Indonesia seeks to impose import duties on intangible goods,
JAKARTA: Indonesia is looking to impose import duties on intangible goods, such as electronic books and software, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said.
She earlier said that Indonesia was bound by a World Trade Organization (WTO) moratorium that banned developing countries charging import tariffs on intangible goods traded electronically.
“We are coordinating with the relevant ministry so that the decision on the moratorium can be reviewed and there will be a way for Indonesia. Sri Mulyani said on Friday as quoted by Kontan.co.id, referring to the Trade Ministry.
“The moratorium is merely related to import tariffs. We can still charge value-added tax and other taxes. So, let’s see [if these taxes] can be charged,” she added. Head of communications and publication at the Finance Ministry’s customs and excise department Deni Surjantoro said that this year developing nations, including Indonesia, had proposed to the WTO to charge duties on intangible goods next year.
“Developed countries still expect to be in place permanently. If the lobbying is successful, we will impose [the duties],” he said, adding that if the global trade governing body decided otherwise, the government would comply with that. The moratorium was first initiated by the WTO on May. 20, 1998, during the Second Ministerial Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. A declaration made during the conference stated “members will continue their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions”.