According to a report by Reuters, Indonesia will not enforce the 2020 global rules mandating low-sulphur marine fuels on its domestic shipping fleet because of the high cost of cleaner fuel.
The Reuters report cites an unnamed Indonesian Ministry of Transportation official who is quoted as saying the price for fuel with a maximum of 0.5% is more expensive and will increase operational cost of the ship, that will affect the logistics costs and prices of goods because of the high cost of complying with new rules, Indonesian authorities will allow Indonesian-flagged vessels to continue burning marine fuels with a maximum 3.5% sulphur content in its territorial waters past 2020 without having to use scrubbers.
The official added that Indonesia, an archipelago with over 18,000 islands, will allow its domestic vessels to use high-sulphur fuel without scrubbers until the domestic supply of low-sulphur fuels improves. “We always put forward national interest as consideration in making the decision,” said the official. Indonesian-flagged ships plying international routes, however, will need to comply with the IMO’s global sulphur cap as will foreign-flagged vessels its waters, the official said.
Indonesia in 2012 acceded to the IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL Annex VI, which is the main international agreement covering all types of pollution from ships.
Reuters says in its report that ‘The IMO’s sulphur rules have faced some resistance because of the higher costs for the lower-sulphur fuel. Indonesia’s decision not to enforce the cap may undermine the IMO’s effort to limit sulphur emissions with are harmful to human health and cause acid rain. Indonesia provided the flag of registry for 9,053 ships of all types in 2018, according to data from the UN Conference on Trade and Development’.