Government Regulation 24/2018 entered into force on 21 June 2018 and established the integrated online single submission (OSS) system, which constitutes a significant overhaul of Indonesia's business licensing regime. The system aims to enable businesses to obtain all necessary central and local government business and operating licences online using the OSS portal.

Who can use it?

The OSS system is designed to be used by all types of private-sector business organisation – from limited liability companies to civil partnerships – across all economic sectors, with the notable exceptions of the financial services, mining and oil and gas sectyo. Licensing in the financial services industry will continue to be administered by the Financial Services Authority, while licensing in the mining and oil and gas sectors will remain the responsibility of the relevant ministries and, to some extent, the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

What has changed?

The benefits of Government Regulation 24/2018 are not confined to the establishment of an integrated online licensing system. The schedule to the regulation sets out comprehensive lists of the licences and technical recommendations required to carry out business in all major economic sectors (excluding the above exceptions). This inventory of licences and recommendations will make it much easier to identify which documents must be obtained from the government in order to carry out business.

Further, the schedule significantly streamlines the number of licences and technical recommendations required in many sectors. Overall, Government Regulation 24/2018 appears to be a reasonably comprehensive, well-thought-out instrument that should help to further improve Indonesia's ranking in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, where Indonesia's position has improved dramatically from 129th in 2011 to 72nd in 2018.

The regulation provides both incentives and penalties for ministries and government agencies in order to encourage them to properly operate the OSS system. The incentives include the prospect of budget increases, while the penalties include the possibility of budget cuts.

Further, ministries and government agencies must draw up business licensing standards encompassing the norms, criteria and procedures for issuing licences. This should make things more predictable for businesses, provided that these standards are made public.

The regulation also provides a mechanism for accommodating public complaints regarding such issues as abuse of power and establishes administrative penalties for provincial governors and local government chief executives and officials who fail to implement the system as required. Should there be prima facie evidence of criminality, the regulation envisages that this should be forwarded to the police or prosecution service for follow-up action. However, no penalties are provided for ministers who fail to properly implement the system.

Comment

Although the above changes have been welcomed, the OSS system remains a work in progress, with various bugs, glitches and difficulties emerging as it is rolled out. However, this is to be expected given the sheer number of economic sectors, ministries, central and local government organisations and sectoral regulations involved.

The OSS system is presently administered by the coordinating minister for the economy on an interim basis. However, a press release posted on the BKPM website on 19 July 2018 states that it will assume full responsibility for the system's administration in November 2018.

For further information on this topic please contact Giffy Pardede at Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho, Reksodiputro by telephone (+62 21 250 5125) or email (gpardede@abnrlaw.com). The Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho, Reksodiputro website can be accessed at www.abnrlaw.com.

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