Indonesia: Vessel detentions

Port news

Published: 19 February 2019 Updated:

Credit to: Igor Grochev /

Updated: 27 January 2022

Over the past few months our correspondent Spica have 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.

They report that 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 and vessels should not anchor there without confirmation from a local agent. Spica has seen vessels being detained as far away as 60nm from the coast line, believing they are not in Indonesian waters.

Published: 19 February 2019

There has been an increase of incidents where vessels anchored in the waters around the island of Bintan, in the Eastern portion of the Singapore Straits, have been detained.

Bintan is a popular place to anchor ("waiting for orders") because it is close to shipping lanes and believed to be OPL Singapore but it is in fact within Indonesian territorial waters.

We are grateful to SPICA for having prepared the attached outline of the issue along with their recommendations.