Indonesia – Update on the Ban on Exports of Unrefined Mineral Ores from 12 January 2014

9 January 2014

Members will already be aware of the Indonesian Regulation banning the export of unrefined mineral ores (“the Regulation” - click here for the News Alert of 3 May 2012 for further details). Whilst the Regulation was originally due to take effect in 2012, the Indonesian Authorities subsequently delayed the implementation of the Regulation until 12 January 2014 due to concern over the possible absence of sufficient refining capability to cope with export supply/demand (see the Club's News Alert of 23 December 2013, click here).

Spica International, a correspondent in Jakarta, Indonesia, has reported that the local press has now confirmed that the ban on exports of unrefined mineral ores will take effect as planned, but that the Indonesian Government is considering exceptions so as to continue to facilitate international trade. No exceptions have been officially announced to date but it has been reported in the local press that these will include (i) allowing mining companies that are committed to building smelters to continue to export unrefined minerals; and, (ii) the reduction of the minimum purity rates required for minerals that can be exported (the article from The Jakarta Post can be accessed by clicking here).  

Accordingly, Members whose vessels are due to load unrefined mineral ore cargoes from Indonesian ports which do not have the relevant permits/licences allowing export on 12 January 2014 and beyond, should ensure that the vessel completes loading before 12 January 2014.

Where it is not possible for the vessel to complete loading before 12 January 2014, we understand from the Correspondent that the Government has stated (via the Press) that any ships that have part loaded mineral ore cargoes when the ban comes into effect will be required to sail ‘as is’. However, despite this indication, the Correspondent cautions that from past experience there is no guarantee that vessels that are part loaded at an Indonesian port on 12 January 2014 will be allowed to sail, as vessels that were part loaded when the Regulation was originally due to come  into effect in 2012 were detained (some for a number of months) and fined.

Finally, the Correspondent recommends that Members whose vessels are due to load mineral ore cargoes from Indonesian ports on or after 12 January 2014 should take steps to satisfy themselves that the shippers are in possession of valid licenses to export the cargo in accordance with the Regulation.

For further assistance and/or clarification in relation to the above, Members should approach their usual Club contact.