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Malaysia: MARDEP, MMEA clarify vessel lay-up/anchorage areas in MASA dialogue

18 May 2021

A dialogue session between Marine Department Malaysia (MARDEP), Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and Malaysian Shipowners’ Association (MASA) was carried out at the MASA Secretariat Office on 4 May, according to a circular seen by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

The objective of the dialogue moderated by MASA Chairman Dato’ Ir. Abdul Hak Md Amin was to:

  • Seek clarification on vessels detention issue for “anchoring without permission” under Section 491B(1) of MSO 1952 and MSN 05/2014 in Johor waters.
  • Seek clarification on Section 491B(1) of MSO 1952 and MSN 05/2014 implementation.
  • Seek information on permitted anchor areas, permission certificates, types of prohibitions and other related matters.

Summary of MARDEP Presentation

Dato` Hj. Baharin Bin Dato Abdul Hamid, the Director General of MARDEP, provided clarification to MASA members on the application of Section 491B(1) of MSO 1952 and MSN 05/2014 regarding areas permitted for lay-up.

He also provided details on the approved anchorage area in Pasir Gudang port limit as well as lay-up area in outer port limit (Tompok Utara).

Five companies have been approved by MARDEP to operate lay-up services located at East Johor Waters (Tompok Utara). They are:

  • AWH International Logistic Sdn Bhd
  • Nikomas Sdn Bhd
  • Charisma Marine Supplies Sdn Bhd
  • Sinar Eja Engineering & Supply Sdn Bhd
  • Pine Logistics International Sdn Bhd

Failure to comply with Section 491B(1) of MSO 1952 and MSN 05/2014 will result in fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.

During the dialogue session, MARDEP also mentioned that they are considering to increase the Desaru port limit up to Malaysia Territorial Waters (MTW).

Dato` Hj. Baharin explained to MASA members Section 491B(1) of MSO 1952 and MSN 05/2014 was being enforced to:

  • Protect national sovereignty and security.
  • Increase revenue stream from light dues, permits and other charges.
  • Monitor and control marine environment pollution.
  • Encourage local maritime businesses.
  • Enhance marine tourism sector.

Summary of MMEA Presentation

Laksamana Muda (M) Datuk Saiful Lizan Ibrahim, Director of Bahagian Keselamatan Dan Pengawasan Maritim (translated as MMEA), briefly explained Act 660 (Akta Garis Pangkal Zon Maritim 2006) on the baseline and MTW of Malaysian waters.

He also presented statistics on “Ops Jangkar Haram” where 38 vessels were arrested during the operation since March 2021, during the MASA dialogue session.

MMEA mentioned that the operation was necessary to:

  • Increase the safety and security of Malaysian waters.
  • Reduce the marine environment pollution by strict enforcement.
  • Ensure compliance of Section 491B(1) of MSO 1952 and MSN 05/2014.
  • Curtail foreign-flagged vessels from anchoring illegally in Malaysian waters.

Key Takeaways from the MARDEP/MMEA Presentations

In all, MASA noted several key learning points for members from the dialogue session. In all, they are:

  • Shipowner/ operator, vessel, and agent are expected to comply with the regulation set by MARDEP/ MMEA.
  • In the event of emergency whereby Malaysia-flagged vessel needs to anchor outside working hours, they need to inform Vessel Traffic System (VTS) (subject to approval by Director General MARDEP).
    Note: MARDEP will be providing in due course the contact numbers of all VTS in each region.
  • Vessels are only allowed to lay-up/ anchor at MARDEP-approved designated areas.


Photo credit: Malaysian Shipowners’ Association
Published: 18 May, 2021

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