Earlier in the year, North Club had informed that an increasing number of vessels are being detained by Indonesian authorities while at anchor in the waters around the island of Bintan.
Bintan is a popular place for vessels to anchor because of its location near the shipping lanes. However, the anchorages are within Indonesian territorial waters, and at least 20 vessels have been detained apparently for 'illegal anchoring'.
As of now, there is no procedure to deal with such arrests, which have caused confusion and delays due to a lack of information or direction from the Indonesian authorities.
Namely, Indonesia requires that vessels located inside their territorial waters that are not on innocent passage, for example anchoring, performing a crew change or conducting STS operations, are required to be cleared in and out of Indonesia.
Operators should keep in mind that activities like crew change and cargo operations within Indonesian waters are only allowed for Indonesian shipping companies with Indonesian flagged vessels manned by Indonesian crew. In fact, the Indonesian navy have been strictly implementing such laws and this has included the reported use of live ammunition towards commercial vessels.
Therefore, operators are recommended to:
- Do not anchor in or around Indonesian territorial waters without confirmation from a local agent;
- In the event of any issues contact the club or local correspondent immediately.