Saturday, April 25, 2009

Increase in Ferry Port / Terminal Tax

Sea Port Tax increment June 2009. Tanjung Balai KarimunThis is the latest increment in the port tax. You have to pay this when you depart Karimun island. About a year ago, the port tax was only rp 10k. It then went up to rp 25k. From May 2009 onwards, it will be rp 60k for foreigners and rp 30k for Indonesians. This makes the port tax even more expensive than the port tax in Malaysia and Singapore!

This wouldn't be so bad if the facilities and services were up to scratch. The waiting lounge is always very stuffy. The air conditioner never works! When you arrive, every opportunity is taken to take uang kopi from you. If you bring in your laptop, you will be delayed. If you do not have an Indonesian chop on your passport, you will also be asked to contribute...

When you are about to depart and you are paying the port tax, you can be sure there is no change available if you do not have the exact amount required. Or if you do not have any indonesian rupiah left, they will ask you to pay in RM or Sing $. Not the converted amount but the foreign amount as is RM25 to pay for rp25k! Then every step of the way to your ferry, there will be numerous people asking for uang kopi!

I know some good people in immigration. They are not all bad. However the port terminal experience is one of the worst for visitors to Karimun Island and Indonesia in general. This is the place where people will decide whether they want to return again if they have such bad experience. It's unfortunate that so much potential tourism is lost for such short term corruption and gain.


  1. Many Malaysians and Singaporean are now affected by the global economic crisis and have cut down their visits to TBK. After hearing the news about the port tax, many have given up on coming here.

    This may be the straw that broke the camel back. It is such a pity. Tanjung Balai Karimun used to be so popular for it's good and cheap sea food, night entertainment, cheap accomodation and cheap travel. Now with the increase in ferry cost and the latest increase in port tax, you will definitely see another slowdown.

  2. The TBK Transport Department officials probably did this because of the swine flu or just maybe they try to earn a quick buck. Coupled with the rude immigration officers (they never ever smile to those who dont tip them), the "Ulat", the economic downturn and many more reasons, surely those who still go to TBK are fools. I am never going there.