by Setyawati Fitrianggraeni, Eva F Fauziah, Marcel Raharja
Q: What is the Tokyo MoU?
A: Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Asia-Pasific Region, known as the Tokyo MoU, was concluded in December 1993 at its final preparatory meeting in Tokyo. The MoU contains arrangements for Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific region. The members of the MoU also agreed to establish an intergovernmental organization whose functions is to ensure the effectiveness of the MoU. That makes the Tokyo MoU one of the most active organizations as it affects each country in respect to Port State Control (PSC). This organization consists of 21 member countries in the Asia-Pacific region including Indonesia (Accepted the Tokyo MoU on 1 April 1996). The aim of the Tokyo MoU is to establish an effective port state control regime in the Asia-Pacific region through the cooperation of its members and harmonization of activities in each country, improving maritime safety, and protecting the environment and maintaining working conditions on board ships.
Q: What is the “White List” category in the Tokyo MoU and how can a country be included in the list?
A: The Tokyo MOU issues an annual White List to acknowledge the compliance of a country’s ships with International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules and conventions in the ports of Tokyo MOU member countries. Inclusion of a country on the list means that this country’ ships have been considered compliant in every Port State Control inspection in Tokyo MOU member countries. 36 (Thirty-Six) countries are included in the Tokyo MoU White List category in 2023-2024. Other than Indonesia, the list also includes the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Switzerland, and China, to name a few.
In addition to the White List, Tokyo MOU also has two other categories, namely the Grey List and the Black List. The Grey List designates countries with vessels showing a higher number of non-compliance, signaling a need for improvement and heightened inspections. This list includes 16 countries including India, Saudi Arabia, and Croatia. Meanwhile, the Black List contains countries whose vessels have a history of severe and recurrent violations, potentially leading to detentions and entry restrictions. It includes 4 countries namely Dominica, Mongolia, Togo, and Sierra Leone.
To qualify for the White List , a country must comply with the IMO rules and conventions in the ports of Tokyo MOU member countries. To ensure that Indonesia is included in the White List, the Government of Indonesia must submit a survey and statutory certification of Indonesian-flagged vessels sailing or operating abroad to the Indonesian Classification Board or Badan Klasifikasi Indonesia (BKI). In case Indonesian vessels are detained by the countries they visit, BKI, as a Recognized Organization, if requested, can perform follow-up to verify the enforcement of international regulations. This will aid shipowners in rectifying any shortcomings. BKI will conduct a thorough review of the Port State’s findings and provide suggestions for corrective actions, be they permanent or temporary, to facilitate the vessel’s continued operation and the implementation of necessary enhancements.
Q: What are the benefits of entering or being included in the “whitelist” category for a country in the Tokyo MoU?
A: A White List status will certainly have a positive impact on Indonesia’s logistics costs. Especially in export-import activities, Indonesia can compete better with foreign ships. The general rule is that the lower detentions obtained, the lower the logistics costs incurred. As stated by the Indonesian National Shipowners’ Association or INSA (quoted on the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs website), a low number of detention vessels can save 252 million rupiah per detention day (Assuming a rental rate of US$/day for the Container/MPP/Short Sea Markets type is US$ 17,000/day) .
Becoming a part of the Tokyo MoU’s White List also signifies an improvement in the overall countries’ ship’s condition, making it more cost-effective for logistics. As the ship’s condition and quality improve, so do the inspection processes, port control quality, and the well-being of seafarers. This, in turn, enhances the trust of service users in choosing Indonesian-flagged commercial vessels. This trust is fostered by the reduced risk of detention of Indonesian-flagged merchant ships when transporting goods internationally. Prior to Indonesia’s inclusion in the White List, service users were apprehensive about the safety of their cargo on Indonesian-flagged vessels. These developments highlight the extensive efforts made by Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelagic nation, to secure its position on the White List.
Annisa Mutia Pranita, Budiman Djoko Said, and Panji Suwarno, ‘Indonesia’s Achievement on Tokyo MoU’s White List and Vision of Global Maritime Fulcrum’ (2022) 7(1) International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology <https://ijisrt.com/assets/upload/files/IJISRT22JAN648_(1).pdf> accessed 13 October 2023.
Administrator, ‘Tiga Tahun Berturut-Turut, Indonesia Masuk White List Tokyo MoU’ (Insa, 12 June 2023) < http://dppinsa.com/content/detail/tiga_tahun_berturut-turut-_indonesia_masuk_white_list_tokyo_mou#:~:text=Status%20White%20List%20Tokyo%20MOU,negara%2Dnegara%20anggota%20Tokyo%20MOU. > diakses 13 Oktober 2023.
*Administrator, ‘Tahun ini Indonesia Diperkirakan Akan Kembali Masuk Whitelist Tokyo MoU’ (Kemenko Maritim, 02 Februari 2023) <https://maritim.go.id/detail/tahun-ini-indonesia-diperkirakan-akan-kembali-masuk-whitelist-tokyo-mou#:~:text=Sebagai%20informasi%2C%20Tokyo%20MoU%20merupakan,negara%20di%20kawasan%20Asia%2DPasifik.> diakses 13 Oktober 2023.
Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Asia-Pasific Region (1993).
‘Tokyo MoU Organization’ <https://www.tokyo-mou.org/organization/>. diakses pada 16 Oktober 2023.
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