As part of the COVID-19 transitional period in Indonesia known as the “new normal,” the Minister of Transportation (“MOT”) has enacted MOT Regulation No. 41 of 2020 regarding the Amendment of MOT Regulation No. 18 regarding Transportation Control for the Purpose of Preventing the Spread of Corona Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) (“MOT Reg 18/2020, as amended”). This new regulation provides further provisions on controls for (i) land, (ii) sea, (iii) air and (iv) rail transportation. It also contains administrative sanctions for violations.
Generally, the MOT prohibits the transportation of passengers who are unhealthy/have a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, and requires transported goods to be sanitized before and after their arrival. Both regulations stipulate basic obligations during COVID-19. These obligations include the wearing of face masks by passengers/personnel, the implementation of physical distancing, the periodic disinfection of vehicles, stations, ports, terminals, etc., the provision of handwashing facilities/hand sanitizers, and adequate medical screening at transportation facilities.
This article discusses the specific transportation control obligations and administrative sanctions under MOT Reg 18/2020, as amended.
Transportation Control for Passengers and Transportation Operators
Parties subject to transportation controls are (i) passengers, (ii) operators of transportation facilities for passengers/goods, (iii) operators of transportation infrastructure, (iv) operational managers for the transportation of goods, and (iii) the senders/recipients of goods.
In transporting passengers, the MOT requires passengers and operators of transportation facilities to prioritize the online purchase/sale of tickets. If a passenger is found to be unhealthy or has a fever, particularly if they show symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they will be removed from the vehicle/vessel and referred to a health facility for screening.
For the transportation of goods, the operational manager shall ensure that the vehicle used is equipped with a special sticker to indicate the vehicle is transporting logistical goods.
In areas of Indonesia under social distancing restrictions (“PSBB”), controls on the transportation of goods are waived for essential goods such as:
- Medical, health and sanitation necessities;
- Primary goods;
- Food and drinks;
- Oil/gas fuel;
- Raw materials for manufacturing and assembling industries; and
- Necessities for export or import.
Operators of transportation facilities must monitor the health of their personnel and require that they report any changes in their health. To maintain the health of personnel, rest areas shall be set aside in transportation facilities.
Transportation operators must also take steps to prepare for emergency medical situations when conducting transportation activities. For the transportation of passengers, transportation facilities must provide health posts (with medical personnel) in coordination with a COVID-19 referral hospital. For the transportation of goods, the operators of transportation facilities and operational managers must prepare emergency contacts in all regions along the transportation route to anticipate any emergency situation.
Controls for Land, Rail, Sea and Air Transportation
1. Land Transportation Controls
In addition to limiting the number of passengers to 50% of the vehicle’s total capacity, operational hours for public motorized vehicles may be limited by an official with the authority to make such decision. For river, lake and water crossing transportation, the operational hours of ports shall be limited and adjusted to ships’ schedules.
The MOT specifies that buses shall only transport passengers to places that are permitted under the applicable provisions of laws and regulations. In addition, the number of stops a bus is allowed before the destination terminal is limited to one stop, for a maximum of 30 minutes, for distances of less than 500 kilometers. Buses can have additional stops for distances of more than 500 kilometers.
In addition to the basic obligations for transportation activities during COVID-19, motorbikes used for either personal or public transportation are permitted to carry passengers only if they comply with specific health protocols, which include only carrying out activities that are permitted during PSBB.
2. Rail Transportation Controls
Intercity trains (except for luxury trains), urban trains, local trains, prambanan express trains, and airport rail links shall limit the number of passengers to 50% of the train’s total number of seats. Physical distancing must be implemented in accordance with the seating configuration and no standing passengers are allowed.
3. Sea Transportation Controls
Passenger ships, including those carrying economy-class passengers and pioneer transport ships that serve the public interest, shall limit the number of passengers to 50% of the ship’s total capacity of seats or beds and implement physical distancing. Ships are permitted to transport goods and materials needed for the handling and prevention of COVID-19, as well as materials for primary needs and essential goods.
A passenger ship can transport cargo under the following conditions:
- There is a shortage of cargo ships in a PSBB area necessitating the use of a passenger ship to transport goods.
- Passenger ship is used to transport goods/materials for the handling and prevention of COVID-19, or materials for primary needs or essential goods.
- The transportation of cargo on a passenger ship shall take into account the safety and capabilities of the ship.
Port operations are permitted as follows:
- Activities such as ship operation, stevedoring, cargodoring and delivery are permitted with the implementation of physical distancing.
- If the number of officials, workers and visitors is limited and physical distancing is implemented.
- For the loading and unloading of export/import goods, goods for primary needs and essential goods.
- For the loading and unloading of logistical support for the handling and prevention of COVID-19.
4. Air Transportation Controls
Air transportation operators shall evaluate and adjust the slot-time capacity for airports and limit the number of passengers to 50% of the air transportation’s total capacity
Air transportation passengers must submit a Health Alert Card (“HAC”) when arriving at their destination. Operators of air transportation facilities must take steps to remind passengers of the HAC requirement. In the event of a health emergency, air transportation operators shall coordinate with the COVID-19 crisis center or air traffic controller at the destination airport.
Similar to sea transportation, a configured passenger plane may be used to carry cargo in the passenger compartment provided it is for the transportation of medical, health and/or sanitation necessities, or foodstuffs.
Exemptions and Administrative Sanctions
Land, rail, sea and air transportation facilities are exempted from transportation controls for:
- Visits by the head of a high institution in Indonesia or state visits by foreign dignitaries.
- Operations of the Indonesian government, army or national police.
- Operations by foreign embassies, consulates general and foreign consulates, along with the representative of an international organization in Indonesia.
- Operations by law enforcers and emergency services.
Violations of the transportation controls are subject to administrative sanctions in the form of (i) warning letter, (ii) suspension of license, (iii) revocation of license and/or (iv) administrative fine. Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations. (June 27, 2020)
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