The Jakarta Post
The government has increased the allowance for items bought abroad that travelers may bring into the country duty free.
The threshold beyond which customs duty is charged was lifted from US$250 to $500, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in her office on Thursday.
“Although we have increased the threshold, the figure is still below the threshold for tax-free items imposed in China and Singapore at $750 and $600, respectively,” Sri Mulyani told journalists, last week as reported by tempo.co.
She explained that the levies applied to items exceeding the $500 allowance included 10 percent value-added tax (PPN) and 10 percent income tax (PPh).
Travelers holding taxpayer cards (NPWP), however, were only required to pay 7.5 percent PPh, while those who did not have an NPWP were required to pay 15 percent PPh, she said.
Unlike the previous regulation, under which the duty was applied to families, the new regulation only applied to individuals, Sri Mulyani said. “Under the new regulation, each member in the traveling family can purchase items up to $500,” she added.
The issue created a fuss on social media in September, when two travelers had to pay Rp 5.4 million ($408) to customs officers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for a bag they had bought in Singapore.
Although in place since 2010, the regulation on the import duty was only enforced in September, creating some unwelcome surprises as travelers were charged at airports for goods purchased abroad.
Since then, many have called on the government to lift the threshold above which a duty is levied on items purchased abroad. (bbn)