INDONESIAN SALVAGE LAW WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF CONTEMPORARY MARITIME LAW
Keywords:salvage law, maritime law, commercial and environmental
Located in a strategic position, that is between two great oceans and two land masses have made Indonesia a centre of international trade and shipping. In fact, 90% of international trades are carried out through the ocean. It is therefore crucial to assure that the activities in carrying goods across the ocean are incident free. However, if accident happens, assistance from professionals to preserve items of property is desirable. In such, salvage law emerged. This paper discusses comprehensively Indonesian salvage law within the framework of contemporary maritime law. While Indonesian maritime law is mostly based on its national law on the carriage of goods by the sea, in fact, the development of maritime law is highly affected by international practices which are largely based on international conventions and regulations.
This research finds that while Indonesian salvage law can be found in Book II Chapter VII article 545-568k Wetboek Van Koophandel or known as Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Dagang (KUHD), which focused narrowly on the value of salved property as the primary measures of success, yet Indonesian salvage law has not been developed in accordance with current international salvage law, which adopted a broader and more balanced approached in both commercial and environmental aspects.
Although it is believed that such approached is "culturally unrecognized" in Indonesia, this research argued that since Indonesian waters are part of international waters, all process by waters including salvage should confirm the relevant international practices and regulations. While Indonesia has taken out salvage law from KUHD and regulates it within Act Number 17/2008 on navigation, however, such act only provides one article for salvage stating that salvage will be regulates further by Ministry Regulation. Untill this paper was written no such government regulation produced yet by Indonesia. Since Indonesian waters is the centre of international navigational routes, this paper argued that it is an urgent need for Indonesia to have appropriate salvage law in place, so it can develop dinamically from shipping practice and confirm with international regulations in salvage.
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