American Club Member Alert re the 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Impact on Maritime operations in PRC
AMERICAN CLUB MEMBER ALERT (February 7, 2020) RE – THE 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS: IMPACT ON MARITIME OPERATIONS IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC)
FEBRUARY 7, 2020
THE 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS: IMPACT ON MARITIME OPERATIONS IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC)
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to impact maritime operations at various ports in the PRC. Your Managers have been updated as to the following requirements and restrictions:
1. Health declaration requirements before berthing:
* Tianjin and Xiamen: Submission of a Health Declaration Form is required before a vessel’s berthing. The form is available here for reference purposes.
* Dalian: Customs officers will attend on board the vessel and take the temperature of each member of the crew.
2. Vessels with crew from vessels having port calls in Wuhan or Hubei Province on board will be subject to focused monitoring. Vessels from Putian and Quanzhou of Fujian Province may not be allowed to berth. Vessels from Ningbo may be required to be isolated for 14 days before berthing.
3. Substitution of crew is also restricted. The ports of Shanghai, Xiamen, Ningbo, Tianjin, Dalian have forbidden such substitution. The ports of Qingdao and Guangzhou are applying heavy restrictions, absent special circumstances.
4. Crew disembarkation is highly restricted at all ports.
5. During berthing at a port, the crew should take preventive measures regardless of the restrictions. However, for the ports of Dalian, Xiamen, Guangzhou, the crew must wear a facial mask when in contact with others in the port. In Tianjin, the crew must wear facial masks and temperature tests should be taken every day. When any crew has fever, the Customs should be informed immediately.
Since the most important aim of the measures implemented by Chinese authorities is to avoid the spread of coronavirus which originated from Wuhan, Hubei province, there are no specific restrictions for vessels from abroad calling at Chinese seaports.
However, some general effects on shipping are inevitable. They include:
Port Congestion/Port Operation
1. Loading and discharging operations have slowed down due to the lack of stevedores.
2. Land and transportation of cargo into and out of ports are insufficient since non-locally licensed trucks are restricted to enter into the port area.
3. As vessels are restricted in calling at Wuhan port, transhipment of cargo by inland river feeder vessels in and out the ports in the Yangtze River is consequently affected. Ports affected by these restrictions include Shanghai, Tianjin, Huanghua, Lianyungang, Jingtang and Caofeidian. Ports not particularly substantially affected to date include Dalian, Qingdao, Xiamen and Guangzhou.
The port of Zhangjiagang and the ports nearby in the Yangtze River have been mildly congested by heavy fog in the past week, rather than by the outbreak of coronavirus.
Supply of Provisions
Generally speaking, supply of provisions to foreign vessels is not restricted, however the following should be provided for the following ports:
* Tianjin: Supply of provisions demands must be declared 24 hours in advance.
* Qingdao and ports nearby: Some of the provisions are limited. Local agents should be consulted.
* Dalian: The provisions may be quarantined by customs, as usual.
Due to a shortage of labor, the schedule of ship repair might be affected. For example, in Zhoushan the local government restricted the entrance of vehicles with licenses from other places, as well as people from other places. This has affected the efficiency of the shipyards in Zhoushan, whose output has decreased substantially.
Some export cargo might not be delivered to the loading ports in time due to transportation restrictions in and out of Hubei Province. It is reported that the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) will offer force majeure certificates to local companies, if they are unable to fulfil their international contractual obligations due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Members are invited to consider all the above, and be guided accordingly.
The American Club’s correspondent, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consulting Services, Ltd., are thanked most warmly for their assistance in this matter.