today, and my goods already shipped to indo. under name company, of course.but its very expensive for 4 cbm by sea cargo..
    so, for the next step, i need to apply my own import license which is more cheaper for the cost i think.. but i need to know how to do it and where i should go for this license. please mail me the detail. thank you in adv.

    • Lauri
      June 28, 2013

      Hi Palupi,

      We have sent you an email!

      Note that getting import license is a long process, so in the meanwhile I advise you to continue to use your current importer while the license is in the process.

  5. Andrew
    July 8, 2013

    We are trying to bring in revolving doors into Indonesia. However it seems like its a challenge to bring in when we declared as Iron/steel door. Was told we need special licence for this HS code 73083000

  6. Yani
    July 10, 2013

    Hi Indosight,

    I have plans to import electronic goods such as UPS, mobile charger, powerbank from China. Would you be able to provide the details of the requirement for these goods import to Indonesia? Does this goods fall under specific IT registration goods? Beside PT, TDP, API, NIK is there requirements for guarantee card, manual in Bahasa Indonesia, and what are the required forms to submit. Further could you also quote the cost and lead time required.

    Looking forward for your kind assistant. Thank you.


  7. Peter
    July 22, 2013

    I wish to import gas lighter to Indonesia whereby now my customer had API already, and what other licenses we need to apply? NPIK and IT?
    Please response and hope to hear from you soon, and I remain

  8. nur aishah
    August 13, 2013


    i would like to bring in few hundred units of small electronic stroller fans to balikpapan.what are the procedures and docs that i should have and prepare in advance. i heard that we dont need any permit for the first that true?
    how about the tax calculation?

    aishah addition to that how much tax

  9. Dave Dela Torre
    August 21, 2013

    Can you recommend 2 to 3 reliable undername importers of pork and other meat products? Thank you.

  10. Frank Kanne
    August 27, 2013

    We are looking for information on permits to import birds from the Netherlands to Indonesia. Do you have information on this?

  11. Yoppy
    September 1, 2013


    I make scarfs With Silk and Wool, however i need To import Wool from Holland in order To make more scarfs for production. My business is UD/Usaha Dagang. I tried To import more Wool from Holland but i need To obtain an import license for this. Can you please asisst me on the process of getting Wool imported.


  12. Ignatius Chua
    February 14, 2014

    Hi, we are going to import tree saplings into Sumatra. Do we need import licence for that? Do you need to know the specific type of saplings?

    • Indosight
      February 14, 2014

      Yes you need license for that. You need to either set up a company and get the license for yourself or find a local company that has the import license for that classification.

  13. Nopi Handayani
    February 20, 2014

    hi Indosight,

    This blog really help..

    I wanna ask about Import merchandise apparel to Indonesia,, after we have API and NPIK.. what should i do?

    Please send mail for the detail until shipment and arrived in Indonesia.

    Thanks you so much..


    • Indosight
      February 20, 2014

      Hi Nopie,

      Since you already acquired the necessary licenses you are free to start the import. If you need further help then I suggest you contact a logistics firm.

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