International Courier and Mail Services in Indonesia
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Several international courier services have offices in Jakarta, including DHL, FedEx, and UPS. They provide international-standard door-to-door services with the only additional charges being Duty and Taxes. These can be high in Indonesia, but they are levied against the value of the goods and the type of commodities. Goods such as golf clubs attract luxury tax, so if you are shipping these in be prepared to pay something like an additional 50-60% of the value to the government in duty and tax. Personal items and items of low value (about US$50 or below) should generally flow through duty free.
Use a courier service that has a transparent system and is up front about additional charges paid to the Customs for duty or warehouse charges. Goods under US$50 that go straight through Customs have no additional charges from DHL. All dutiable goods with a value over $50 will be charged customs duty which must be paid by the person receiving the package, even if it is a gift.
It is also helpful if the courier service has an automated shipment tracking service available through their website. Through this service you can track any shipment you have made or that is being sent to you to know it's location at any time.
There are many domestic courier services. Two of the more reliable for sending packages in Indonesia for a low cost are Tiki and JNE. Call the main office, listed in the yellow pages, to ask for the agent nearest you.
Getting online orders from abroad sent to Indonesia can be challenging for a number of reasons! Due to the high incidence of credit card fraud, a lot of online sites won't send packages to Indonesia. The expense of shipping, difficulties clearing customs, the perception of high customs charges, and other difficulties put off a lot of expats and Indonesians alike from purchasing online abroad and asking them to send packages to Indonesia. A new type of service has been developed to alleviate those problems and concerns.
How it works: You register with the package forwarding company, they set up a free address with a unique box number for your purchases (going to their warehouse). Then you order thorough the U.S. online retailer and ise your assigned address (with your unique mailbox number) as your address. The package will then be sent to the package forwarding company's warehouse. The service will receive your package, consolidate severral packages into one, repack it if necessary to reduce weight/size, and even store your purchases for a set period of time until all the packages have arrived. Then, they arrange shipment to Indonesia.
When your package arrives at the U.S. warehouse, you will be informed and can give instructions on how you want your goods to be shipped, via FedEx, DHL or USPS. Because the US GoBuy warehouse is in Oregon, and there is no local/state sales tax in Oregon, your purchase is free of US taxes. You pay the shipping costs to Indonesia plus a small handling fee and then await the delivery of your package.
In recent years the Indonesian mail service has improved greatly. Letters are rarely lost any more. Past horror stories of items stolen from every box delivered and letters being sent never to be seen again, are not commonplace. Letters take approximately:
There are several types of mail service for letters:
Post offices, kantor pos, are located throughout the city. Ask your driver or a neighbor for the location of the nearest post office. You may prefer, for example, to send your mail from the larger post offices, kantor pos wilayah, to ensure quicker delivery and availability of stamps. Smaller post offices often run out of various denomination stamps and may not provide complete postal services. You can easily send your driver or other household staff, to the local post office to mail your letters for you.
Indonesia has an active philatelic association and regularly produces beautifully designed stamps and first day covers highlighting special events, famous people or items of cultural interest. There is a philatelic museum at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta.
General inquiry numbers for the Indonesian Central Post Office are (62-21) 384-7120, or 381-4427.
Packages, as a rule, are best sent from larger post offices. Some small
post offices will not even accept packages. There is a separate entrance
for the office that handles packages. It's best not to seal up your box
ahead of time as the postal officials may want to see the contents first.
The postal staff will help you to pack, wrap and tape up your package,
for a small fee. The bigger post offices also sell the packaging materials.
Shipped parcels (shipped into Indonesia) will be granted a duty-free limit of US$50. Whenever these limits are exceeded, however, import duties will apply. So, if the items sent to you in a package have a value of over US$50, as claimed by the sender on the customs slip, you will be charged duty. Dutiable packages have to picked up at a main post office for your mayoralty. To avoid the hassle and customs fees, it is recommended (even by the postal workers themselves) to put a value of less than $50 on incoming packages from abroad.
Update: March 2017 - Members of the community are reporting being charged a Rp 20,000 fee (maybe for handling) on packages valued less than USD 50. See the official information on duty-free packages valued under $50 on the Bea Cukai website.
Slip attached to your Rp 20,000 receipt will say:
When receiving packages from overseas, your mailman will leave a notification slip at your home which tells you where to pick up the package. Give your driver or household staff: 1) the slip, signed on the back, 2) the fee (which is written on the slip-usually Rp 7,500 to 10,000) as well as, 3) a photocopy of your ITAS identification card. With these items in hand he should be able to retrieve the package for you.
Quick Tip: Tracking numbers work way better than positive thinking when it comes to international postal service. Choose a shipping method that allows you to track your package's progress.
In many locations across town there are mobile post offices housed in orang mini-vans which park in various parking lots at the same time each day. When their back window is open they are open for business. You can send mail and purchase stamps from these pos keliling.
Express Mail from Abroad
Please be aware that delivery estimates from abroad are often off by as much as 1-2 weeks. Your post office in the US, for example, may say that something you send to Indonesia will arrive in 3-5 days. Two weeks later your recipient still has not received the package/envelope. Consider that delivery estimate the time it takes to get to the main Indonesian Post office. From there delivery can take from 1-4 weeks within Indonesia. Express Mail from abroad is handled the same as regular mail and gets no preferential delivery time. If timeliness is an issue, use a reliable courier company like DHL, FedEx or UPS.
Thanking Your Mailman
It is advisable to give a token of your appreciation to your mailman just prior to Lebaran, Rp 50,000 or what you feel is an appropriate amount. If you receive a lot of mail at Christmas time, it may be wise to tip your mailman at that time too. These small gestures will help to ensure that your mail will be delivered promptly and that letters and packages don't go astray.
Know Your Address
To ensure delivery of your mail, be sure to give your correspondents your complete address. This will include the name of your housing complex (if any), street name and number, the kelurahan, kecamatan, city and postal code (zip code). If you don't know your address, ask your landlord or check your phone/electric bills as they list the complete address. Postal codes are listed in the index of the Falk Street Atlas.
A typical address:
Many housing areas use a system of numbered and lettered blocks, for example:
Other areas do not have named roads and are simply designed with the RT and RW:
Stopping Package Delivery
In answer to the many inquiries from we receive from abroad, there is no one involved with this website that can assist you to stop delivery of a package to an Indonesian address. You need to contact the Indonesian Central Post Office are (62-21) 384-7120, or (62-21) 381-4427, or contact them through their website at www.posindonesia.co.id
Some companies allow their expatriate employees limited use of the company mail pouch. Ask before you come if you have use of this facility. Personal letters can be sent in the mail pouch that goes out to the head office on a regular basis. The letters will be dropped in the domestic mail on the other end. If you do have use of this company facility, be sure to bring a good supply of stamps from your home country to mail letters using your domestic postage. Likewise, the company may allow you to receive mail through the mail pouch, though the company may have restrictions on the number or size of packages and they may not allow you to receive periodicals.
Last updated March 20, 2017
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