Shipping to Indonesia: Expectation vs Reality

Are you the first time international shipper to Indonesia? Do you feel that you are an “expert” in shipping to Indonesia as you already have done it many times? or You have not shipped any goods to Indonesia in quite some time and curious whether any rules change in regards to importing goods to Indonesia?

Here we would like to give you some information based on the experiences of our customers before using our professional service and from our expert analysis based in this industry that we have served for since 2001.

Shipping to Indonesia can be a laborious task for you or your colleague. Maybe you have bad experience or horror stories in regards to shipping to Indonesia. Either your goods confiscated, your goods missing, super long processing time, irresponsible shipping service company, or your goods been returned back to the shipper. It is one of the many problems that of Indonesia shipping world famous for and we are here to help.

Here are some expectations and reality that happened in the process of shipping your goods to Indonesia. Do these expectations come into your mind before you commence shipping to Indonesia?

1. Expectation: It is super easy to ship goods to Indonesia without any problem like other countries (or third-world countries) you have shipped to before.

Bear in mind that every country has its own different rules on customs duty. Customs duty is somewhat like a barrier to entry to shipping your products to each country. Well, customs duty has its own purpose as to control any illegal goods or unwanted goods imported to their own countries but sometimes can be strict as black and white rules stated on their wall means you need to follow it thoroughly.

Rules of thumb in shipping  to countries not only for Indonesia:

  • Find out whether the particular country you want to ship to in regards to how strict the customs duty regulation.
  • Do some research in regards to the system of importing the goods to that country.
  • The major thing in mind is whether the country is a first world country, third world country, or any other country that doesn’t fall under first or third world categories. Bear in mind that shipping to first world countries is easier as there is a clear state of regulation and information is easy to obtain from the particular customs and duty websites and what you can or cannot import all listed clearly. As in the third world country, you need to have a lot of research before commence shipping to that particular country as the rules somewhat in the grey matter or not as clearly as stated on their website or online. Particularly in the Indonesian custom website, you need to search for the HS code of shipping and enter it the system and you can see the requirement of documentation of the goods that you need to be imported to Indonesia. Quite exhausting process while you need to check it one by one in regard to what documentation required for your shipment to Indonesia.

If you ship common products such as clothing (with limitation), shoes (not expensive or more than USD 75 in price), hat, gloves, socks, etc, to Indonesia it might be easier to pass the custom duty compared that you ship some other products that not under “common use” goods and expect some “special treatment” from the customs duty officer if you ship the goods not listed above.

Reality: Indonesia listed as one of the major countries that have the most difficult custom rules to export to.

As Indonesia has some reputation as the strict countries to ship your goods or products due to custom and duties long-listed prohibited and restricted goods that can or can’t bring to the countries, you need to have a lot of research except if you know any shipping company that you can consult to or a friend that has done the shipping to Indonesia before. Ask them in regards to the step by step process or experience on shipping their own goods to Indonesia previously. If you are a high-risk taker, you can try a trial and error attempt system to ship the goods to Indonesia but always prepare for the worst. Best is to consult with an expert in regards to shipping and ask a lot of questions to be sure.

2. Expectation: Indonesian customs and duties rules on what allowed to import is always for forever.

If you have ever successfully shipped the goods to Indonesia either as gifts, corporate deliveries, drop shipment to Indonesia or personal online shopping, expect a different experience in every single time you ship your goods as the regulation from Indonesian custom agency is keep changing in few years period. Why five years? usually when there is a change in the country’s leadership or a new set of rules implemented by the department of custom and duty which sometimes might disrupt the industry in a short term basis during implementation. As the rules keep changing, sometimes for the better or sometimes for the worse,  it will always affect someone or companies in the particular industry either small or substantial effect on their respective operation. Always check with your shipping service provider to make sure the goods you ship fulfill the criteria to pass the customs duty based on the particular regulation at that moment.

Reality: Rules of prohibited items and free of duty tax keep changing over time.

Like we mentioned before, your best option is to be able to consult on the professional before you commence each shipment to make sure the rules that implemented at that particular time as you don’t want your shipping goods “stuck” in the customs duty for quite a while. Gain knowledge is better to compare to obtain a bad experience while you ship the products. Always prepare for the worse as the better outcome is around the horizon if you have better knowledge about handling custom duty officer. Again, better to be safe than sorry. Check, check, and check again.

3. Expectation: My price quoted by the shipping agency is all in charge door to door.

Before you arrange your shipment, best to check again and again as shipping to the particular country even the big shipping company such as FedEx, Ups, Dhl, etc, always stated in their fine print that import duties or additional charges may apply depends on the customs rules or tax on that particular country.

The price quoted sometimes not all-inclusive charges and be prepared to spend extra if in any case custom held your goods as the customs duty officer might think your goods valued more than you stated on the invoice, or expect more charges arising as well in case the bad scenario happened, like the return of the shipment to the origin, confiscated of goods if your documentation does not satisfy the custom duty officer requirement.

Reality: Price never been all in except the shipping company can guarantee it in writing.

Try to communicate better with your shipping company where you commence the shipment to Indonesia and ensure you have fine black and white or confirmation in text, email, agreement, etc, as your shipment should be valuable for you or the shipper and you, you surely do not want to waste money on shipping your goods without any confirmation.

Few bad experience from our customers which have been bamboozled by the shipping company that states their charges via phone conversation without any fine print before shipping the goods and sometimes the word can be floated by the sham shipping agency which ensures you that all price all-inclusive for their shipping but in the end charging you extra if you want to shipment to be clear as soon as possible at custom duty in Indonesia. Try to make sure you have everything in writing.

4. Expectation: My shipping timing is confirmed and my customer/ recipient is expected to receive the goods on the exact time frame.

Shipping sometimes can be a difficult business and industry as the agency needs to make sure the shipping always arrived on the exact time frame for the customer, but best to prepare that some delay might happen as we never sure the outcome from unexpected major factors.

A lot of factors can happen in the shipping industry or your particular goods. Few factors that affect the delay of your goods on arrival:

  • Your goods “stuck” in shipping because of the “difficult” customs duty officer as quite demanding in every detail of documentation.
  • Processing time or delivery time been delayed due to the technical problem of deliveries from airlines, or unpacking time by the shipping agency, or delay payment to the shipping agency can make your shipment held until the administration process is settled.
  • Holidays can be a major problem during shipping your products to Indonesia, expect more delays on clearance on more goods coming to the countries.

Reality: Try to give a few days’ rooms in the case have some delay and such.

Always keep in touch with your shipping agency and keep communicating in regards of the location of your shipment and always track the goods in real-time (best option if the shipping agency able to provide one). As with the technology, now you can track your goods online in real-time provided by the shipping agency as you need some peaceful sleeping time at night that your goods are safe and sound even while in customs duty.

5. Expectation: I have the best packaging every time I do shipping.

Another factor in regards to shipping is the packaging as it determines the cost and how well the condition of the goods as the protection during the transport time. Please do ensure to the shipper that the packaging needs to be in the highest standard as it will help the safety of the goods that you ship to avoid damages, leakage (if you transport liquid products), or suspected irregular shape of packaging that can alert the customs duty officer.

Reality: Consultation is free and gains more knowledge on the best way to packaging your products.

Invest in knowledge to ship your product and maximize the packaging of your product to avoid any damages during transit and keep on asking the question if you are not sure to the staff of the shipping agency to make sure proper packing is in place.

Packaging can be a crucial part if you are an inexperienced packer, do check with friends, family, or the shipping company. Sometimes the unnatural package can draw attention to the customs officer and able to make your goods held for a few days in the worst-case scenario.

Check this link on how to pack like professional

6. Expectation: I can use any other (or random) company to ship my product to Indonesia or the company I found on the internet.

The best option is to keep researching on the best shipping company to ship the goods to a particular country. As some companies have their own strength in where and how the company operates, and even so if you ship with a well-known shipping company such as FedEx, Dhl, Ups, etc, you need to understand that they are never able to help you with your shipment custom as it always stated that custom duty import always the responsibility of the customer.

Look for reference or find a lot of information on the google web and find any review in regards to the shipping company as every shipping company might have a different market to serve or region. Some company able to serve in high-performance shipping service within the United States, some companies specialties in another third world country as like previously mention, customs duty would be different in each country and if the company has been mature enough to cater to a particular country, they should have a lot of experience with custom duty challenges.

Reality: Try to invest your time in finding the best shipping agency to be able to handle products to Indonesia.

Find someone that successfully able to ship their products to Indonesia before and ask for their experience and any recommendation for any shipping agency that able to ship the product without any problems to Indonesia. Try to look for a company with experience in the industry and handling your typical category of goods before as it is good to be safe than experimenting with a random shipping agency. Bear in mind that handling liquid products, vitamins, skincare is different than handling clothing, bag, shoe shipment.

Our company has been in the industry since 2001 and understands the industry better from time to time. Our aim is to be able to help customers ship their goods and belonging as we believe every shipment matters and important. We have experienced the changes of rules, the difficulties of custom duty officers that demand a lot of documentation, slow clearance on some particular pre-holiday time, etc. We have experienced enough that we can guarantee shipping service that only the best that we provide to our customers based on their expectations. 

Contact our professional staff or email us in regards to any inquiry in regards to shipping to Indonesia. We provide free information or quote if you need one as we believe the power of knowledge that we need to share with others and ensure the best shipping service experienced from a customer while commencing the shipping service with us, SindoShipping, the best provider of shipping service to Indonesia.

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