Shipping – Indonesia

Legal Updates
Shipping – Indonesia
11 July 2023

SSEK Law Firm partner Stephen Igor Warokka and associate Mutiara Kasih Ramadhani provide the latest information on port state control, marine casualties and owners' liability, cargo claims, maritime liens and ship arrests, passenger claims, ship-owners' income tax relief and the implications of Covid-19, environmental regulations and trade sanctions in Indonesia, in the Chambers and Partners 2023 global practice guide to shipping law.

Requirements for Ownership of Vessels in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the operation or use of a vessel requires registration and licensing. The owner of a vessel can register the vessel in Indonesia with a Vessel Title Transfer and Registrar Official (Pejabat Pendaftar dan Pencatat Balik Nama Kapal) appointed by the Minister of Transportation (MOT). For a vessel to be registered, it must have a minimum of seven gross tonnage (GT) and be owned by an Indonesian citizen or an Indonesian legal entity that is majority Indonesian owned. Article 7 of MOT Regulation No. PM 39 of 2017 regarding the Registration and Nationality of Vessels (MOT Reg 39/2017) provides that the following documents must be submitted for vessel registration:


  • proof of title on the vessel;
  • identity of the vessel owner;
  • taxpayer registration number (Nomor Pokok Wajib Pajak);
  • tonnage certificate (Surat ukur);
  • proof of payment for the transfer of title (balik nama); and
  • power of attorney (if an application is submitted by a proxy).

The vessel registration application is submitted online through the Electronic Vessel Registration System (Sistem Pendaftaran Kapal Elektronik – SPKE), and the Vessel Title Transfer and Registrar Official will examine the application within three working days to ensure the completeness of the documents. Minutes of the vessel registration will be issued if the requirements described above have been satisfied. As stipulated by Article 11 (1) of MOT Reg 39/2017, the vessel owner will then receive a grosse vessel registration deed.

Temporary Registration of Vessels

MOT Reg 39/2017 permits the temporary registration of vessels that are under construction in Indonesia or abroad. This temporary registration will be made in the form of a temporary registration certificate, which will only be issued when construction of the hull, main deck and the entire superstructure has been completed.

Article 160 of Law No. 17 of 2008 regarding Shipping, as amended by Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No 2 of 2022 regarding Job Creation (Shipping Law) prohibits the dual registration of vessels.


Excerpted from the Shipping 2023 Chambers Global Practice Guide, published by Chambers and Partners.

Find Shipping 2023: Indonesia here.

This publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance on the material contained herein is at the user’s own risk. 

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Stephen Igor Warokka
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