We're no longer surprised if there's going to be changes every other month like the good old days, but this is different. This is actually a step in a direction that I like. A step that will push the market deeper into an regulated and predictable state.
Honestly, people would be more annoyed at this than happy. Many have been so used to the 'flexibility' of Indonesia that in the past year, they were not able to do as they please anymore. I'll admit, it has gotten more expensive over the past year to move into Indonesia and the complexity has definitely been rising. From incomplete and elaborate processes, to higher costs in clearance, Indonesia has gone through a fair share of changes.
This new change, one that many have missed, is something that pushes the progress to a more organised customs and excise regulation possible. Remember when Indonesia reduced the duty-free limit from USD100 to USD75 per person per day? Well, I applaud the customs authority. They really do mean per person per day.
What do I mean by this? As per the new regulation 112/PMK.04/2018, the regulation states that it is per person per day, but as some might have come to realise, the customs actually sneaked in an extra algorithm into their "Risk Engine". This piece's function is to detect parcels that are going through customs clearance at any given day and is matching customer details with each other to ensure that the customer is not shipping through multiple service providers and also not shopping in a way that splits orders up into smaller parcels.
Call it what you want, that I feel is a good step forward towards a better Indonesia. Now, it's frustrating. Don't get me wrong. I have e-commerce sellers coming to me every other day now to tell me that their parcel is below USD75 and it's being taxed! I wished that it was better communicated, but nonetheless, it is done and it is here to stay.
So I look forward to further development in Indonesia and I also look forward to development in other countries as well! Together with e-commerce pioneers, we need to shape Southeast-Asia's market and help governments to welcome e-commerce and not fight them.
“We only have what we give.” – Isabel Allende
We've got more exciting things in the roadmap over the coming months, so stick around and see what's coming next with Aersure!