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PIB Customs Bond for visiting yachts to Indonesia eliminated

by Linda Cartlidge on 19 Nov 2011
GM Richard Loftshouse of Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia discusses the welcomed announcement with Superyacht Captain in Bali of the Customs Department of Indonesia removing the PIB Custom Bond Asia Pacific Superyachts
PIB Customs Bond for yachts visiting Indonesia has been eliminated by the Indonesian Customs Department and will be replaced with a new and more amicable system next month. Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia was officially given the news in a meeting in Denpasar, Bali on 16 November 2011.

Richard Lofthouse of Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) Indonesia reports, 'The PIB Bond was a well-intentioned law that was often misapplied to visiting private yachts and superyachts. Whilst there are no recorded cases of any vessel signing off on the staggering bond - 48% of the value of the boat – it more often than not became the preamble to separate negotiations, none of which were in favour of the visitors.'

The PIB Bond was in fact only one of four options available to visiting yachts, noted Richard; 'However, it was the only one which involved a cash transaction and so became the preferred option of certain Customs officials. It quickly became infamous in yachting circles. To many familiar with Indonesia’s stunning cruising grounds, the news of the total removal of the Bond and the more relaxed regulations will be very welcome news!'

Asia Pacific Superyachts is the leading superyacht management company in Indonesia, bringing in many yachts ranging from 25m to 95m into Indonesia over the last five years. General Manager Richard Lofthouse, a strong advocate for the removal of the PIB Bond, states: 'Whilst we had relatively few issues with PIB and never paid any Bond, we did find the way in which it was applied was contrary to the spirit in which we believed Indonesia wished to welcome these visitors.'

'We welcome the new regulations with open arms and are increasingly positive about the progress we are making to help Indonesia realize her potential as perhaps the greatest cruising destination on the planet for our clients.'

The new regulations, which come into play from 3 December 2011, mean that PIB still has to be made at first port of call. However, without the bond, a guarantee letter from a legitimate and licensed Indonesian company is now required ahead of the vessel’s arrival at the first port.

Once the PIB has been processed, the vessel is cleared to cruise any destinations within Indonesia (as listed on the CAIT) and will be fully covered by this initial paperwork process. The PIB is extendable, along with the CAIT in multiples of three months up to a total of three years unbroken. This is clearly outstanding news for those who wish to base longer term in Indonesia exploring this diverse archipelago.

At the final port of call, the boat must be ‘exported’ (PEB) which has again been simplified into a relatively easy piece of paperwork which can be processed by the ship’s local representative.

Overall, there is a little more planning involved – although this is nothing that cannot be offset by using a well-organized local agent – but the new security and confidence that the new PIB paperwork gives is a huge step forward.

As Richard Lofthouse puts it, 'Our goal is to make Indonesian cruising as hassle free as possible. The new PIB format will not only be cheaper but will also give so much more flexibility. Whereas before we had to work in a grey area, the new regulation is much more black and white and I know that our clients, as well as everybody in the yachting community, will embrace this greater transparency.'

Asked to sum up his feelings after the briefing with Customs, Richard added: 'We applaud the policy makers and the Customs Department of Indonesia for recognizing that the Bond had created a negative perception of Indonesia and subsequently for acting to remove this obstacle. We have been championing marine tourism here for many years, sometimes in difficult circumstances. But this news represents exciting times for us and the superyacht community as Indonesia begins to realize her true Asia Pacific Superyachts website
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