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New System Coming to Facilitate Yacht Visits to Indonesia

Pledge Comes After Embarrassing Seizure of 106 Yachts in the Darwin to Ambon Sail Regatta.

Bali News:
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(8/9/2008) reports that the Government will create a coordinated system for handling foreign yacht visits to Indonesia following the recent seizure and placement under "custom seal" of a large number of yachts participant in "Sail Indonesia" – a sailing regatta traveling from Darwin to Ambon.

The Director General of Destination Development for the Department of Culture and Tourism, Firmansyah Rahim, said a number of issues will be addressed in the new system including the designation of ports for entry and departure of yachts and the appointment of agents empowered to handle "Sail Indonesia."

Firmansyah said the recent "custom sealing" of 106 foreign yachts by the Customs and Excise Department in Kupang (West Timor) was the result of a failure to present a required written guarantee. In fact, an agreement for "Sail Indonesia 2008" was already in place stipulating that written guarantees would not be required.

Explaining the current imbroglio, Firmansyah said that "Sail Indonesia" would use an insurance program or the intervention of a local agent to meet custom department requirements. "Unfortunately the organizing team, in this case the Foundation Cinta Bahari Indonesia, did not undertake cooperation with a local agent to meet the demands of Customs," explained Firmansyah.

Last Saturday, August 2, 2008, the Customs and Excise Department in Kupang sealed the 106 yachts for failing to have the required entry permits. To avoid a future repetition of this unfortunate occurrence the Government will appoint special agents to handle yacht visits.

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