Taiwanese likely to benefit from Indonesia’s removal of tax on PPE

A medical worker conducts on-site rapid COVID-19 testing Sunday for a man outside a hospital in Jakarta.

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Indonesian government has removed import duties on 73 types of medical and disease prevention products, in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, which will help Taiwanese there to more easily obtain such items, Taiwan’s representative office in Jakarta said Sunday.

In a press release earlier in the day, Indonesia’s Directorate General of Customs and Excise said import tariffs were being suspended with immediate effect on face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfection products, rapid coronavirus test kits, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits, medicines, vitamins, and respirators and other medical devices.

The new regulations, which were approved by the government on April 17, extend to governments, individuals and corporations on imports of 73 types of products that have been exempted from import duty, excise tax, value added tax, and sales tax on luxury goods.

It was the third round of Customs revisions to facilitate the import of products needed in the country’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Indonesian authorities.

Taiwan’s representative office in Jakarta told CNA that the new regulations will make it easier for Taiwanese in Indonesia to receive personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks from Taiwan.

Applications for the tax waivers must be submitted electronically on the Indonesia National Single Window (INSW) portal or in writing to the head of the Customs Office where the goods will arrive, authorities said.

In cases where the items are being carried in the luggage of arriving passengers, there is no need to submit an application, once the value of the products does not exceed US$500, the authorities said.

Prior to the new regulations, the limit for obtaining tax waivers on such items carried by arriving passengers was US$3.