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Best way to bring foreign money

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  • Best way to bring foreign money

    hello guy, i wonder what is the best way : i prepare my "traditional" wedding in indonesia, i need pay 45 juta and send it/bring it to my wife .

    What is the best way for "lower" the conversion and taxe ?
    bring euros ( free for me to take in my bank) and convert in airport or bank with some % taxe, or the good and secure way of western union (with the fee)? i am little worried about bring this cash on me from airport xD

    I know if you take money from ATM with visa , you have 3% taxe (and i can take only 4 juta every 7 day) ...

    I have see now the euro / indonesia conversion is about 1/11300, not the best rate since the begin of years ...

    thx for some piece of advice about that matter

  • #2
    1) I believe there is an upper limit to how much cash you can legally hand carry into the country. (US$5,000???) Trying to bring in above the limit risks confiscation.
    2) The charge for withdrawing cash on a credit card I believe does not apply to a debit card.
    3) The easiest way to remit funds (and exchange into rupiah) would be electronic transfer to a bank account in Indonesia.
    4) The foreign exchange spread (how much you lose to the bank) is less for electronic transfer than for cash - except if you have clean bank notes and use a good money changer away from the airport. But then see 1), above.


    • #3
      I just checked a Customs Declaration form and you have to answer yes or no to

      "Do you have with you: bank notes in rupiah or other currency equal to 100 million rupiah or more".

      Your answer will be no so there should be no problem.

      I have a dollar account and if I want to change a lot of money I take it in dollars cash from the bank and go to a money changer as they usually give a bit more than the bank.
      "[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.[/FONT][/COLOR]"
      George Bernard Shaw


      • #4
        We have been around and around on this before, but for my money, literally, the most efficient, effective, safest method is electronic funds transfer from an account in the USA to a US dollar account in Indonesia. From there small amounts can be converted into Indonesian Rupiah as needed.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gratilla View Post
          1) I believe there is an upper limit to how much cash you can legally hand carry into the country. (US$5,000???) Trying to bring in above the limit risks confiscation.
          There is a common misconception here. The law (Pasal 16, UU RI nomor 15 tahun 2002 tentang tindak pidana pencucian uang sebagaimana telah diubah dengan UU nomor 25 tahun 2003) says that any amount above IDR 100.000.000 in cash (or its equivalent in foreign currencies) brought in or out MUST BE DECLARED to the Direktorat Jenderal Bea dan Cukai which at its turn must declare it to the PPATK (Pusat Pelaporan dan Analisis Transaksi Keuangan). It isn't a painful procedure though it is an headache administratively. Any bank in Indonesia should be able to help in the matter. You can not just pop at the airport/customs with EUR/USD 200.000 in cash and checked it in but it ain't difficult nor impossible to deal with such situation legally. Mandiri are the boys to talk with.

          An excerpt of the law concerning the sanction if one omits to declare it.

          Setiap orang yang tidak melaporkan uang tunai berupa rupiah sejumlah Rp100.000.000,00 (seratus juta rupiah) atau lebih atau mata uang asing yang nilainya setara dengan itu yang dibawa ke dalam atau ke luar wilayah Negara Republik Indonesia, dipidana dengan pidana denda paling sedikit Rp100.000.000,00 (seratus juta rupiah) dan paling banyak Rp 300.000.000,00 (tiga ratus juta rupiah).

          More than 100 millions (ie around EUR 9.000) or its equivalent in any other currency, no declaration, fine of minimum IDR 100 millions and maximum IDR 300 millions.


          • #6
            Take a look at .
            The currency that you lose less when converting to Indonesian currency (Rp) is the US Dollar . The "spread" (difference between buy/sell rate) in my Indonesian bank (BNP) for notes is about 0.7% for USD (considering old notes - for brand new notes it is about 0.2%) , and for Euro , the spread is about 1.2% . For wire transfer , the "spread" (in 15/Jul/2010) was 0.166% for USD and 0.607% for Euro .
            I am using , now , debit card for withdrawing Rp from my account in my country . As I use HSBC's ATMs and my account in my country is also at HSBC , they give me a small discount and so I am losing about 4% in the transfer transaction . I try to compensate the loss choosing the days when the exchange rates are favorable at .
            I believe the withdraw limit depend on each bank and country because my limit is bigger than yours .
            For some countries in which one can upload cheaply by domestic transfer , can be a good transfer choice .
            Last edited by marcus; 16-07-10, 13:51.


            • #7
              somebody know if i bring gold, for example 500 grams which is worth +/- 25000 USD, affects also the declaration? out of the european union no problem, cos the customs handle gold bars as goods, not as cash or money. but what about the indonesian customs in denpasar?

              thx for your advice


              • #8
                Yes, it does. It won't be treated as cash, but as goods but still affects the declaration. The value limit for goods is quite low, though it is applied selectively. However I've little doubt that a gold bar would have to be declared.


                • #9
                  thx for ur quick response atlantis

                  i will arrive with my indonesian wife, our baby and a sosbud in my passport. later i want to apply for kitas.

                  is it a problem if i bring gold, for example for 25.000 or 30.000 Euro? i must pay some kind of "pajak"? or i will
                  have problems on my arrival in dps?

                  thx again for ur advice


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pakmar View Post
                    is it a problem if i bring gold, for example for 25.000 or 30.000 Euro?
                    I am used to carry in and out cash in amount superior to the limit of 100 millions and superior to the amount you indicate but never had troubles. The first time that I've declared it there was a mild attempt at convincing me that an administrasi fee had to be charged for the various form they asked me to fill but a smile and a clear statement that I was coming in as an investor and that I won't leave behind any money without goods or services that I ordered for were enough to chill out the custom officer who was trying. In most cases they just verbally asked me why I was carrying such amount and seemed to be satisfied by my answers. I firmly believe that attitude is what is important. If you sound hesitant or guilty you may awake the greed in them. If not, they won't bother. They are very good at guessing who they can prey on.

                    For Gold, I have no clue. Since it is an item that can be re-sold for a profit (unlike cash) it may be different. The best would be to contact in advance the Bea dan Cukai guys.

                    Note: I almost always fly in in Soekarno Hatta. I believe that Ngurah Rai custom officers are much more into business when it comes to foreigners. It would be interesting to have any input from Bali based users.
                    Last edited by atlantis; 10-07-12, 05:46.


                    • #11
                      Hi Goopa,

                      I have been through a similar situation to you very recently, and had the same dilemma. For the wedding funds I used a company called ukForex who were able to transfer the money direct into my wifes acccount, in Rupiah. Basically, you agree a rate with them, send them your money and the fixed amount then gets transferred into your wives account. No problems, takes a few days and no fee's either. (they make on the rate, though its a lot better than western union).

                      I realise ukForex not good for you, as your based in europe, not UK, but i'm sure you have similar companies in your country.

                      Recently though - I needed to transfer less that £1k which is ukForex minimum, and I found out from here that I can do this direct through my bank. (i previously thought this wasn't possible as my bank don't offer IDR as a currency on their international payments). I learnt from here that you can transfer Pounds, Euro's or Dollars into accounts in Indonesia that are Indonesian Rupiah Accounts. The bank in Indonesia just does the conversion. Obviously the rate isn't fixed but its much better than any other method i have found. (800rp to the £ better than western union, so about 1000rp to the euro better).

                      It took just two days to reach her account. I will never use another method, and think I may even use this option whenever we visit Indonesia in the future as it saves money compared to reguarly using ATMs.

                      ps... your comment on an ATM limit of 4m every 7 days? This is not correct, there is no limit in Indonesia as to how much you can draw on a daily basis, the only limits are per transaction (2m, 3 if your lucky), but this doesn't prevent you making more than one withdrawal per day. And the other limit, would be any limits imposed by your home bank.

                      And lastly - yes, the euro rate is pretty much terrible at the moment no matter what currency you are trading with, it just got a whole lot worse yesterday too.

                      Good luck.


                      • #12
                        In the past I have done some bank transfer from Canada to indonesia.
                        The first one was quite an headache.
                        Also what I send was $CAN, the rate to convert was very bad.
                        In the next I send US$, the change rate was very better.
                        La motivation vient en se motivant ~ Motivation come by self-motivation