On April 18, 2020, Indonesia implemented a new regulation to restrict circulation of black-market mobile phones and consequently, mobile phones purchased abroad may stop working with SIM cards from Indonesian mobile phone carriers.
In this article, we show step by step on how to register the IMEI of your mobile phone to be able to use it in Indonesia.
The answer is yes, tourists who are going to stay less than 3 months in Indonesia, will be able to acquire a SIM card called Telkomsel PraBayar or Telkomsel Tourist Card, which will work for 3 months and it will not be necessary to register the IMEI of your phone.
For all those who are going to stay more than three months in Indonesia and want to continue using the phone (purchased abroad) with an Indonesian SIM card, they must register the IMEI at the Customs office in Jakarta or Bali.
To register the IMEI in Indonesia, and also get a discount on the fees, you must carry out the registration procedures during the 5 days following your arrival in Indonesia, or in the 5 days following the end of the quarantine (in time of COVID-19). Things to consider before registering:
1- Fill out a form that you will find on this Indonesian Customs website.
There, you will be asked for personal data of the phone owner, details of the flight of arrival in the country, NPWP number (for residents), technical data and price of the phones as well as invoice of the phone purchase if any. Once everything is registered and sent, you will get an image of a QR code (save it on your mobile phone) and you will also receive an email with the same.
2- Now you must go in person to the Customs office (CUSTOMS – BEA CUKAI)
In Jakarta, the office is located in the International Departures Terminal (T3), on the second floor behind the zone 1 counters, at the end of the hall on the left. Keep in mind that there are usually queues, so if you have to take a flight, leave enough time. (I only had 9 people in front of me, and I took almost an hour between my wait and the process, plus another 20 minutes to get to Terminal 2 by shuttle bus for my flight to Bali.)
3- When it is your turn, you must go to the window and they will ask you to show:
Then, they will do all the registration and you will receive a confirmation via email. (It usually takes about two or three hours to activate.)
Watch this short explanatory video made by Customs.
No, if you have purchased your phone in Indonesia, you will have your IMEI already active and you will be able to use it without problems. Really, this is a solution to not have to pay the fees of a very expensive phone, being able to use a cheap phone bought in Indonesia to install the most common applications in the country such as; GoJek, Grab, and share internet using Wifi Hotspot to your other phone.
Not necessary by principles, because it should have been activated only at the time, but you must verify it on this website.
If you live in Indonesia since before March 2020, you should have received an SMS saying that your phone has been registered, you can also verify this by putting the IMEI of your phone on this website.
You may still be able to use your foreign SIM card, but note that roaming price for calls or data may be quite high.
Yes, you can continue to connect to different free or paid Wifi of hotels and restaurants.
If your phone has recently been purchased second-hand and you still keep the invoice, you must show the invoice so that Customs can consider depending on the value of the invoice.
If you do not have the invoice, the Customs staff will look at the approximate price on the Internet that is in second-hand markets of the model of your phone and charge you based on that price. They will ask you for data such as storage capacity, RAM size, screen size, etc.
In theory and as I was told in Jakarta, yes you can. It should be possible to do it in any Indonesian Customs office, but the reality is that there are cases of many Customs offices that “do not want” to know about the subject, and tell you that you should have done it in Jakarta or Bali. So my advice is that if you have time, do it in Bali or Jakarta in the 5 days after your entry into the country.
IMEI number is a unique code used to identify a particular device through the input of a SIM card. It consists of 15 digits number and is assigned to each phone anywhere in the world. There are many use of IMEI number and one of which is to allow the police or network operator to block the device in case of stolen, and may sometimes allow you to locate the phone.
Main source of this article: Ministry of Economy, General Directorate of Customs, Regulation Indonesia. Number: SE-12/BC/2020
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