Indonesia – Detention of anchored vessels by the Navy

News & Insights 14 September 2021

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The club would like to draw the attention of our members to our previous news item and the recent increase in incidents of detention of vessels anchored in waters off Bintan, Indonesia by the Indonesian Navy. The recent trend...

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The club would like to draw the attention of our members to our previous news item and the recent increase in incidents of detention of vessels anchored in waters off Bintan, Indonesia by the Indonesian Navy. The recent trend shows an expansion in the area where the ships have been detained.

We would like to thank Spica Services, Indonesia for the following update:

  1. We at Spica have recently seen an increase of incidents where the Indonesian Navy have detained vessels anchored in waters off the island of Bintan, furthest to the East in the Singapore Strait.  Not only has the number of detentions increased, but the area in which detentions are conducted has also expanded.
  2. The area North and East of Horsburgh Light is a popular place to anchor, where vessels historically have waited to enter into shipyards, conduct crew change (under covid-19 it takes longer to coordinate and quarantine), await next employment, Charterers’ instructions, etc. However, these waters are within Indonesian territorial waters!
  3. Indonesia has for a long time now campaigned against illegal anchoring, threatening ‘national security’. Their basic claim is that foreign vessels with no business in Indonesia or waiting for later business in Indonesia have anchored up in the area. We see vessels being detained as far away as 60nm from the coastline, believing they are not in Indonesian waters.
  4. When a vessel is located within any territorial waters, it needs to be cleared in and out of that country, unless enjoying the UNCLOS “innocent passage” exception. This also applies if the vessel is only anchored and has no intention of ‘interacting’ with the country but just waiting. It is worth noting that Malaysia campaigns the same way on their side of the area.
  5. That is where the problem lies essentially, and also where the solution is. Appoint an agent, declare the vessel, and keep AIS on at all times.

Should you have any questions or need assistance, please contact our correspondent SPICA Services (Indonesia) or your usual club contact.

Category: Loss Prevention

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