If you want to distribute or import sports nutrition products to Indonesia, you will first need to register them. In this article, we will walk you through sports nutrition registration in Indonesia as well as bring out some common mistakes made during the process and explain what preventive steps you can take to avoid them.
The sports nutrition industry in Indonesia
According to a market research analyst, Ken Research, the Indonesian fitness industry is expected to hit US$290 million by 2018, with an increasing number of gym and fitness facilities that have further fueled the demand for vitamins, diet pills, and health supplements in Indonesia.
However, despite that Indonesia is a rapidly growing market with the 4th largest population in the world, there is little competition as the sports nutrition industry is still in its infancy with only a few international players dominating the market.
Below are the brands registered at the time we are writing this article, and any brands outside these are not sold by the Indonesian laws and are at risk of being banned.
Ultimate Nutrition, Prostar, Ultimate Prostar
SCITEC, Scitecnutrition, Nutrabolics, BSN, Scitec, N.O. XPLODE, Prolab
Max`s, Musclemeds Carnivor, MHP
Ultramax, ASIC LAB 24
Alam Organik Makmur
Muscletech Nitrotech, AST VP2, Muscletech, Nutrex, Scivation Xtend, Power Crunch, Musclepharm Combat, Muscletech BP
You can, therefore, see the fruitful ground the sports nutrition market in Indonesia offers.
Sports nutrition registration in Indonesia
Sports nutrition registration in Indonesia, as well as cosmetic product registration and food registration, heavily depend on the classification of the products under the Indonesian Food and Drug Control (FDA), also known as Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan (BPOM).
Who can register sports nutrition products in Indonesia?
Importers and manufacturers located outside Indonesia cannot register their sports nutrition products directly. If you don’t have a company or an importer in Indonesia yet, you can take either of the following routes:
1) Set up a foreign-owned company
The first option is to set up a foreign-owned company in Indonesia. The maximum allowed foreign ownership for import and export companies is 100% and 67% for distribution companies. Note that import-export companies cannot distribute products, so they need to assign one.
2) Register a local or a nominee company
Another way is to set up a local or a nominee company (PT). Nominee companies do not need to comply with foreign ownership restrictions since the nominee is purchasing the shares through a loan agreement and the shares are pledged back to you, giving you full control over the company.
3) Appoint an importer or distributor
Your third option is to name an importer or distributor, which means that you will assign another company in Indonesia to be your importer or distributor. However, note that this means the distributor will hold your products for five years.
4) Appoint Emerhub as your nominee registrar or product holder
If you do not want to set up a company in Indonesia, you can also appoint Emerhub as your nominee registrar or product holder, and we will register your products using our company’s licenses.
Note that you can register each brand and product only under one appointed registrar, and the same product names cannot be registered twice. The next registration cannot be executed until the expiration, which is five years after approval.
As such, there are often many disputes between the appointed distributor and principal due to the non-ability to transfer the ownership of product registration numbers to a newly-appointed registrar.
Any disputes related to this can only be settled by the decision of the court in Indonesia, as also mentioned in BPOM regulations. Many of our clients prefer to have a resident registrar (nominee) through Emerhub service to avoid this complication.
Timeline for sports nutrition registration in Indonesia
The process of sports nutrition registration in Indonesia is carried out in multiple phases, and the expected total timeframe is from six months to one year.
Step 1: Audit
Before you can proceed with registering your sports nutrition products in Indonesia, you must first pass the warehouse audit, conducted by the local BPOM office. Without a warehouse, you cannot register any products in Indonesia.
Step 2: Preparation and submission of application
At this stage, you need to gather data from the principal, manufacturer, and registrar and also decide on which sports nutrition products you wish to register. The collection and preparation of all the required documents generally take 2-3 weeks.
Step 3: Assessment and evaluation by the BPOM
If BPOM accepts your application, they will issue an official payment billing for you to pay. This payment will allow you to go to the next stage – assessment.
Assessment by the BPOM can have three outcomes:
- Approval of the registration – the BPOM will issue it within 150 days of the evaluation
- Additional data is required – you have 50 days to submit additionals, can be extended for another 25 days
- Rejection – if you fail to provide additional information in a given time or your products don’t comply with requirements, BPOM will automatically cancel the registration process
Penalties for non-compliance
Importers and manufacturers that do not follow the Indonesian law for imported sports nutrition products will get penalties based on the level of violations. This could be a written letter of warning, a suspension of your imports or products or a termination of the importation of your products.
We highly recommend any importers that wish to import sports nutrition products to Indonesia to check with Emerhub as we can provide the required business consultation and also assist you with all legal matters.
Common mistakes with registering sports nutrition products
When registering food products, health supplements or sports nutrition products in Indonesia, we have frequently encountered some common mistakes made during the process.
#1 Selling before you get approval
If you start selling your sports nutrition products before you get approval or have a BPOM number, it allows the BPOM to ban your products and tarnish your brand name during their market audit, so be careful not to do this.
#2 Registering too many products at the same time
Being too ambitious and registering too many products at the same time is another mistake that companies tend to make. We strongly advise you to conduct the appropriate market research in Indonesia before deciding on the number of products to register.
#3 Not having a dedicated professional to assist you
Sports nutrition product registration in Indonesia is a very long process. It requires many follow-ups and physical visits to the BPOM and takes up a lot of your resources and time. Another mistake often made by businesses is not getting a dedicated professional to assist them with the registration process.
So get it right the first time by asking Emerhub to help you with the registration process. We will handle all your paperwork and make sure you submit the complete and proper documents.
#4 Getting your products stuck at the Indonesian customs
Getting your products stuck at the Indonesian customs is another problem that often happens. For everything to go smoothly at the customs, you need to get ready some essential documents in advance.
Emerhub can assist you in your processes in Indonesia and make sure everything runs smoothly via our importer of record (IOR) service:
- All imported sports nutrition products comply with local Indonesian laws
- Correct documentation of the products
- Payment of all duties, tariffs, and fees on your imported sports nutrition products
- Customs clearance goes smoothly
- Delivery of the products to the final recipient
#5 Entering into an exclusive distributorship
One of the options for sports nutrition is to enter into an exclusive distributorship with the appointed registrar in Indonesia. However, this also means a 5-year exclusive commitment with one distributor. One way to avoid this problem is to set up a local or nominee company or appoint Emerhub as your nominee registrar or product holder as we’ve mentioned above.
How to start with sports nutrition registration in Indonesia
The planning process of sports nutrition product importation is vital to the subsequent success of the products in Indonesia. Therefore, it is wise to ensure that you get a professional agency with years of experience to assist you throughout the whole process.
If you would like to find out more on how Emerhub can help you in your sports nutrition business in Indonesia, contact us via the form below.