Index of Indonesia EHS

Framework of EHS laws and regulations in Indonesia.

Category Theme
Overall Overview, Environmental Standards
Indonesia, Organizations with Governing Environmental Regulations
Chemical Chemicals Control
Energy Energy Conservation
Waste Waste management
Air Air Quality Control
Water Water Quality Control
Soil Soil Pollution Control
OSH Occupational Safety and Health
Other Pollution Noise, Vibration, Offensive Odor Control

The Republic of Indonesia is a country in the south part of the Southeast Asia comprising over 17,000 islands and stretching over 5,000 km from the East to West. With the land area of 1.89 million square kilometers, the country is known as a country with the largest number of islands in the world. It has the largest Muslim population in the world: the total population is about 260 million people and about 90% of them are Muslims. Indonesian is the national language but diverse local languages are used in everyday life because it is a multi-ethnic country. The largest ethnic group in Indonesia is Malay. For the demographic composition, the country has a large young population with about a half of the country’s population is 26 years old or younger. The so-called “demographic bonus,” which means a condition in which the productive age population is increasing, is expected to continue in Ind onesia until 2030.


Legal system in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the constitution, which is the legal basis of the country and has the highest legal effect, was established in 1945 and amended in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. In terms of the environment, the constitution guarantees the right to enjoy a good and healthy environment as one of fundamental human rights. Second, as one of the basic policies for the country’s economic growth, it mandates to have the environmental perspective among others.

Though there are diverse forms of legal documents in Indonesia, the hierarchy can be summarized as below. With the constitution at the top, there are laws with multiple subordinate government regulations as well as also multiple minister regulations (or decrees) under each of the government regulations. The minister regulations are important because they specify the details for various requirements stipulated by relevant laws and government regulations.


In Indonesia, each of local governments at the province level and regency/city level) is given the right to enact its own regulations. Therefore, with regard to environmental issues, close attentions should be paid on such local regulations not to miss rules on waste management or wastewater quality standards for example that are already enacted in some areas of the country. Please note that Indonesia has 34 provinces (including Special Region of Yogyakarta), 416 regencies and 98 cities[1].


Law on Environmental Protection and Management

The legal basis for Indonesia’s environmental management is the Law No. 32/2009 on Environmental Protection and Management (hereinafter referring to as the “Law 32/2009″). The Law 32/2009, which has replaced the Law No. 23/1997 on Environmental Management (hereinafter the “Law 23/1997”), covers issues related to the environment in general, providing principals on environmental impact assessment, hazardous substances management, hazardous waste management, water/air/soil conservation, and environmental rehabilitation. The Law 32/2009, which was promulgated in 2009, has included “sustainability” as one of basic principles for the country’s economic development. This inclusion is a major difference between the Law 32/2009 and the Law 23/1997. The enactment of the Law 32/2009 has strengthened the changing perception among Indonesian people, who had put the top and only priority on economic development. In addition, the Law 32/2009 has incorporated many advanced elements such as strategic environmental assessment (SEA), environmental economic methodology, ecoregional approach, and environmental permit scheme. Another characteristic feature of the Law 32/2009 is the strengthened power of the competent authorities[2] and the increased penalties[3].

The Law No. 32/2009 also sets penalties for environmental violations in detail. For violations of the Law (or its subordinate regulations), the penalties listed in the Table below are imposed. The maximum fine is 15 billion rupiah (about 1.07 million USD). The Law 32/2009 also allows to impose business closure as an additional penalty (Article 119). As seen above, penalties for environmental violations in Indonesia are far stricter compared to those of other ASEAN member countries. So close attention should be paid on the environmental compliance.

Provisions Violation Punishment
Article 98 Intentionally committing action causing air or water quality standard to be surpassed Fine: Rp. 3–10 billion
Imprisonment: 3–10 years
Article 99 Causing air or water quality standard to be surpassed by negligence Fine: Rp. 1–3 billion
Imprisonment 1–3 years
Article 100 Violating wastewater or emission quality standard more than once Fine: up to Rp. 3 billion
Imprisonment: up to 3 years
Article 102 Treating hazardous and toxic substances (“B3”) without required permission Fine: Rp.1-3 billion
Imprisonment: up to 3 years
Article 103 Producing hazardous and toxic wastes (“B3 wastes”) but not treating them as required by legislation Fine: Rp. 1-3 billion
Imprisonment: up to 3 years
Article 107 Importing B3 that are forbidden by legislation to the territory of Indonesia Fine: Rp. 5-15 billion
Imprisonment: 5–15 years
Article 109 Running business without environmental permission required by legislation Fine: Rp. 1-3 billion
Imprisonment: up to 3 years

Under the Law 32/2009, various government regulations have been set on the management of chemical substances, wastes, water quality and air quality. There are also ministerial regulations/decrees under each government regulation stipulating detailed rules for implementing the regulations. In fact, to ensure the compliance with environmental regulations in Indonesia, it is critical to confirm mandated threshold values, documents to be submitted, application forms to be used, etc. that are set in various ministerial regulations/decrees. The hierarchy of these legal documents is as shown below. See the relevant section for details on each.

  • Law No. 32/2009 on Environmental Protection and Management
    A fundamental environment law of Indonesia, which regulates the environmental management in general.
    It also stipulates penalties specifically.

      • Governmental Regulation No. 74/2001 on Hazardous and Toxic Substances Management
        A fundamental regulation for chemicals control. It regulates B3 throughout its entire life from import, production, transportation, distribution, storage, use, to processing.

          • Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry No. 36/2017 on Procedure about Registration and Notification of Hazardous and Toxic Substances

and others.

      • Governmental Regulation No. 101/2014 on Hazardous Waste Management
        Controls the management of hazardous and toxic wastes (B3 wastes). It stipulates a list of hazardous wastes, manifests, and storage requirements.

          • Decree of Head of Environmental Impact Management Agency No. 2/1995 Concerning Procedures and Requirements for a Hazardous and Toxic Waste Manifest
          • Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry No. 101/2018 on Guidelines for Rehabilitation of Soil Contaminated with Hazardous Wastes (B3 Wastes)

and others.

      • Governmental Regulation No. 82/2001 on Management of Water Quality and Control over Water Pollution
        It stipulates a wide range of requirements to prevent water pollution. It sets the inland water quality standards.

          • Decree of the Minister of Environment No. 5/2014 Concerning the Wastewater Quality Standards

and others.

      • Governmental Regulation No. 41/1999 on Air Pollution Control
        It defines a wide range of requirements for air pollution control. Refers to both stationary and mobile emission sources. It defines specific air quality standards.

          • Decree of the Minister of Environment No. 13/1995 Concerning Emission Standards for Stationary Sources
          • Decree of the Minister of Environment No. 48/1996 Concerning Noise Level Standards
          • Decree of the Minister of Environment No. 49/1996 Concerning Vibration Level Standards
          • Decree of the Minister of Environment No. 50/1996 Concerning Offensive Odor Level Standards

and others.



In addition to Law No. 32/2009, laws governing EHS include the Laws on Solid Waste Management, Energy, Occupational Safety, and Manpower. The below indicates the overview of each law:

LAW Overview
Law on Municipal Waste Management Law No. 18/2008. This Law controls management of general wastes including household garbage. Food wastes, paper wastes, used cans, used plastic bottles produced by factories or other industrial sites are also regulated by this Law and its subordinate regulations.
Law on Energy Law No. 30/2007. This Law comprehensively controls the energy management in the country. Under this Law, a government regulation on energy saving and several ministerial regulations on energy efficiency (e.g. energy management at factories and buildings, energy efficiency labels for electrical appliances) have been enacted.
Law on Occupational Safety Law No. 1/1970. This Law aims to ensure occupational safety of workers. It covers not only safety measures at factories (e.g. prevention of occupational injuries, fire prevention, and protective equipment for workers), but also those at construction and oil and gas development sites.
Law on Manpower Law No. 13/2003. This Law controls labor in general (employment, wages, labor-management relations, dismissal, etc.) with Articles 86 and 87 stipulating occupational safety and health of workers.

[1] Japan Bank for International Cooperation, “The Investment Environment in Indonesia”

[2] Regarding environmental crimes, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry investigators are given the same authority as police investigators (Article 94 of the Law 32/2009)

[3] The penalties under Law 32/2009 are far stricter than those under Law 23/1997. So it caused a huge controversy across the country at the time of promulgation. For example, in March 2010, industry groups of oil and mining companies expressed their opposition to the Law 32/2009, saying the penalties would be too strict and hinder their operations. In addition, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources also requested to postpone the enactment of the Law.

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