Vessel Detentions in Indonesia

21st February 2019

We have been advised by Spica Services of a recent change of enforcement policy by the Indonesian Navy. The agreed delimitation of the territorial seas in the eastern part of the Strait of Singapore was signed in 2014 and ratified in 2017:

Graphic courtesy of The Straits Times

It has been customary for vessels waiting for orders to anchor in waters around the island of Bintan but it should be noted these waters are within Indonesian territorial limits. Recently the Indonesian Navy has begun to detain vessels for “illegal anchoring”.  Local regulations require that, when a vessel is located within territorial waters, it must be cleared in and out of Indonesia. This also applies if the vessel is only anchored and has no intention of ‘interacting’ with Indonesia, such as cargo operation, taking supplies, crew change, etc. An agent must also be appointed.

Spica Services advise that they are dealing with 20 cases at present with vessels under arrest / investigation for violating the regulation by not reporting to the Harbour Master’s office when planning to anchor inside Indonesian territorial waters.  For many years it has been a common practice of Masters to anchor in this region without any action being taken by the Indonesian authorities.  This has recently changed with local authorities now rigorously enforcing the regulation, violations of which can lead to a fine as well as extensive delay to the vessel and may even be considered to constitute a criminal act.

It is therefore strongly recommended that Members:

  • Do not anchor in or around Indonesian territorial waters without confirmation that they may do so from a local agent.
  • In the event of any issues contact the Club or local correspondent immediately.

Spica Services have issued the following advice:

Indonesia - vessel detentions

Members requiring further guidance should contact their usual claims team or the Loss Prevention department.

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