63 - 08/98 - Waiting off port limits, Western Approach - Singapore

Members are reminded that the waters of the western approach to Singapore are not properly designated anchorages or waiting areas for Singapore and that ships anchoring in this area (usually awaiting orders or taking provisions whilst seeking to avoid port charges) are vulnerable to intervention from the local authorities.

In the past, the Singapore Port Authority has acted to prevent ships anchoring in the approaches and obstructing vessels calling at Singapore.  Likewise, last year some vessels encountered intervention by the Indonesian authorities resulting in significant fines. Recent reports indicate that the Malaysian authorities are also intent on acting against ships waiting in the waters of the approaches over which they exercise jurisdiction, where those ships are perceived as a hazard to navigation. Recent interventions resulted in the confiscation of ships' certificates pending determination of further action by the authorities, which has included payment of port charges for the period of the stay.

Members should be aware that substantial delay might be encountered if waiting in these waters leads to an intervention against the ship by any one of the interested regional authorities. Furthermore, the charges which it is hoped to avoid may well have to be met after all.

Source of Information: 

Singapore office

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