The Indonesian government has reportedly decided to postpone indefinitely the implementation of its new law which would limit maritime transportation of goods such as coal and crude palm oil, Reuters informed citing an official of Indonesian Coordinating Economic Ministry.
The new regulations were announced in October 2017 and were supposed to enter into force in April this year.
Based on the decree, commodities, coal, crude palm oil, rice and goods for government procurement, would only be transported for import or export by national maritime transport companies.
The move was directed toward bolstering the Indonesian-flagged fleet as the majority of the country’s exports of coal and crude palm oil are carried out by foreign-flagged vessels.
However, the decision seems to have caused a stir among buyers overseas as well as coal and palm oil exporters in Indonesia, with several contracts now said to be pending finalization.
According to Elen Setiadi, chief of trade and industry at the Coordinating Economic Ministry, cited by Reuters, once the vessel requirements are met and the service providers agree on the new rules they will become mandatory.
The measure was faced with severe criticism from shipowners across the international community as protectionist and in violation of free trade principles.
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.”
World Maritime News Staff