Cargo alert update - Indonesia eases ban on export of Nickel and Bauxite Ore and unprocessed ore cargoes


Indonesian authorities relax ban on export of nickel and bauxite ore cargoes.

As members will recall, a ban was imposed by the Indonesian authorities on the export of nickel ore and unprocessed ore cargoes in 2014. The rationale of the ban was purportedly to give a boost to the country’s domestic processing along with infrastructure development. 

However, in mid January 2017, the Indonesian authorities have apparently relaxed the ban to a certain extent and shipment of certain metal concentrates and unprocessed nickel and bauxite ore cargoes are allowed, though BIMCO has yet to receive concrete information on how this will be done. It is understood that permits up to a maximum of 5 years will be granted for these exports, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. 

BIMCO advice

Pending further information received, BIMCO would urge members to be cautious when contemplating doing such fixtures. Nickel and bauxite ores are cargoes that have the tendency to liquefy if shipped at a moisture content above its transportable moisture limit (TML). It should also not be forgotten that shipment of such cargoes has caused severe casualties in the past due to the liquefaction of these cargoes, causing cargo shifting, loss of ship stability and lives, and ships capsizing. A stark reminder – see table below of some of the past casualties.. 

 Name of bulk carrier Cargo Loading country Date of capsize Fatalities
 Bulk Jupiter  Bauxite Malaysia 1 January 2015 18 
 Harita Bauxite Nickel ore  Indonesia 17 February 2013 15
Vinalines Queen Nickel ore  Indonesia 25 December 2010 22
Hong Wei Nickel ore  Indonesia 3 December 2010 10
NASCO Diamond Nickel ore Indonesia 10 November 2010 21
 Fu Jian Nickel ore  Indonesia  27 October 2010 13

It would be extremely prudent of BIMCO owners to check on the legal requirements of the export documentation required; consult their P&I club for professional guidance, as well as refer to the IMSBC Code for the proper carriage requirements of these cargoes. 

BIMCO Solid Cargo database 

Please go to the BIMCO cargo database on Nickel Ore and Bauxite for cargo information and carriage requirements. 

Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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