The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation has approved a new regulation that requires all vessels sailing in Indonesian territorial waters to be fitted with Automatic Identification Systems (AIS). The Indonesian regulations also stipulate that all vessels in its territorial waters to always keep their AIS on.
The new regulation is aligned with the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, and
- aims to improve navigation safety and security within Indonesian territorial waters,
- applies to both foreign-flagged and Indonesian-flagged vessels, and
- takes effect on 20 August 2019.
Administrative sanctions may be imposed on vessels that do not comply with the mandatory AIS requirements. While non-compliant Indonesian flagged vessels may have their certificates or other formal sailing permits revoked, foreign flagged vessels will be subject to actions by port state control based on Tokyo MOU procedures.
Turning off the AIS, save where necessary to preserve the safety or security of the ship, constitutes a breach of the SOLAS Convention and heightens the risk of collision, damage to other ships, pollution and loss of seafarers’ lives at sea. However, as an increase in enforcement checks by the Indonesian authorities must be expected once the new regulation comes into force, ship operators are advised to highlight the new Indonesian AIS requirements to any vessels that trade in the region.
In the event of the AIS not working, Masters must inform the nearest Coast Station and/or VTS about the situation and record the same in the ship’s log book.
Any signs of manipulating AIS transponders could be considered ‘red flags’ for potential illicit activity. ‘Going dark’ in areas of heightened surveillance may require legitimate reasons to be evidenced to dispel suspicion of intentional breach of sanctions regimes.
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