American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce


Selling And Registering Consumer Food Products In Indonesia

by the US Commercial Center, US Department of Commerce, Jakarta,

Labeling and Advertising Requirements

Shipping Requirements

Registration Procedures

Additives Permitted


Need for a local agent/distributor

Since foreign companies cannot distribute at the retail level, a local agent or distributor can be useful to build sales. The typical buyer will be a national
distributor or major retailer. However, it is possible to make sales
from off shore to a qualified importer for many products.

Almost all consumer food items are imported by companies with a general importers license(IU=importer umum). Large entities, such as supermarket chains, have their own importing and distribution affiliates, although they also buy from independent importers. Hotels and upmarket independent restaurants buy from many different importers as well as local producers.

Click here to see a list of major food importers. Most have their own frozen food storage facilities.

Department of Health Food Registration Procedures:

  • a registration
    application form
  • a sample of food
  • a label and brochure
  • a letter of
    certification from the foreign factory (FDA or equivalent)
  • a certificate of health

Approval Conditions of the Minister of Health

  • food meets the quality
    standards of the Minister
  • is not prohibited in
    the country of origin
  • is not harmful or will
    not negatively affect health
  • is free of diseases
    contagious to people, plants, or animals


  • food cannot be putrid,
    repugnant, dirty, decayed or decomposed
  • contains diseased
    vegetable or animal substances
  • contains or has present
    more parts or excrement of insects than the maximum limit
  • contains or has present
    more than the maximum limit of pesticides or other insecticides
  • contains more poisonous
    chemicals, minerals, or metalloid, or additives than the maximum limit
  • contains more
    pathogenic microorganisms than the maximum limit
  • is unfit for human
    consumption or harmful to human health


  • After the registration
    has been approved, the Ministry of Health will issue a registration
    number (preceded by letters ML) which must be clearly marked on the
    label of the food.


Labels must be in the Indonesian or English language using Roman letters.

Labels must contain the following information:

  • name of food and/or brand name
  • ingredients, unless
    genially known to the public
  • net contents or net weight
  • name and address of
    food producer, distributor or importer (including name of city and
    country or origin)
  • registration number

Additional Labeling Requirements for Certain Foods

  • production code (lot identifications)
  • expiration date for perishable foods as determined by the Ministry of Health
  • storage instructions (if required for certain foods such as milk products)
  • usage instructions (preparation and handling)
  • nutritional value
  • Specific wording or
    statements indicating contents for following products:
    • sweetened condensed
      milk (ed.go. “Warning ! Not suitable for infants below six months old”)
    • food containing
      material of pig origin
    • milk and food
      containing milk, baby food and commercially sterilized canned food
      (e.g. unsalted butter, contains no milk, reconstituted cheese, very low
      sodium, light syrup)
    • artificial sweetener
    • breast milk substitute
    • food additives
    • irradiated food
    • ‘Halal’ food

 Foods Requiring Expiration Dates

    • Pasteurized milk
    • sterilized milk
    • fermented milk
    • dried milk/milk powder
    • food and beverages
      containing milk
    • baby food
    • commercial sterilized
      canned food
    • bread, biscuits and
      bread type products
    • low calorie food
    • nutrient supplement food
    • cocoa and cocoa products
    • nut and nut products
    • edible fat and oil
    • margarine
    • peanut butter
    • egg products
    • sausage
    • soft drinks(
    • juice

Determination of Date of Minimum Durability

    • The producer shall determine the date
    • In determining the date marking, the producer shall take the following steps type of food, method of processing, packaging, storage condition, availability of
      storage at the distribution areas
    • The producer or the importer must give the reasons or data to support the minimum
      durability date.
    • The producer or importer bears the responsibility for the date stated on labels.
    • Labeling Method
    • date must be stated in Day/Month/Year format for food with a shelf life of up to 3 months, and shall be declared in Month/Year format with a shelf life of more than 3
    • The date can be indicated on the bottle top, bottom of a can, on the upper part of a
      box and other suitable places, and must be clear and legible
    • The label must also have a readily legible notice, as follows, “Use best before …(fill in date)
    • The package or wrapping of food containing material of pig origin must bear a notice in the form of a picture of a pig and a writing which reads: “contains pork”
      and shall be written in red capital letters not smaller than Universal
      12 point within a red box

Food Additives Permitted

antioxidant, anti caking agent, acidity, regulator, artificial sweetener, flour treatment, agent emulsifier, stabilizer, thickener preservative, firming agent, color, flavor, flavor enhancer, sequestrant

Each imported additive must be accompanied by a Certificate of Analysis from the
producer in the country of origin


Expiration Date Restrictions

Foods must arrive in
Indonesia (at the latest) according to the following time schedule:

    • 1.5 years before the
      expiration date for food with a shelf life of 2 or more years
    • 8 months before the
      expiration date for food with a shelf life of one year
    • 4 months before the
      expiration date for food with a shelf life of 6 months
    • 2 months before the
      expiration date for food with a shelf life of 3 months

Documents To Be
Forwarded to Ministry of Health to Land Product

Photocopy of L/C, invoice, packing list, and bill of lading

Products Requiring a Halal Certificate

Foods containing:gelatin,tallow, shortening and/or animal fat

Certificate of Health Must Accompany Product

A Certificate of Health issued by the authorized body in the country of origin must accompany all food products