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Jakarta backs down on controversial coal export plans

Indonesian authorities have taken a step back in bringing in a controversial ruling that would have seen coal exporters forced to use local shipping lines.

The current administration in Jakarta has vowed to develop maritime infrastructure across the archipelago, however the proposed coal export changes have come too soon with the national merchant fleet still too small and highly expensive. The government has put the law on hold for a year while it seeks dialogue with the private sector about how best to proceed.

The proposed regulation had stated coal exporters “shall use sea transport which is controlled by a Indonesian sea carriage company for their transportation activities”. Concerns had been raised that there would not be enough decent tonnage available to move the cargoes.

As it stands, 95% of the Indonesian coal export industry relies on foreign-owned vessels. Indonesia exports up to 35m tonnes of coal a month.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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