In a time of free trade talks with the EU, it is not suitable for Indonesia to impose protectionist laws upon their shipping industry.
That’s how the shipping industry responded to a new bill presented by the Indonesian government. The bill basically dictates that some types of commodities can only be shipped by Indonesian maritime export companies.
So if the bill is approved by the Indonesian government, commodities such as palm oil, rice and coal can only be transported by vessels carrying the Indonesian flag.
As of now, the law has been put on hold, but it still meets criticism from the Danish organization Danske Rederier:
“This kind of discrimination and infringement of international rules is naturally unacceptable from a Danish perspective,” the manager of Danske Rederier, Jacob K. Clasen, tells Scandasia in an email.
“It is very pleasing that we recently was confirmed that the bill was put on hold by the Indonesian government. We will still follow the development closely in the time to come because it is important for Danish shipping that this kind of protectionist actions doesn’t fasten on the Indonesian market and other international markets,” he says and may refer to similar rules being discussed in Russia
The bill does not only meet criticizm from Denmark, but from international organizations as well:
Martin Dorsman, Secretary General in the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) said in a statement that “in a time when the EU and Indonesia are negotiating on a free trade agreement the adoption by the Indonesian authorities of such a law is unacceptable. In view of this week’s bilateral trade talks we have passed our concerns on to the European Commission and hope they will see a chance to question their Indonesian counterparts on this matter.”