Those Indonesians (as well as expats living in Indonesia) who enjoy visiting places like Singapore for some quick shopping will be happy to learn that the Indonesian government decided to raise the maximum value of private goods - purchased overseas - that can be carried into Indonesia free of import duties and tax.
These goods only cover products meant for personal use or presents for third-parties (such as friends or family). Hence, these items can not be (re)traded in Indonesia (to protect the domestic manufacturing and retail industry from unfair competition).
Currently, the maximum amount of goods (purchased overseas) that can be carried into Indonesia - without having to face import duties and tax - is USD $250 for an individual and USD $1,000 for a family. This regulation was last revised in 2010. However, considering Indonesia's consumer purchasing power has strengthened since 2010, the aforementioned limits fell out of tune with existing conditions.
Heru Pambudi, Director General of the Finance Ministry's Directorate General of Customs and Excise, said the government will soon double the upper limits to USD $500 for an individual and USD $2,000 for a family through a revision of PMK 188/PMK 04/2010.
Pambudi added that the government remains careful as it does not want to see a negative impact on Indonesian entrepreneurs (therefore the maximum limits remain rather low after the revision). If the limits would raise more drastically then it would become very attractive for the richer segments of Indonesia's society to frequently fly to Singapore (air travel between Jakarta and Singapore is relatively cheap) and buy various goods there, rather than buying the same (or similar) goods at home, he added.
Indonesian Finance Minister was also quoted in Indonesian media saying "I have already instructed the Directorate General of Customs and Excise to ease requirements related to the number and value of private goods that are carried into Indonesia by individuals."