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Hot Port News from GAC

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GAC 01072014Drilling of service tunnel
March 02, 2015, Germany, Kiel Canal

The Kiel-Canal Authority has announced that due to drilling works for a service tunnel, the Big North Lock Chamber at Kiel-Holtenau locks will be out of service Monday to Friday during the hours between 0800 and 1800 from 4 to 24 March.

A similar closure is also being scheduled for the Big South Lock Chamber, but yet to be confirmed, for the period 7 to 27 April.

(For information about operations in Germany contact the GAC UK Hub Agency Cenmtre at hub.gb@gac.com)

Source: Sartori & Berger, Germany – GAC agent

Dense fog at Texas ports
March 02, 2015, United States, Houston, Texas

Dense fog is today (2 March) affecting port operations in Texas ports including Houston,

Galveston, Freeport, Corpus Christi and Beaumont. A dense fog advisory is in effect until 10:00pm CST tonight.

Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi and Beaumont were all closed yesterday (1 March). Freeport is open, but no ships are being moved.

A coastal trough moving into Upper Texas coastal waters is expected to produce scattered rain or drizzle through the day. Deepening southerly flow will continue to draw warm moist air across cooler shelf waters, producing sea fog over bays and nearshore waters.

The next strong cold front is forecast to sweep into the coastal waters on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, driving winds and seas up to advisory levels.

For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com

Service tax rise
March 02, 2015, India, all ports

The Indian Ministry of Finance has advised an increase in service tax. The effective date has not yet been announced.

The rate of Service Tax will increase from 12% plus Education Cesses to 14%. The ‘Education Cess’ and ‘Secondary and Higher Education Cess’ shall be subsumed in the revised rate of Service Tax. Thus, the effective increase in Service Tax rate will be from the existing rate of 12.36% (inclusive of cesses) to 14%, subsuming the cesses.

The new Service Tax rate shall come into effect from a date to be notified by the Central Government after the enactment of the Finance Bill, 2015.

Until the time the revised rate comes into effect, the ‘Education Cess’ and ‘Secondary and Higher Education Cess’ will continue to be levied in Service Tax.

For information about operations in India contact GAC India at india@gac.com

Dredging at north & south pier of ST Marine Tuas Yard
March 02, 2015, Singapore, Singapore

From 3 March to 31 July, dredging works will be carried out at the north and south pier of ST Marine Tuas yard.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Notice No.22 of 2015 dated 2 March 2015, the works will be conducted 24 hours daily – including Sundays & Public Holidays – within the working area bounded by the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum):


1) 01 deg. 18.305’N / 103 deg. 38.755’E

2) 01 deg. 18.387’N / 103 deg. 38.833’E

3) 01 deg. 18.410’N / 103 deg. 38.809’E

4) 01 deg. 18.416’N / 103 deg. 38.815’E

5) 01 deg. 18.423’N / 103 deg. 38.807’E

6) 01 deg. 18.328’N / 103 deg. 38.718’E

7) 01 deg. 18.321’N / 103 deg. 38.726’E

8) 01 deg. 18.327’N / 103 deg. 38.731’E


9) 01 deg. 18.526’N / 103 deg. 38.748’E

10) 01 deg. 18.541’N / 103 deg. 38.733’E

11) 01 deg. 18.557’N / 103 deg. 38.748’E

12) 01 deg. 18.542’N / 103 deg. 38.763’E

Dredging work will be carried out by dredgers held in position with anchors. The dredgers, with hopper barges in attendance, will have a circular safety working zone of 50-meters radius centred at the dredger. The dredged materials will be transported to the designated dumping ground by hopper barges assisted by pusher tugs.

A safety boat will be deployed in the vicinity of the working area to warn other craft of the project.

Craft involved in the works will exhibit the appropriate local and international day and night signals.

When in the vicinity of the working area, mariners are reminded to:

a) Keep well clear and not to enter the working area;

b) Maintain a proper lookout;

c) Proceed at a safe speed and navigate with caution;

d) Maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 22 (Jurong Control);


e) Communicate with Jurong Control on VHF Channel 22 for assistance, if required.

For information about operations in Singapore contact GAC Singapore at singapore@gac.com

Amended port navigation depths
March 02, 2015, Australia, Port Alma

Following the flooding resulting from the passage of Cyclone Marcia, mariners are advised that the design and actual port navigation depths below port datum (Lowest Astronomical Tide) are amended as of 27 February 2015 as listed below:

Balaclava Leads (Sea Reach):

– Design (metres): 7.6

– Actual (metres): 7.5

Kazatch Leads:

– Design (metres): 7.9

– Actual (metres): 7.7

Eupatoria Leads:

– Design (metres): 7.9

– Actual (metres): 7.7

Shell Point Leads:

– Design (metres): 7.0

– Actual (metres): 6.5 (* revised)

Swing Basin:

– Design (metres): 5.8

– Actual (metres): 5.6

No.1 Berth:

– Design (metres): 9.2

– Actual (metres): 8.4 (* revised)

No.2 Berth:

– Design (metres): 9.2

– Actual (metres): 8.3 (* revised)

No.3 Berth:

– Design (metres): 9.2

– Actual (metres): 8.2 (* revised)

Further surveys will be undertaken when the flood waters have fully receded and the bottom has stabilized.

(For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com)

Source: Maritime Safety Queensland Queensland Notices to Mariners dated 27 February 2015

Declaration and storage of onboard weapons
March 02, 2015, Egypt, Safaga

All ships calling at Egyptian Red Sea ports or transiting the Suez Canal must declare any weapons onboard to Safaga Port Authority.

As per the Egyptian Maritime Security Committee ruling, such weapons must stored at the Safaga navy base.

To date, weapons onboard vessels arriving at Suez port have been stored at the port under police custody. However, the Egyptian navy in Safaga have recently started random checks for weapons, which some vessels being approached by the navy and obliged to discharge weapons at Safaga.

Further clarification on the procedure and tariff for weapons storage at Safaga will be provided once obtained.

For information about operations in Egypt contact GAC Egypt at egypt@gac.com

GAC is a global provider of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services dedicated to helping customers achieve their strategic goals at the highest levels of quality, safety and compliance.


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