In an interesting and possibly troubling development the Indonesian Ministry of Transport has announced that it will not enforce the IMO 2020 global limits on sulphur content in marine fuels on its domestic fleet until low sulphur fuel oil becomes more readily available in the domestic market. Although Indonesia cannot opt out of the new regulations, it can choose not to enforce penalties on Indonesian flagged vessels plying domestic routes. Penalties for noncompliance are to be established by the individual IMO member states.
Indonesia is made up of 18,000 islands and this decision is clearly designed to protect its national interest. However, the Ministry has highlighted that Indonesian flagged vessels in international trades will have to comply with the 2020 regulations.
It will be interesting to see if other countries decide to adopt similar forbearance as the 1 January 2020 deadline gets closer!