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The Indonesian ‘Green Book’- The on-Going Story

By Val Ellis last modified May 30, 2010 08:46 AM

Published: 2010-05-30 08:46:00
Countries: Indonesia , Singapore

Posted 20th May 2010

Right, the "Green Book" I refer to is another anomaly. It has been set up to ease visiting the Riau Group of Islands, from Singapore. (The Riau's are only 20 nm away). It is a kind of "localised" C.A.I.T.

In April 1995, the Riau Island Multiple re-entry permit was initiated to allow foreign registered pleasure boaters, with relevant documents, easy access to a specified area of the Riau Island Group. The new system allows boats who have signed up to this "Gateway Scheme" to visit the area with minimum beaurocracy for up to 12 months at a time (multi-entry, not permanently!) without having to apply for a new permit each visit.

The permit, or Green Book is renewable on an annual basis. The only port of entry in Indonesia is Nongsa Point Marina, Batam.

The permit is issued from the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, and nominally covers 00 deg 10' N to 01 deg 20' N, 103 deg 30' E to 105 deg 00' E.

There is a sole agency in Singapore, details below, that handles the paperwork on behalf of the applicant, for a fee (about S$50). A valid certificate of insurance, showing the insured value, is required, as is some form of certificate of competency. In my case a R.Y.A. I.C.C. was acceptable. To ease the passage, I took scanned, coloured copies of all the required documentation, together with the originals. All documents must be valid for the period of the visit.

The sole Agency is:-
Golden Image Services Pte. Ltd.
Block 531 Upper Cross Street,
#04-31 Hong Lim Complex,
(The #04-31 refers to forth floor, unit 31)
Singapore 050531
[email protected]

The contact is Maria Da Silva.
The agency is quite easy to find from "Chinatown" (NE4) MRT station.

It should be noted that Indonesian Regulations insist that the Indonesian Courtesy Flag must be larger than the vessels national ensign, and must be flown higher than the vessels national ensign!

Having said all that, we have used the scheme, and have not been very impressed with the service, so far. Our application was processed very quickly, which is unusual, but the issued "Green Book" has a map in the back of it showing the limits of the permitted cruising area. These limits do not include the Lingga Group that we particularly wanted to visit!

The Indonesian Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory (part of the paperwork) lists our next port of call after leaving Indonesia as Singapore, whereas we are going to Kutching in Sarawak!

When we visited Golden Image, to start the application process, we categorically stated that we wanted to visit the Lingga Group, and that we would be leaving Indonesia for Sarawak!

Maybe the system was set up for Singaporean boaters (i.e. "foreign" to Indonesia) and the rules are being "bent" to include all foreign registered boats, so whether this includes visiting "temporary" residents, like us, I don't know! If so, the next port of call after leaving Indonesia would logically be Singapore. We are visiting Golden Image tomorrow, so watch this space!

I hope this helps you sort the wheat from the chaff! Any queries, please get back to me, and I'll do my best to help.
Best Regards,
Jerry & Caz
Sailing Yacht Mandarina

Posted 25th May 2010

We picked up our permit today, the required changes being made to the Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territories (CAIT). This means that we can cruise the Ruia and Lingga Islands and clear out of Batam for Kuching in Sarawak.

The Sailing Registration Booklet (Green Book) still has the truncated map of the permitted cruising ground in the back of it, though. The staff at Golden Image state that this is not a problem as it is the CAIT that governs our cruising range. Ahem, we shall see!

This brings me nicely to Golden Image.

We were far from impressed with their service. The contact in the office is pleasant enough, but tends to confuse. Even the simplest question turns into a major confusion. For example, we have to send a copy of our crew list to Batam (Nongsa Point Marina) 48 hours before we leave Singapore. The contact stated that we have to send a copy to the Golden Image Office, as well, then states that they already have a copy! What I'm going to do is scan the crew list, and email it to the contact in Nongsa 48 hours before our departure.

Which brings me to another confusion!

The crew list states that we will arrive on such a such a date in our case 28th May 2010, which the Golden Image contact intimated was set in tablets of stone. The CAIT states that clearance at Nongsa (single journey) is valid from 28th May 2010 to 27th July 2010!

As we have been held up by the whole shooting match, we will probably clear out of Singapore on the 30th May 2010, and see what happens!

All in all we have made 5 return trips to Golden Image but have finally prevailed!

The advice I would suggest you enter on "Noonsite" is as follows:

(1) Ensure that all the required documents are valid for at least 6 months, this includes Insurance, Registration Documents, Passports, ICC, etc. Only common sense, but cuts out a potential problem. Also take the required number of copies of all documents with you. We took ours in colour, as I had scanned them and then printed out the required number.

(2) Clearly state that the required cruising ground covers:-
and Anambas

even if the applicant has no desire to cruise all areas, cuts out another problem! All the above are grouped in the Ruia Islands, even if the Linnga Islands are a separate group! And also clearly state your next port of call after clearance from Indonesia.

(3) Ensure that your Indonesian courtesy flag is larger than your National Ensign and that you fly it higher than your National Ensign.

(4) Getting the application forms etc. early is no real advantage, as originals have to be seen by Golden Image, also the "Signed Undertaking" is not included in the pre-delivered application package.

Be prepared to make at least two trips to Golden Image, as, from our experience, if it can go wrong it will go wrong!

The cruising limits I gave in a previous email are a little out of kilter with the (poorly) charted positions of the Linggas. I won't give the limits I have computed, as I might be wrong! But suffice to say the visiting sailor will be crossing the equator!

Best Regards,