As up to date, twelve submissions of Extended Continental Shelf have been submitted by coastal State including the one submitted by Indonesia on 16 June 2008. It has been generally known that the deadline is 13 May 2009 for those that ratified the Law of the Sea Convention (the Convention) before 13 May 1999. This deadline was a ‘revised’ deadline from its original deadline on 16 November 2004, 10 years after the entry into force of the Convention.
With regards to this deadline, the latest Meeting of States Parties to UNCLOS (SPLOS) decided that a coastal state may submit “preliminary information indicative of the outer limits of the continental shelf” together with “a description of the status of preparation and intended date of making a submission”, as mentioned in SPLOS/183. Does this mean that the deadline is changed?
SPLOS 183 asserts that a coastal state does not have to provide all supporting data and documents by the deadline (13 May 2009) but instead, can provide preliminary submission or even an indication of submission. All supporting data and documents can be provided at a later time. In this case, the original deadline does not change but the requirement of submission is significantly easier. This decision will significantly help developing states, including Indonesia, to prepare their submissions better as more time is available.
For Indonesia, this decision is important because this will affect its current activities in preparing the remaining two submissions. Will Indonesia submit the remaining two submission with full documents and data or simply an indication of submission? It will be interesting to know.