Types of Import Licenses in Indonesia

Import license is a mandatory permit for any company that wishes to start doing the activity of importing and exporting. In Indonesia, the license is called API (Import Identification Number). There are two types of API in Indonesia, API-U and API-P.

Any entity that wishes to be an importer can only possess one type of API.

Any entity that has obtained an API-U license are eligible to perform importing activity. However the type of goods to be imported are limited to one group of goods that are specified in the Trade Regulation. Several exceptions could be applied for the following reasons:

  • Distributor agreement
  • Supplier agreement
  • Loan agreement
  • Articles of association
  • Shareholding ownership
  • Partially or wholly owned by the government of Indonesia

The exception above allows the entity be able to import goods in more than one group in the Trade Regulation.


Any entity that has obtained an API-P license are eligible to perform importing activity, however the type of goods are limited to unfinished goods. The goods are to be utilized for their own purpose. Example are as follows:

  • Raw materials
  • Supporting materials
  • Processing materials

There is also a restriction to directly sell the goods to any third party. Although there is an exception, certain industrial goods which are necessary for developing the business and investment of the company, which are not used in the production process and which will only be used by the company for market testing and/or used as complimentary goods. These goods may be traded or transferred to third parties.

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