Fintech-based lending in Indonesia grew rapidly in 2019. Various crowdfunding models (in particular, peer-to-peer lending) emerged and gave the regulatory authorities a new focus for their attention. In this regard, the Financial Services Authority issued a number of new regulations concerning equity funding, digital financial innovation in the financial services sector, standing facilities, money markets and open operations.
After fining numerous companies for late notification of mergers, consolidations and acquisitions in recent months, the new commissioners of the Indonesian Competition Commission who took office in May 2018 have once again shown their commitment to a more active enforcement of merger control rules by introducing new merger control guidelines.
Despite being mandated by Article 66 of the Trade Law, which entered into force in 2014, a government regulation specifically focused on e-commerce has only recently been issued after having been under discussion since 2015. This article describes the key aspects of the regulation that directly affect e-commerce operators and consumers.
A new regulation on integrated mortgage services through electronic systems recently came into effect. The regulation aims to improve mortgage services by improving disclosure, punctuality, simplicity and affordability (among other things) and adapting mortgages to reflect changes in law, technology and the public's needs.
After a 10-year delay, a presidential regulation has finally been issued to give effect to key language provisions of the Law on the National Flag, Language, Coat of Arms and Anthem. Of primary interest to businesses are the provisions on contractual language, as they refer to the controversial requirement that agreements involving an Indonesian party must be written in Indonesian and that agreements involving a foreign party must also be written in the national language of the foreign party or in English.
The minister of manpower recently amended the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Regulation on the Requirements for Outsourcing, simplifying manpower outsourcing requirements to reflect current needs. The main highlight of the changes is that the required Manpower Office approval can now be obtained online and transferred using the online single submission system. Further, the time limit for registering a manpower outsourcing agreement with the Manpower Office has been removed.
In general, the methods used to resolve commercial disputes in Indonesia are litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The resolution of commercial disputes through arbitration or ADR (eg, mediation) is generally governed by the Law Concerning Arbitration and ADR, which recognises the principle of competence under which the district courts have no jurisdiction to try disputes between parties bound by an arbitration agreement.
The Ministry of Manpower recently issued Decree 228/2019 on Certain Positions Permissible for Foreign Employees, which came into effect on 27 August 2019 and revoked all prior relevant decrees on this matter. The appendix to Decree 228/2019 provides a list of positions and business fields in which foreign employees can be employed. The list will be evaluated every two years (or as needed).
The Supreme Court has issued a new regulation on e-litigation which significantly expands the scope of earlier regulations and envisages the eventual development of a full-blown electronic court system, which would mean that proceedings could be commenced, court fees paid, documents and pleadings submitted, hearings conducted and judgments pronounced electronically.
Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) recently issued a new regulation that amends BKPM Regulation 6/2018, which sets out guidelines and procedures for licensing and facilities under Indonesia's foreign direct investment (FDI) regime. The most significant changes include the reaffirmation that certain FDI companies must comply with divestment obligations and the confirmation that shareholding foreign directors and commissioners are exempt from the normal expatriate employment rules.
The start of 2019 saw a renewed attempt by the government to compel exporters of natural resources-based commodities to repatriate their export earnings and deposit them in the Indonesian financial system with the issuance of new rules in this regard. The minister of finance has now established penalties for non-compliance with these rules.
The Ministry of Laws and Human Rights Regulation on the Settlement of Disharmony between Laws and Regulations through Mediation recently took effect. The regulation reinstates the possibility to settle disputes concerning laws and regulations outside the courts through the introduction of mediation, including disputes over ministerial regulations, non-ministerial government institution regulations, non-structural institution regulations and regional laws and regulations.
The Indonesia National Board of Arbitration (BANI) was established in 1977. In 2016 the Ministry of Law and Human Rights created BANI Pembaharuan (ie, the Renewed BANI), which claims that it is a revised version of the original BANI. However, the original BANI does not recognise the Renewed BANI and claims that it has been using the BANI name unlawfully. This duality could create uncertainty when commercial parties wish to appoint BANI as their dispute settlement forum.
Bank Indonesia recently issued an umbrella regulation on the application of prudential norms. As with the now revoked Regulation on Offshore Loans in the Banking Sector (as amended), Regulation 21 stresses the importance of compliance with prudential norms for maintaining macroeconomic and financial system stability. However, while the previous regulation's scope was confined to offshore bank loans, Regulation 21 encompasses "offshore bank debt and FX-denominated other bank liabilities".
Leasing is an easy way for businesses to acquire office space in a prime location and helps them to free up working capital. Thus, a carefully prepared lease agreement is invaluable for the lessee and lessor. As a number of issues may be encountered when leasing a building for office space, it is important to consider these ahead of time.
The Financial Services Authority recently issued a new regulation which provides a framework to establish the Securities Finance Agency (SFA). The agency aims to boost transaction volumes and liquidity in the Indonesian stock market, particularly by encouraging margin trading and short selling. Upon its establishment, the SFA will provide securities financing to brokerage firms.
Government Regulation 1/2019 requires exporters in the natural resources sector to repatriate their forex-denominated export earnings to Indonesia. Thus, forex-denominated export proceeds in the mining, plantation, forestry and fisheries sectors must be deposited in the Indonesian financial system. Overall, the regulation is clearly intended to bolster Indonesia's balance of payments situation, which has worsened considerably over the past year.
The online single submission (OSS) system constitutes a significant overhaul of Indonesia's business and investment licensing regime. Although much later than scheduled, responsibility for the OSS has now officially transferred to the Investment Coordinating Board. The government made it clear from the outset that the OSS would take time to perfect. Although the OSS works reasonably well for the most part, a number of problems remain.
A number of anti-corruption developments took place in Indonesia in 2018. For example, the Government Regulation on Public Participation in the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption was issued in order to incentivise more whistleblowers to come forward and encourage public participation in the fight against corruption. Further, the Corruption Eradication Commission brought its first-ever prosecution against a corporation.
Indonesian entities must comply with certain requirements and follow a specific procedure when hiring foreign employees. The requirements and procedure used to be provided for in Minister of Manpower (MOM) Regulation 16/2015, as amended by MOM Regulation 35/2015. However, in 2018 the MOM issued a new regulation, which introduced a requirement to obtain a notification from the MOM when hiring foreign employees.