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Cruising Indonesia: The Benefits of Securing an Agent in Advance

By Alison and Greg of SY Rex 1 — last modified Oct 25, 2012 11:19 AM
Alison and Greg Innes, of SY Rex 1, are currently in Bali, about to embark on the second stage of their SE Asia journey.

Published: 2012-10-25 00:00:00
Countries: Indonesia

From Rex 1, currently in Bali Marina, Benoa Harbour

My partner and I are about to embark on the second stage of our South East Asia journey and wanted to advise other cruisers about the benefits of securing a cruising agent for Indonesia.

Prior to leaving Australia in August 2011 after looking at your site I contacted Ruth from Isle Marine Services in Bali. She explained to me the different options on sailing through Indonesia. 

We then left Australia bound for the Louisiades Archipelago off Papua New Guinea and then continued around the top of PNG, across West Papua and down to Ambon, Komodo and to Bali. Our 54 ft Jeanneau yacht, Rex 1 sailed 5000 miles over 5 months and is currently in Bali International Marina.

Our pleasant Indonesian experience was only made possible with the assistance of Ruth from Isle Marine.

Emergency entry to Indonesia

Unfortunately we hit a large floating log 200 miles north of Jayapura and it damaged our shaft and propeller. Without any wind, we were forced to motor at 3 knots until we could reach the nearest port for repairs.  We had not yet checked into Indonesian waters and Ambon was the designated entry port listed on our cruising permit. Ruth provided all of the relevant details to enable us to check into another port.  When we arrived at Sorong we were with Immigration for 8 hours and she spoke with several officers on the phone to ensure we could enter the country to have the boat repaired. We cannot speak highly enough of all of the Indonesian authorities – they treated us with respect, were very welcoming, honest and friendly.

Leaving the boat for an extended period in Indonesia

After arriving in Bali, we met Ruth who assisted us with the necessary paperwork to enable the boat to stay in Bali, while we returned to Australia for a few months.  It is a very simple process which includes a valid Indonesian cruising permit (CAIT) and a valid temporary import from Indonesian customs – these can both be extended every 3 months. These permits cost approx. $250AUD every 3 months. The boat can stay in Indonesia for a maximum of 3 years.

Bringing spare boat parts into Indonesia

After speaking with many other yachties we were warned about bringing any spare parts back into Indonesia as the taxes and duty can involve several 100% of the part’s value. Many cruising sailors are unaware that there is a clause in Indonesian customs that recognises that your boat and parts are under temporary import from Customs thus negating the need to pay any taxes or duty on any items associated with the vessel. We were only aware of this after Ruth from Isle Marine provided the details.  We flew back into Indonesia this week with several bags of spare parts (worth thousands of dollars) and the entry process was very smooth.  This was only possible due to Ruth’s knowledge of the system, her attention to detail with paperwork and her contacts.  She arranged to meet us at the airport and had already briefed customs on our arrival.

We strongly recommend using Isle Marine Services in Bali for any cruising requirements you may have – the service is exceptional.
Ruth at Isle Marine Services
Phone : +62 361 996 74 51
Mobile : +62 81 238 478 50
Email : info@islemarine.com
Website : www.islemarine.com

Alison and Greg Innes
SY Rex 1

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