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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port news from  GAC




Takoradi, Ghana




Mesaieed, Qatar

United States



Kandla, India

Further precautionary measures
Friday, February 28, 2020, Malta

Due to recent developments in the risks related to the Novel Corona Virus (aka 2019-nCoV), Oiltanking Malta is implementing further precautionary measures.

The below precautions are to safeguard our employees, their families and the related business continuity:

a) Crew Changes:
With immediate effect, crew changes should only be considered if a commitment has already been undertaken. Personnel arriving in Malta via airports or transportation hubs that are known to have an existing 2019-n-CoV trend should be notified of the ‘carrier’ risk which they may pose and should be subject to additional screening.
As of Saturday 29th February 2020 at 00:01hrs, vessels at berth at OTM will not be allowed to conduct Crew Changes regardless of country of origin.

b) Shore Leave:
As of Wednesday 26th February 2020 at 00:01hrs, vessels at berth at OTM are not allowed to let their crew go on Shore Leave.

c) Ship supplies:
The delivery of ship supplies very often translates into repeated contact between OTM personnel, ship chandling services providers and vessel crew.
As of Saturday 29th February 2020 at 00:01hrs, vessels at berth at OTM will not be allowed to receive supplies or delivery of parts.

d) Personal hygiene measures:
With immediate effect, all OTM personnel going onboard vessels will be wearing sterile gloves and surgical masks. Waste items arising from this process will be discarded in isolation from other waste streams. Personnel visiting vessels from other entities are also recommended to take precautions in a similar manner.
As of Wednesday 26th Feb, Yellow bins will be made available to dispose of used gloves & masks. It is imperative that such items are first placed in a plastic bag, the bag is then to be CLOSED tight and only then can it be discarded in the yellow bins. The use of personal alcohol based hand rubs is strongly recommended.

e) Ship Waste handling:
We understand that under MARPOL regulations, vessels cannot be denied the possibility to discharge waste at their port of call. This obligation will be maintained at OTM unless local authorities instruct otherwise. Please advise such waste handling contractors that crew will not be allowed to go ashore and assist with the carriage of the waste bags to their trucks. Also we strongly suggest that such contractors wear gloves and exercise good personal hygiene in since they may be exposed to potential contamination from discarded items (e.g. tissues).

f) Health Declaration Document:
Vessels in arrival – As per previous practice, this document is to be forwarded to vessels prior to arrival and to be duly compiled and returned to OTM via e-mail (hsse.malta@oiltanking.com & otmoperations@oiltanking.com) before vessel berths.
Bunker barges need to fill in the declaration prior to every visit.

For information about operations in Malta, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com

Dredging works in Temasek Fairway
Friday, February 28, 2020, Singapore

The working period for dredging in the Temasek Fairway has been extended.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Notice No.011 of 2020, the work is being carried out 24 hours daily – including Sundays & Public Holidays – until 23 August 2020, within the working area bounded by the following coordinates:
1 01 deg. 15.706’N / 103 deg. 38.709’E
2 01 deg. 15.706’N / 103 deg. 38.764’E
3 01 deg. 15.109’N / 103 deg. 39.004’E
4 01 deg. 15.140’N / 103 deg. 39.079’E
5 01 deg. 14.613’N / 103 deg. 39.292’E
6 01 deg. 13.803’N / 103 deg. 39.619’E
7 01 deg. 13.164’N / 103 deg. 39.876’E
8 01 deg. 13.030’N / 103 deg. 39.515’E
9 01 deg. 13.119’N / 103 deg. 39.481’E
10 01 deg. 13.760’N / 103 deg. 39.502’E
11 01 deg. 14.548’N / 103 deg. 39.133’E
12 01 deg. 15.440’N / 103 deg. 38.709’E

Dredging works will be carried out by crane barge, supported by hopper barges and pusher tugs. The crane barge will be held in position by spuds system within the working area.

A safety boat will be in attendance to warn and direct craft in the vicinity to keep clear of working area.

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 of the working area;
b) Maintain a proper lookout;
c) Proceed at a safe speed and to 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)

Dredging works for port expansion (Atlantic Terminal)
Friday, February 28, 2020, Takoradi, Ghana

Dredging work for port expansion – Atlantic Terminal – is currently ongoing at the new bulk jetty area and the main access channel to the old port.

The dredging work is progressing steadily into the main access channel area and we expect some challenges in vessel movement IN & OUT of port in the month of March 2020…

(For information about operations in Ghana, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com)

Source: Extract from Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Port of Takoradi, letter dated 25 February 2020

Code of Practice for bunker mass flow metering
Friday, February 28, 2020, Singapore

The Singapore Standard SS 648: 2019 – Code of Practice for Bunker Mass Flow Metering was launched on 7 November 2019 (“SS 648: 2019”). SS 648: 2019 is a revision of TR 48: 2015 – Technical Reference for Bunker Mass Flow Metering which was implemented on 1 June 2016 by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) for the custody transfer of bunker deliveries via the mass flow metering (MFM) system to ocean-going ships in the Port of Singapore.

TR 48: 2015 was reviewed and developed into SS 648: 2019, taking into account the operational and technical experience gained by the bunkering industry on the use of the MFM. Under the coordination of the Singapore Standards Council, the review was jointly conducted by MPA, Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), bunker suppliers, bunker craft operators, bunker surveying firms, meter vendors, National Metrology Centre and Enterprise Singapore’s Weights and Measures Office.

SS 648: 2019 includes new requirements for multi-meter installation, enhancement of the zero verification procedure and clarity on the role of bunker surveyors. Starting from 1 May 2020, MPA will mandate SS 648: 2019 for the custody transfer of bunker deliveries to ocean-going ships in the Port of Singapore. The existing bunkering standards, TR 48: 2015, will cease to apply by end November 2020.

SS 648: 2019 can be purchased from:
Toppan Leefung Pte Ltd
1 Kim Seng Promenade #18-01
Great World City East Tower
Singapore 237994
Tel: (65) 6826 9691
Email: singaporestandardseshop@toppanleefung.com
Website: www.singaporestandardseshop.sg

As part of MPA’s ongoing efforts to enhance bunker cargo officers’ and bunker surveyors’ professionalism and competency, MPA has worked with SSA and IBIA to develop refresher courses to cover technical knowledge of MFM bunker operations and raise awareness on the SS 648: 2019. All in-service bunker cargo officers and bunker surveyors are required to attend the refresher course conducted by either SSA or IBIA.

Information on the courses can be obtained from:
Singapore Shipping Association
Website: www.ssa.org.sg
Tel: 6305 2260
Fax: 6222 5527

International Bunker Industry Association
Website: www.ibia.net
Tel: 6427 0916
Fax: 6472 0919

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

Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Circular No.05 of 2020

Quarantine period extended again
Friday, February 28, 2020, Australia

Australia’s 14-day quarantine period has now been extended until 6 March.

Yesterday (27 February), the Prime Minister of Australia announced that the COVID-19 was likely to be upgraded by the World Health Organisation as a pandemic and implemented pandemic precautions in Australia. As far as we are aware nothing has changed for ship arrivals as a result. The government has increased its warning level to travellers departing Australia and visiting Japan, South Korea, Northern Italy, Mongolia and Iran.

As a precaution only, Haypoint would like to start recording pilot away times for all vessels that have visited Korea (e.g. as its last port or within 14 days of the vessels arrival at Haypoint). No restrictions are being placed on these vessels, it is simply information gathering as a precaution. Agents are being asked to provide this information for the relevant vessels under their care.

NEW SOUTH WALES PORTS (Newcastle, Sydney, Port Kembla, Eden)
Masters of all ships due to arrive at NSW ports are required to declare:
– their last 5 ports of call;
– confirm that they have no crew members showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus on-board;
– crew or passengers who have left, or transited through, mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 and less than 14 days ago.
Where novel coronavirus is evident, our employees will not be required to board the vessel; and, Port Authority will delay pilotage services to ships that have transited from mainland China, which have been at sea for less than the 14-day quarantine period.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Australia, contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

Ship declaration for COVID-19
Friday, February 28, 2020, Qatar

Due to the outbreak of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), the following instructions will take place to minimize the risk of virus spreading among seafarers, passengers and port users:

Any vessel visited any ports of the infected countries in the last (3) days should submit the Corona Virus Declaration along with the Maritime Health Declaration at least 48 hours prior to their arrival to any port of State of Qatar.

Marine agents should make sure that the vessel Master fills in these declarations cautiously and ensure the accuracy of information.

If the answer is Yes to declaration questions, the vessel will be considered suspected of carrying the virus as per WHO regulations, and the following procedures will be followed:
– Vessel crew and passengers disembarking will be prohibited during vessel stay in Hamad, Doha and Al-Ruwais Ports’ limit until obtaining the approval of the competent Health Authorities in the State of Qatar.
– The port users and operators will not be allowed to embark the vessel until obtaining the approval of the competent Health Authorities in the State of Qatar.
– Mwani Qatar reserves the right to perform further inspection and check of any vessel arriving to the Qatari Ports, if necessary, in order to protect the public health.
(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Qatar, contact GAC Qatar at qatar@gac.com)

Source: Mwani Qatar Circular No.(1) 2020 dated 27 February 2020

Emergency boarding only
Friday, February 28, 2020, Mesaieed, Qatar

Permission for SIRE Inspectors, Class Surveyors, Superintendents and Technicians to board vessels at Mesaieed Port will only be granted for urgent and emergency cases.

Vessel agent/owners must provide detailed information about the nature of the urgency/emergency to Port Regulation for approval.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Qatar, contact GAC Qatar at qatar@gac.com

Novel Coronavirus Precautions
Friday, February 28, 2020, United States

Vessel owners/operators and local stakeholders should be aware of the following:

Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew/passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC under 42 CFR 71.21. Regional CDC quarantine station points of contact can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/QuarantineStationContactListFull.html
The Coast Guard will continue to review all “Notice of Arrivals” in accordance with current policies and will communicate any concerns stemming from sick or deceased crew or passengers to their Coast Guard chain of command and the CDC quarantine station who will coordinate with local health authorities.
Vessel masters shall inform Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crewmembers on board their vessel prior to the Coast Guard embarking and Boarding Teams should verify vessel illnesses with CDC if concerns arise.
Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with section 5310 Procedures for Vessel Quarantine and Isolation, and Section 5320 – Procedures for Security Segregation of Vessels in their Area Maritime Security Plan.
Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.
For situational updates, please check with the CDC at


(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source: Extract from U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Information Bulletin No.1-20

Coronavirus fraud
Friday, February 28, 2020, Worldwide

ITIC [International Transport Intermediaries Club Ltd] has received reports of fraudulent invoices being submitted to owners for the provision of medical testing services in relation to the coronavirus.

Fraudulent invoices often contain errors which can be detected. For example, one invoice we have seen had an incorrect flag for the vessel. A simple check with the Master confirmed that the invoice was fraudulent.

Members responsible for settling disbursement accounts, especially ship managers, are urged to be vigilant.

(For updates related to measures to control/prevent the spread of COVID-19, see www.gac.com/coronavirus)

Source: International Transport Intermediaries Club Ltd circular dated 27 February 2020

Country’s first coronavirus case confirmed
Friday, February 28, 2020, Nigeria

The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State, Nigeria. The case, which was confirmed on 27 February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.

The case in an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on 25 February 2020…

…The Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health, has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly. The multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has immediately activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures…

(For information about operations in Nigeria, contact GAC Nigeria at nigeria@gac.com)

Source: Extract from Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health announcement dated 27 February 2020

Repair & maintenance work on IFFCO jetty
Friday, February 28, 2020, Kandla, India

The Indian Farmers’ Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO) has advised that repairs will be carried out at their Jetty No.5 at Kandla from 29 February through to 15 March.

During that period, the berth should be kept vacant. However, maintenance work will be suspended for the berthing of IFFCO tankers to discharge their cargo.

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

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