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Indonesia announces relaxed formalities for foreign pleasure yachts – is it for real?

By Sue Richards last modified Nov 30, 2015 01:43 PM
Contributors: Isle Marine Services, Asia Pacific Superyachts, Cruising Guide to Indonesia
You may have already heard that the Indonesian tourist authorities want to attract more private yachts to its shores and in line with this have announced they are easing entry formalities following a Presidential Decree signed in September. The new policies talk about “the liberalization of CIQP (Customs, Immigration, Quarantine, and Port Clearance), while CAIT (Clearance Approval for Indonesia Territory) and TIP (Temporary Import Permit) will no longer be required”. Is this for real, or just hot air?

Published: 2015-11-18 08:00:00
Countries: Indonesia

Indonesia announces relaxed formalities for foreign pleasure yachts – is it for real?

Raja Ampat Islands

This news article details the new regulations http://www.indonesia.travel/news/detail/2041/indonesia-opens-its-extensive-seas-for-yachts-to-explore-wonderful-indonesia, as decreed in September 2015. Two months later, is this once again a matter of officials in high places making changes whilst the rest of the country remains in the dark?

Andy Scott, author of the Cruising Guide to Indonesia, sums up the situation quite succintly; "The success of this new campaign depends largely on the implementation of regulations at ground level.  It is one thing to hand down new government regulations from Jakarta but quite a different thing to enforce these regulations throughout the country.  Indonesia calls this ‘Sosialisasi.’  But the people want Regional Autonomy.  If individual harbourmasters continue to make their own local bylaws then really nothing has changed".

Cruising boats in Indonesia continue to report negatively on the amount of bureaucracy they are experiencing, and this can be off-putting, particularly when you have limited time on your visitors visa and have to spend days in official offices wiating for your papers to be stamped. It does indeed appear that it's taking time for these new laws to filter out to the far reaches of Indonesia.

Whilst the Government are pushing hard to change regulations for visiting yachts for the better, changes are slow. The new online CAIT registration system introduced earlier this year was a major step in the right direction, although this system is still not fully active.

Noonsite contacted a number of Indonesian yachting agents to find out if they believe anything is going to change for visiting yachts.

The message that all agents report loud and clear is that under no circumstances should a foreign flagged boat of any size turn up in Indonesia without a CAIT. General opinion is that the Indonesia authorities are notorious for announcing improved measures, none of which actually seem to materialise (such as the on-line application for a CAIT this year).

The same may well be the case with this latest list of policy improvements. What yachting agents in Indonesia are pushing for, is a more streamlined and easier set of formalities, rather than a complete overhaul. After all, the CAIT, whilst rather cumbersome in its application, is a necessary procedure.

Richard Lofthouse of Asia Pacfic Superyachts in Bali, explains why: “The CAIT is the only control measure Indonesia has as to who or what are in her waters, very important from a security point of view. If it was scrapped it would be such a catastrophe that it would drive boats away, not attract them.

“Currently, no boat can just show up at an Indonesian harbour and announce their arrival. Legally the harbour and Customs must be notified 48hrs beforehand. This requirement will not change in a hurry as there are simply not the personnel or facilities to deal with it. Many harbours are just not equipped to clear boats in, either they don't know or don’t understand or can’t follow the regulations.

“More importantly though, the CAIT controls numbers. If boats just start turning up and heading en masse to destinations like Komodo, where there are no dedicated facilities, we will end up with a flotilla of vessels in spots that will be ruined by too many people. This will cause friction, devalue the product and end in tears.”

Ruth of Isle Marine Services echoes this sentiment: “Visiting yacht skippers need to understand that the CAIT and Temporary Import Permit are the only way to regulate and manage every yacht that enters and sails in Indonesia. It is also one way we have of protecting our country. The CAIT and Temporary Import Permit are still mandatory".

Andy Scott recommends that visiting yachts “proceed with caution. New regulations in Indonesia do have a tendency to flip flop and it is too early to confirm these new policies with certainty. We would advise anyone heading this way to contact their local visa and yachting agent for the latest information”.

Find out full details of the paperwork required to enter Indonesia at noonsite´s Indonesia formalities.

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 30, 2015 01:31 PM

Published on behalf of Chris White, SY Charmar:
Indonesia, as has most Asian countries and indeed the rest of the world, recognises the value of marine tourism including yachts people as well as cruise ships etc.
Traditionally whilst Indonesia has sought the cruising yacht person, rallies etc and has spent a considerable amount on promotion and infrastructure to encourage this activity, the process has been complex with CAIT, (cruising yacht permits) and visas as well as limited time frames.

Well the Indonesian Tourism and Marine Departments are currently touring areas well known for gathering yachts persons and promoting their new easy scheme for yachtspeople choosing to visit Indonesia. I had the opportunity to participate in one of these workshops.

What does this mean? In essence:
NO more CAIT’s – yes they have been done away with!
Visas on entry free (but not if you are an Australian - see below!)
Massive de-regulation.
This is provided in President Decree 104/2015 and 105/2015.

President Decree 104 of 2015 provides for free visa regulation for 90 countries which means “just enter Indonesia and stay for 30 days”. But wait for the punchline – of those 90 countries included in this scheme including New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Vatican City, Japan, Canada and many other credible first world countries - Australia is NOT included.

President Decree 105 of 2015 is in regards to the ease and convenience permits for sailing vessels or yachts to enter Indonesia are acquired, in the field of customs, immigration and port. The convenience permit includes the liberalisation of CIQP (Customs, Immigration, Quarantine, Port Clearance) no more CAIT (Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory) and TIP (Temporary Import Permit). It also proposes expenditure and development of Marinas, Navigation Aids and Ports.

helena
helena says:
Nov 19, 2015 05:09 AM

This could be good news that Indonesia has finally relaxed its CAIT and temporary importation regulations. or is it? Of coarse the people who don't want to eliminate the cait are making money from the cait process.The process is rediculouse .I have been jumping through these hoops for 10 years now because I want to surf in indo.How could a 30 day cait process help Indonesia. it cant. people don't want to wait 30 days people on yachts want to be free and roam free . people also don't want to temporarily import there boat.if these are relaxed then people will come.
But if Indonesia also makes ais mandatory then they will lose most of those who are willing to visit Indonesia. most boats are in the 40 to 60 foot range at the moment visiting Indonesia. these boats do not need support like all the mega yachts do.
most yachts under 60 feet want to be off grid. none of the yachts want to be monitored 24 7 by any big brothers out there.
I am leaving Phuket because of AIS implementation and I will also leave asia if Indonesia does this as well.Indo is the last frontier in asia.
I will go where the wind blows if indo goes where Phuket goes..
Personally I will go to Indonesia in January. I will go to padang and I will not have a CAIT and I will not temporarily import my boat.I will quote the presidential decree and if they ask me to leave then I will leave. if they say I can stay but I need ais I will leave also.

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