ECSA: Indonesia’s New Shipping Law Raises Concerns

Illustration; Image Courtesy: MOL

European shipowners expressed their concern over the recently adopted decree on maritime transportation of certain goods in Indonesia.

As promulgated on October 31, 2017, and entering into force 6 months from that day, the new law imposes that commodities, coal, crude palm oil, rice and goods for government procurement, can only be transported for import or export by national maritime transport companies.

European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) said that the new law is “a clear measure of protectionism and will impact seriously European shipping companies that have longstanding access to this market.”

European shipowners stressed that this decree goes against fundamental principles of free trade.

“In a time when the EU and Indonesia are negotiating on a free trade agreement the adoption by the Indonesian authorities of such a law is unacceptable,” Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General, said.

ECSA therefore called upon the EU to approach the Indonesian authorities in order to have this law taken off the table, and to ensure inclusion of strong principles on maritime transport services in any future free trade agreement with Indonesia that will avoid any of such rules to re-emerge.

“In view of this week’s bilateral trade talks we have passed our concerns on to the European Commission and hope they will see a chance to question their Indonesian counterparts on this matter,” Dorsman added.

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