SURVEILLANCE OPERATIONS ON SHIPS ANCHORING ILLEGALLY IN MALAYSIAN TERRITORIAL WATERS
Published: 1 April 2021
Our Singapore office have been informed that Malaysian authorities recently launched a 10-day operation known as ‘Ops Jangka Haram’ (which translates operation anchoring illegally) to crack down on foreign vessels that are suspected of anchoring illegally in Malaysian territorial waters and OPL without their approval. Authorities are using helicopters to approach the vessels and warn them to leave the area immediately. If any vessel fails to comply, patrol boats are sent to detain the vessel for further legal action. There have been unverified reports that some vessels were detained without warning. If a vessel is detained in Malaysian waters, a fine is usually imposed and it takes a considerable time to release the vessel.
INTERTANKO further advise that Malaysian law requires all vessels to notify Malaysia’s Director of Marine for specific activities in Malaysian waters as specified in Malaysia Shipping Notice (MSN) 5/2014. However MSN 5/2014 did not define the term “Malaysian waters”, and the industry generally interprets “Malaysian waters” as Malaysia’s territorial limit (i.e. 12nm).
INTERTANKO has now engaged the Malaysian Ministry of Transport (MOT) to seek further clarification.
We recommend that vessels should anchor only in designated areas, with appropriate permission obtained through the local agents.