Noorca M. Massardi’s Article on

Posted: February 19, 2011 in News

This is not about “the tax spike for imported movies” – which is the right of every country, and in that case, all foreign parties and especially, the United States of America, can not / could not decline that right. Because no matter how high the tax is, it will be charged to the good people of the Republic of Indonesia, as the ones who will enjoy those imported movies.

The real problem lies on the the new rule and interpretation of the Directorate General of Customs and Excise, on the former tax and customs rule, which is AN UNNATURAL “CUSTOMS FEE ON THE RIGHT OF DISTRIBUTION” THAT DOESN’T EXIST IN ANY OTHER MOVIE BUSINESS OR COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD!

Because customs fee are only applicable for PHYSICAL ITEMS THAT CAME FROM ABROAD

And, as an ITEM, every copies of imported films that enters Indonesia had already been charged with customs + pph + ppn = 23,75% of the ITEM’S VALUE.

Moreover, through all these years, the Government / Directorate General of Customs & Excise / Ministry of Monetary had already been receiving an income tax of 15% (Fifteen percent) from the exploitation of every imported movies that was distributed in Indonesia.

Last but not least, the Local Government / Town Government / District Government had already been receiving VIEWING TAX that goes around 10-15% of every imported/national movie title, as a part of the Local Government Actual Income (PAD – Pendapatan Asli Daerah)

Due to the Directorate General of Customs and Excise’s oblivious nature to the whole argument and objection, concerning the CUSTOMS FEE ON DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS, that was presented by the MPA and Indonesia’s Company Union for Imported Films (IKAPIFI) / Cinema 21, etc.As well as the highly unnatural rule that doesn’t exist in any part of the world, – because MOVIES ARE NOT A TRADE COMMODITY, unlike garment / automotive, etc, BUT A CREATION THAT CANNOT BE TRADED. The only rights attached to it, is THE EXPLOITATION RIGHTS, GIVEN BY THE OWNER OF THE MOVIE, TO THE DISTRIBUTOR / CINEMAS.  The viewers only had to pay the entry fee to enjoy it and they cannot carry the movie itself as an ITEM — AND THAT FOR THAT VERY EXPLOITATION RIGHTS, THE MOVIE OWNERS HAD ALREADY BEEN PAYING 15% (FIFTEEN PERCENT) IN INCOME TAX, TO THE GOVERNMENT — that MPA, as the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’s MOVIE PRODUCER ASSOCIATION decided :


New, imported movies and the ones that had already been paid for in customs, based on the former rules, WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED AND WATCHED IN INDONESIA (such as Black Swan, True Grit, 127 Hours, etc). As for the imported movies that are currently on the cinemas, can be brought down at any time, if the OWNER OF THE IMPORTED MOVIE declares to withdraw ITS DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS in Indonesia.

The immediate effects of the loss of the IMPORTED MOVIES DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS in Indonesia are:

1. The Directorate General of Customs and Excise / Directorate General of Taxes / The Local Government / Town Government / District Government WILL LOSE ITS YEARLY INCOME from imported movies, with the sum of 23,75% of the customs, 15% of income tax from imported movies exploitation, and the Local Government / Town Government / District Government will lose 10-15% viewing tax as part of the Local Government Actual Income.

2. The Cineplex 21 cinemas, with around 500 studios across Indonesia, as the party that was given the right to play imported movies, will lose hundreds of movie titles each year, while the current national movie industry can only produce 50-60 movies each year.

3. With the drastic decline on imported movies in cinemas, the existence of the cinema industry in Indonesia is griveously threatened.

4. The fate of Cineplex 21’s 10 thousand employees and their families hangs on the balance.

5. The consumer of imported movies in Indonesia will lose their rights on information and entertainment, which is protected by the law.

6. The food and beverage industry (café and restaurants) will be impacted, and so does the number of consumers who frequently goes to the shopping mall, parking lots, etc

7. The national movie industry had to increase its production, and copies of its movies tenfold, if they want to “exploit” the chance to fill the gap left by the absence of imported movies. Which in turn, they had to increase their capital, while the trend of Indonesian moviegoers goes down the drain.

1. If the Country / Government / Ministry of Monetary / Directorate General of Tax / Directorate General of Customs and Excise / The Local Government / Town Government / District Government don’t want to lose the yearly income from the customs / income tax of imported movies, then the UNNATURAL rule, which is A COMPLETELY NEW INTERPRETATION ON THE FORMER TAX RULE, MUST BE RECTIFIED / ANNULLED

2. If the Country / Government cares about the future of the cinema industry in Indonesia, which can not be separated from the future of the national film industry, then the Ministry of Culture and Tourism / Movie Directorates, must make an intervention on the aforementioned UNNATURAL rule, and report to directly to the President to annul that rule.

3. If the Ministry of Manpower cares about the possibility of mass work relief in the cinema industry sector, and its impact on the families, due to the aforementioned UNNATURAL rule, the ministry must also report directly to the President about that rule.

4. If the viewers / consumers of the imported movies in Indonesia don’t want this country to degrade back to the 1960’s, during the era where American movies are boycotted in Indonesia, and lose their RIGHT UPON INFORMATION and RIGHT TO RECEIVE EDUCATION / TUTORING / EMPLOYMENT in the film industry, as stated and protected in the UUD 1945. The people ought to express their objection through the various channels / media / social networks, so that the Directorate General of Customs and Excise will have to annul the UNNATURAL rule that threatens the film industry.

5. If this Country / Government of the Republic State of Indonesia / President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, don’t want to declared as the COUNTRY THAT FAILED TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF EACH AND EVERY CITIZEN (e.g. THE RIGHT UPON INFORMATION / RIGHT UPON EDUCATION / TUTORING), and don’t want to be EXILED IN THE INTERNATIONAL MOVIE INDUSTRY, then the President must order the Minister of Monetary / Directorate General of Tax / Directorate General of Customs and Excise to immediately CANCEL / ANNUL THE UNNATURAL RULE THAT THREATENS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY.

6. If the members of the DPR (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) and all the commission that controls the Industrial / Trades / Taxation / Culture and Tourism / Politics / Manpower / Education sector cares about this problem, they must call all the party involved to annul the aforementioned UNNATURAL rule that caused so much problems.

Regards and with deepest condolences,

Noorca M. Massardi.

(Cultural expert, Movie critic, Chief of GPBSI, Spokesperson of Cineplex 21, Head editor of AND (Amazing National Democrat) magazine, imported movie / national movie lover, Novel Writer, Poet, Journalist, Host: Live Talk show Jaktv : Komidi Putar Indonesia, every Friday, 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm. A citizen of the Republic State of Indonesia, twitter : @noorca, email:

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