Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan - Photo by the ministry.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia is targeting the implementation of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) technology to implement in 2020, to oversee foreign ships that cross the waters of the world’s maritime axis, maritime coordinating minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan told media in Jakarta, Tuesday (02/7).

The government expects that the TSS adapted from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is maximally used to increase the safety of the speed of ships passing mainly in the Sunda and Lombok strait, both have high traffic with passenger and cargo ships.

The technology is a scheme of the separation of traffic lanes for ships in a crowded and narrow shipping lane and many navigational obstacles, such as shipping lanes when entering a port or strait.

“Regarding the problem of how we control ships passing on us, nuclear submarines, that’s the way. We now as a maritime country we really want to also control internationally about foreign vessels that are here,” the minister said.

Pandjaitan expressed the government’s commitment to ensure shipping safety and the protection of the maritime environment. “Because if we don’t set the control warning to the ship. Of the 53,000 or 40,000, it is crossing. And if we don’t do that it can risk accidents,” he adds.

Then, he continued, with the use of TSS it is also an important value to increase state revenues. Because, with the security provided by TSS to cross in Indonesia, it can increase the interest of foreign vessels to dock at Indonesian ports.

“That is intangible income for us. That is, we are a service to the international community that ships passing through the Sunda and Lombok Strait is guaranteed safe because we manage the traffic. We don’t have many crossing boats, right, people’s boats, we arrange everything. So they pass safely, not affected,” he said.

TSS technology is targeted to be implemented in July 2020. Initiations have been submitted by the Ministry of Transportation and the Indonesian Navy since two years ago.

Indonesia is a member of Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA), and on 15-17 April 2019, at the 20th session of APHoMSA took place in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, the country presented its “Update on Indonesia’s Proposals on the Establishment of New Traffic Separation Schemes and Associated Routeing Measures in Sunda and Lombok Straits”.

On the 6th session of Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), held in IMO headquarter, London, on 16-25 January 2019, the Sub-Committee approved the establishment of TSS and associated routing measures and of precautionary areas with recommended directions of traffic flow in the Sunda and Lombok Straits.

The IMO approval of TSS in the Sunda and Lombok Straits establishment is an achievement for Indonesia after waiting for more than two years.

Transportation minister Budi Karya Sumadi also explained that the Indonesian Government is preparing the local and national regulations related to operations and technical affairs to support shipping safety at the established TSS, as well as coordinating and consolidating with agencies and stakeholders related to TSS adoption in the two straits.

On that basis, continued Arif, Indonesia hopes to share the experiences and views on TSS implementation in the Sunda and Lombok Straits with APHoMSA member state.

Previously, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore had TSS in the Malacca Strait. However, the TSS in the Malacca Strait is a different arrangement considering that it is owned by three countries, while for the TSS in the Sunda and Lombok straits, Indonesia has the authority to regulate it. This makes Indonesia the first archipelagic country in the world to have TSS through endorsement by IMO and inside the Indonesian Archipelago Sea Channel (IASC).

Furthermore, with the trust to regulate TSS in the Sunda and Lombok strait which is also the IASC, it shows that Indonesia has the active role in the field of international shipping safety and security, and it also strengthens Indonesia’s identity as the World Maritime Axis.

“This is proof that Indonesia takes seriously of world shipping safety and security, as well as the protection of the maritime environment, especially in Indonesian waters,” Sumadi adds.

For information, APHoMSA forum was established in 1996 to promote safe, secure shipping and a clean marine environment within the Asia-Pacific region.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com