IMEI Registration in Indonesia

June 3, 2024

If you are planning to travel to Indonesia for more than 90 days, you will need to pay close attention to your phone's IMEI registration to avoid an unexpected disconnection from your cell phone’s network provider. The general public is often unfamiliar with these regulations, which need to be clarified. 

Made compulsory since 2020 by the Indonesian government, the IMEI number (a unique number for each device) is used to track devices and block stolen or illegally imported phones at the mobile network operator level. A device purchase outside of Indonesia can be used for the first 90 days inside the country, after which it will blocked until taxes have been paid on the imported device. Let's take a closer look at what this is, who needs to register, and why? 

  • What is the IMEI? 

The IMEI is a unique identification number assigned to every mobile phone in the world. It's a bit like your phone's serial number. This code, generally made up of 15 digits, enables mobile phone operators, manufacturers, and the authorities to track and identify a specific device among billions of others. Every device, whether new or used, has a unique IMEI registered in the national database. 

This regulation applies to all foreign mobile phones entering Indonesian territory. Each handphone must be registered with the Indonesia's customs authorities. Otherwise, unregistered phones will cease to function on a cellular network after a period of 90 days. In other words, they are no longer registered on the Indonesian mobile phone operators' network. This is how Indonesia is combating the illegal import of mobile phones. All devices entering the country legally are already registered, whether they are the latest smartphones or older models. 

  • Why do you need to register your IMEI? 

IMEI registration is a crucial step that must be carried out as soon as a mobile phone purchased abroad is brought into Indonesia, if the user wants to have access to their mobile network after 90 days inside the country. This ensures that each handset is legally registered and can be tracked in the event of loss or theft. It also helps combat stolen phones in the black market by making unregistered handsets unusable on legitimate mobile networks. 

On the other hand, if you are planning to visit Indonesia just for a holiday that will last less than 90 days, you don't need to register your phone as you can still use tourist registration. You can register your phone free of charge at any official office of a mobile phone operator. Simply go to the office in person with your passport and your phone. Telkomsel or XL service providers can provide you with a SIM card and register the IMEI on your phone. 

Your registration will be valid for three months and can currently be extended at no extra cost for a further three months at the same office where you originally registered your phone. 

IMEI registration only applies to people who are staying for a period longer than 90 days and plan to use a local SIM card. Please note that IMEI registration in Indonesia authorises only 2 telecommunication devices for each airline passenger or crew member. 

  • What is the procedure for registering the IMEI? 

IMEI registration is usually carried out through the mobile phone operator when the SIM card is activated. Users must provide their IMEI number, which can be found either in the phone's settings or by simply dialling *#06# on their handset. Once registered, the IMEI is linked to the phone number and owner information in the government database. 

You can benefit from a USD $500 deduction when registering your phone at the customs office after your customs declaration in the international terminal of the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in the case you arrive in Bali. Alternatively, you can register at the Office of Taxes and Duties in Bali to register the IMEI at any time, but you will be taxed on the full value of your phone. It is best to register no later than 60 days after arriving in Indonesia. 

Another important point is that IMEI registration for mobile phones worth less than USD $500 is free. However, if your phone costs more than USD $500, it will cost you 40% of the remaining value after a reduction of USD $500. For example, if your phone costs USD $600, the 40% will be deducted from USD $100, so the amount of tax will be USD $40.  However, holders of a KITAS (residence permit) and an Indonesian tax identification number (NPWP) will have to pay 30% instead of 40%. 

As you can see, the IMEI is much more than just a number engraved on the back of your phone. It's a crucial part of the telecommunications infrastructure that helps guarantee the security and legality of mobile devices in Indonesia and around the world. So, make sure you follow these regulations in good time to avoid any problems with your device. 

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