Customs Regulations Bali: Everything You Need To Know About Customs Clearance For Indonesia

If you bring goods into Indonesia (including Bali) then you may incur customs duties.

There are also some forms of import goods that are entirely banned (even for personal use) and if you want to stay out of bother when arriving at Denpasar Airport, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the customs process.

So, here’s a brief guide that explains your obligations and how to complete the customs declaration forms before you even arrive to make sure your journey is entirely trouble-free.

The Customs Declaration Form

Every traveller who arrives on the island must complete an Electronic Customs Declaration Form (ECD). This is as much part of the entry requirements for the nation as having valid passports.

It doesn’t matter if you’re importing goods or not or whether you pay income tax here in Bali, you must complete this form.

This form can be completed at the airport or it can be completed up to 48 hours before you land in Bali using the online form (which can be found here).

We’d recommend that you complete the form before you leave as it will save you time at Denpasar which can get pretty busy at peak times.

It’s worth noting that you must complete this form online but if you arrive in Denpasar without filling it in, there is free Wi-Fi available for you to fill it in while waiting for your baggage.

You will be asked for your name, passport number, nationality, date of birth, occupation, residential address, port of arrival, flight number, and date of arrival.

You then need to report both any accompanied bags (those on your trolley) and any other bags that you have that aren’t with as well as the number of people travelling with you.

After this, you must make your declaration.

Things You Have To Declare As Part Of Customs Clearance In Bali

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You are legally required to declare all of the following:

  • Animals, Fish, & Plants and any products of these things (this includes any fresh or raw food you may be bringing into the country or derivative products such as a tortoise shell) – typically these items will all be confiscated but if you try to bring them in without declaring them, you can be arrested, fined and deported

  • Narcotics, psychotropic substances, precursors, drugs, firearms, air guns, sharp objects, ammunitions, explosives, pornography objects – all of these items are forbidden in Indonesia even if they are personal goods that will not be left in the country. We cannot stress how seriously the Indonesian authorities take trying to import any kind of drugs and you could be facing the death penalty if you are caught with drugs when visiting Indonesia. We’d urge you to leave any of the items listed on this bullet point at home.

  • Foreign banknotes equivalent to at least Rp. 1,000,000,000.00 (one billion rupiah) – you will be fined if you try to import more cash than this and are caught doing so without declaring it

  • More than 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 100 grams of sliced tobacco, and 1 litre of alcoholic beverages (for Passenger); or more than 40 cigarettes or 10 cigars or 40 grams of slices tobacco, and 350 millilitres of alcoholic beverages (for Crew) – given that taxes on tobacco products in Indonesia are very low, it’s not worth paying import duty for any additional items just buy them here. We should also note that if you bring any alcoholic beverage that is over your limit, it will almost certainly be confiscated. The Indonesian police are very grateful for these contributions from tourists.

  • Goods purchased/obtained from abroad and will remain in Indonesia with a total value of more than USD 500.00 per person (for Passenger) or USD 50.00 per person (for Crew) – this is important, you only declare items here that are imported goods, that is goods that will not leave Indonesia when you do

  • Imported goods that are not considered as personal effect (unreasonable amount for personal use or goods used for companies/shops/institutions/industrial purposes) – unless you have a very large number of items or boxed items, you should be fine not declaring any personal goods at this point (laptops, cameras, etc. are all fine to bring in without paying import duty unless they are going to stay in Indonesia)

  • Goods originating from Indonesia, issued from Indonesia using BC 3.4 – these are goods that were originally exported under license from the government of Indonesia and have since be re-exported, you will probably know about this rule if you have such a license, already

IMEI Registration Requirement

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You must also complete a declaration regarding IMEI Registration.

If you are staying in Indonesia for less than 90 days, you don’t need to worry about this but if you are staying longer, then you must complete this section and declare any cell phones, tablets or other devices you use with a SIM card.

If you fail to do so, your cell phones, handheld computers and tablets will no longer support a local SIM card after 90 days.

You will be required to pay an import tax on each device if it is valued at over $500 (this valuation is carried out by customs and tends to be fairly reflective of the current value of an item).

If you don’t pay the tax at the airport, you will lose the tax break on the first $500 of value and have to pay even more tax at a later date.

So, you might as well give them your up-to-date information and pay the customs duty if you’re staying in Bali for a long while.

Final Declaration

Finally, you must complete a declaration that you’re telling the truth in the previous sections which reads (admittedly not very clearly); “I hereby declare that I have understood the provisions on the import of passenger goods and what I have stated is valid.”

As with customs authorities the world over, Indonesian authorities are unlikely to be amused if you’re found to have deliberately tried to fool their customs officials. However, a customs officer will normally be prepared to overlook minor errors.

If you are caught bringing in items that are over the limit offered by customs, you will be fined and the items confiscated.

You may find that the fines are negotiable when you enter Indonesia, however, and it’s often easier to negotiate a little than to start calling for legal representation, which will almost certainly end with you being deported.

QR Code

Once you complete the form, you will have a QR code that you must show customs before you can leave the airport.

If you have anything to declare, you may have to pay added tax, explain the intended use of certain goods to customs, etc.

A Note On Bringing Prescription Medication Into Bali

If you want to bring a prescribed medication into Indonesia that is on the restricted or prohibited list for use in the country, you must bring the medication in its original packaging, declare it on the customs form and have both the original prescription and a note from your doctor that states why you need the medicine, how often you take it and how long you must take it for.

While the folks in the red channel at customs are not likely to treat you harshly for bringing in prescription medicine without the packaging, prescription and doctor’s notes, they’re also not likely to let you keep it.

Yellow Fever Certification

You may be asked either by immigration or by customs to provide evidence of vaccination against Yellow Fever if you have recently passed through a Yellow Fever zone.

If you do not have such a declaration, you may be denied entry to Bali and deported immediately back to your last port of call. This deportation will be at your own expense.

Horror Stories And Reality

You may hear a lot of rumours and even horror stories about clearing customs in Denpasar Airport in Bali.

We’d like to stress that, in our experience, as long as you are honest and complete the forms correctly – you are unlikely to experience any hassles or be asked to pay any duty.

We know people who regularly travel to Bali with multiple laptops, cameras, lenses, etc. and they’ve never had any problems entering or leaving the country.

Just make sure that they’re not boxed or sealed and are clearly for personal utility.

(In fact, the author of this article recently arrived with 3 camera bodies, 3 laptops and more lenses than he cares to count and had no issues at all).

Just make sure to avoid any of the forbidden items for Indonesia and your trip through Denpasar should be relatively stress-free.

FAQs

What Are You Not Allowed To Bring Into Bali?

There are many things that are prohibited to bring into Indonesia and Bali including narcotics, psychotropic substances, precursors, drugs, firearms, air guns, sharp objects, ammunition, explosives, pornography objects, animals, plants and any products made from these things.

Penalties for bringing in any of these items can be very severe. If you have any doubt at all about the legality of your possessions, you should contact customs officials in Bali for further information before you travel.

Can You Bring A Drone Into Bali? 

Yes, you can and it’s surprisingly easy to use a drone in Bali too but you should always make sure you’re familiar with the rules governing drone use in Bali

How Much Alcohol Can You Bring Duty-Free To Bali?

You may bring up to 1 litre of wine or spirits per adult into Bali. Any amount over this threshold is subject to confiscation.

How Many Cigarettes Can You Take From Bali To Australia? 

It’s important to note that you can take as many cigarettes as you want to out of Indonesia. However, you it’s the Australian authorities that decide how many you can import into Australia and they only allow you to bring in a single open pack. Anything over that is subject to duty or confiscation. 

You can, however, bring 200 cigarettes into Bali from Australia, if you want to. We wouldn’t recommend doing it, though. Cigarettes are much cheaper here in Indonesia than they are in Australia. Save yourself some money. 

What Do I Have To Declare At Bali Customs?

There is a full list above of all the items that you must declare on arrival in Bali. This list is also included on the customs declaration form that every single entrant to Bali must complete on arrival.

The process won’t take more than a few minutes from end to end.

Final Thoughts On Import Duties And Customs In Bali

Customs clearance at Denpasar isn’t any more difficult than it is at any other airport in the world. You just need to ensure you complete the paperwork online and then pay any customs duties that you owe.

The process is very easy to comply with and usually much faster than the immigration counter or baggage claim.

Once you’ve completed customs clearance you can jump in a taxi and start your holiday proper – hopefully, with a visit to FINNS Beach Club because a visit to Bali without a visit to FINNS is no visit at all.