Compliance/Financial Considerations

If you intend to do any of the following in Indonesia, please contact Risk Services at or 642-5141:

  • Hire a local to work for you as an employee
  • Purchase or lease office or research space
  • Purchase or lease an automobile
  • Establish a long-term (over 90 days) or ongoing project
  • Conduct a clinical trial


Foreign activities may trigger many U.S. laws, including:

  • Import Controls
  • Export Controls
  • Tax Reporting
  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting
  • Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Anti-Boycott Laws

Import Controls. UC employees must adhere to U.S. import requirements, and may need to enlist the services of a customs broker, especially for shipments arriving by sea and subject to the Importer Security Filing 71730, also known as ISF 10+2.

Export Controls. Export controls may apply to advanced software and technology, research data, and other sensitive assets. UC’s Export Compliance FAQ contains useful information and can be found here.  Go here for the University of California plan for compliance with federal export controls. If you plan on taking or sending potentially export-controlled materials to Indonesia, consult the campus Research Administration Compliance Office at 642-0120.

Tax Reporting. The University and its employees may be taxed in foreign countries. The tax implications for operating in Indonesia may be found at the Internal Revenue Service’s United States-Indonesia Income Tax Convention. For further clarification, contact the Controller’s Office at:

Foreign Bank Account Reporting. The U.S. Treasury Department requires U.S. citizens with a financial interest in or signatory authority over a financial account in a foreign country, where accounts exceed $10,000 at any point during a calendar year, to report such accounts on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCen Report 114). Those needing to complete the form should contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803 for assistance. An IRS 1040 Schedule B form (Part III–Foreign Accounts and Trusts) must be filed by the signatory for any foreign bank account, regardless of the account balance.

Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions. In general, collaborations between University personnel and scholars at foreign institutions or organizations do not require export licenses unless they involve export-controlled or -restricted research or involve scholars in sanctioned countries. Before engaging in an international collaboration, the University needs to determine whether export licenses are required and to verify that the foreign collaborator is not blocked or sanctioned. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanctions. Depending on each country’s embargo or sanction program, activities may be prohibited without specific authorization or license. UC’s International Collaborations webpage contains additional information on this topic.   

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is intended to stop bribery. It prohibits offering to pay, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to a foreign official. The term “foreign official” generally includes any employee or contractor of a foreign government, and may include individuals employed by foreign universities. It is also unlawful to make a payment to a third party knowing that all or part of the payment will go to a foreign official. For more information, review the federal government’s Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If you need further clarification, contact the UC Berkeley Office of Legal Affairs at 642-7122. Transparency International’s 2018 survey of perceived public sector corruption rated Indonesia at 38 out of 100 (89th out of 180 countries reviewed, i.e.  somewhat corrupt).

Anti-Boycott Laws.  The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for oversight of laws prohibiting individuals and entities from participating in boycotts not approved or sanctioned by the U.S. government. The Export Administration Act requires that requests to participate in such boycotts or to conduct activities in any of the boycotting countries be formally reported to the Department of Commerce and/or IRS.

For other compliance-related issues, refer to UC’s International Compliance webpage.  


Foreign Bank Accounts. Employees wishing to open a foreign bank account should contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803. Requests to open accounts must be made through the Office of the President’s Banking and Treasury Services Group by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. 

Real Estate Agreements. Only employees with delegated authority to sign contracts on behalf of The Regents may enter into agreements, leases, or other contracts.  Foreign affiliates or operations must submit to the Real Estate Services Office property management agreements, personal property leases, or contracts with a term longer than one year or in an amount greater than $25,000 per year. The campus then seeks approval from the University president or designee. For more information, consult the Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of Foreign Affiliate Organizations and Foreign Operations


The US State Department's page on INDONESIA may be found HERE.

Personal Safety


Note: this page contains basic risk information. For more details, please contact the Risk Services Office at

If you are traveling to Indonesia on University-related business, please sign up for the University’s travel insurance program by going here. For more information on the travel insurance program, please go here.

Because everyone’s health is unique, we suggest seeking the advice of a medical professional before traveling internationally. Members of the campus community interested in protecting their health while abroad may schedule an appointment with the University Health Services International Travel Clinic

The quality of health care in Indonesia is poor. Emergency evacuation is strongly recommended for flare-ups of chronic illness and for acute illness and injury. Public health facilities often lack essential medicines, supplies, and equipment, and many staff members are poorly trained. The US Embassy provides this list of Indonesian medical providers but makes no guarantees of their quality. If emergency transportation is necessary and there are no private alternatives, dial 118 for an ambulance.

Air pollution can be a problem in urban areas. If you have a chronic respiratory condition such as asthma, please consult a medical professional prior to your trip and carry appropriate medications.

Although water treatment facilities exist, they are usually unable to meet demand. Travelers should assume that Indonesian drinking water is contaminated by raw sewage, industrial pollutants, hospital waste, or agricultural pesticides. To reduce the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort or illness, drink only bottled, boiled, or purified water. Travelers should use well-recognized brands of bottled water whenever possible.

Street vendors and other unregulated food distributors often have poor hygiene standards and should be avoided. Travelers should also avoid raw or undercooked meat dishes and unpasteurized dairy products, which frequently harbor bacterial and parasitic pathogens.

Travelers risk contracting a number of serious illnesses in Indonesia, including:

  • Malaria, transmitted by mosquito bites, year-round but particularly during rainy season (November through March). The risk is countrywide except for urban areas, beach resorts in southern Bali, and the island of Java (although there is a risk in Menoreh Hills).
  • Dengue fever, also transmitted by mosquito bites, year-round but particularly during and after rainy season.
  • Chikungunya fever, yet another mosquito-borne affliction. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rashes.
  • Japanese Encephalitis, transmitted via mosquito and generally associated with rainy season, rice cultivation, and proximity to pigs.
  • Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection. Avoid swimming anywhere but well-chlorinated pools.
  • Filariasis, a low risk for short-term travelers, but one that may lead to lymphatic dysfunction. The disease is transmitted via multiple mosquito bites.

Crime is a serious risk for travelers. Petty theft is common at transportation hubs, markets, and other crowded public places. The risk increases at night. Travelers are not usually targeted for home invasions and armed robberies, but there is some risk of violent crime to travelers in Jakarta and Bali.

Religious and ethnic strife periodically rend areas of Indonesia, the former most notably in the Maluku provinces and Poso, Central Sulawesi, the latter predominantly in Kalimantan and Papua provinces. Terrorism is a moderate risk in Indonesia. Islamist extremists have claimed responsibility for bombings in cities throughout the country, including attacks on the Australian Embassy (2004), Marriott Hotel (2009) and multiple sites (2016) in Jakarta. In some parts of the country, vigilante groups opposed to US foreign policy intimidate US citizens and demand they leave the country.

Outside tourist areas, LGBT travelers may face considerable hostility, particularly in Aceh and Palembang, where the local governments have introduced laws that punish homosexual behavior. 

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia. To optimize your preparation for an earthquake, review this guidance from the State of California. Post-earthquake tsunamis also occur in Indonesia. Travelers in coastal areas should familiarize themselves in advance with evacuation routes.


Criminal Penalties: All foreign nationals in Indonesia are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Criminal cases can take months or even years to resolve, and suspects can be held without charges for up to 60 days, and in many cases longer. If you are convicted of possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs in Indonesia, you may be subject to heavy fines, long jail sentences, and even the death penalty. Indonesian prison conditions are harsh and do not meet Western standards. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States regardless of local law. 

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. 

LGBTI Travelers: LGBTI status or conduct is not formally illegal, but local authorities sometimes take legal action against, or tolerate harassment of people engaging in LGBTI relationships or openly expressing LGBTI identity.  Some local governments have passed laws criminalizing LGBTI relationships. Foreign same-sex marriages or civil unions are not recognized as legally valid. 

Sharia Law: Sharia law is enforced in Aceh and may exist unofficially or through local legislation in other areas. The law is intended for Muslims and should not apply to non-Muslims or foreign visitors. You should be respectful of local traditions, dress modestly, and seek guidance from local police if confronted by Sharia authorities.