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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


Chennai, India

United Arab Emirates




New Zealand


Mongla, Bangladesh

JNPT – Nhava Sheva (Mumbai), India

JNPT – Nhava Sheva (Mumbai), India

Amendment of Bills of Lading
Monday, March 9, 2020, Chennai, India

The Commissioner of Customs in Chennai has issued a notice to shipping lines discouraging any amendment to Bills of Lading (especially description, code, value, quantity, etc) after the shipment is loaded and Bill of Lading prepared at load port.

If any anomalies or clerical errors are found, appropriate action will be taken against the erring shipping line.

For further details and information about operations in India, contact GAC India at india@gac.com

Suspension of cruise ship operations
Monday, March 9, 2020, United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime announced yesterday (8 March) that, as part of the precautionary measures to ensure strict monitoring and prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), all cruise operations are suspended until further notice.

Further to this announcement, the Abu Dhabi Cruise Team has advised that any cruise ship currently within the limits of the UAE shall be granted access to Abu Dhabi Ports limits and facilities. Cruise ships arriving or performed turnaround operations outside UAE shall not be granted access to Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach.

For information about operations in the UAE, contact GAC at abudhabi@gac.com, dubai@gac.com, fujairah@gac.com, rasalkhaimah@gac.com or sharjah@gac.com

Coronavirus counter-measures
Monday, March 9, 2020, Kuwait

The Ministry of Health in Kuwait has imposed a ban on travelers arriving from, or who have visited in the last two weeks, the countries listed below:

Mainland People’s Republic of China
South Korea
Hong Kong SAR
This ban will remain in place until further notice.

With effect from 6 March, a further temporary travel ban has been placed on travelers arriving from, or who have visited in the last two weeks, the countries listed below:

Sri Lanka
This ban will remain in force for at least one week, to 13 March.

Any traveler, except Kuwaiti Nationals and Non-Kuwaiti direct family members of Kuwaiti Nationals, who has been to or transited through any of these countries in the previous two weeks will be denied entry into the State of Kuwait.

Ships from and to IRAN and IRAQ are not permitted to berth.

Ships from Mainland People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Thailand shall be allowed to berth with the prohibition of direct contact with the crew and no disembarkation allowed.

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

Restriction on cruise vessels entering ports in northern region
Monday, March 9, 2020, Malaysia

In reference to the instruction by the Ministry of Health Malaysia to the Ministry of Transport Malaysia, the Shipping Community is hereby informed that all cruise vessels are temporarily restricted from entering any ports in Malaysia starting 7 March 2020 until further notice.

In line with instruction by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, all cruise vessels are hereby restricted from entering any ports in the Northern Region with immediate effect until further notice.

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Malaysia, contact GAC Malaysia at shipping.malaysia@gac.com)

Source: Port Circular No.06/2020 dated 7 March 2020

Temporary suspension of entry
Monday, March 9, 2020, Qatar

In addition to Qatar Airways announcement regarding flights to and from Italy, entry to the State of Qatar is temporarily suspended for all those intending to travel from certain countries, as of 9 March 2020. This decision comes as a preventive measure due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide.

The decision includes the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.

This step comes in line with the State of Qatar’s efforts to take all necessary preventive measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus.

The decision affects all individuals intending to enter from these countries, including visas upon arrival, those with a residence or work permit, and temporary visitors.

The State of Qatar urges all citizens and residents to avoid all but essential travel at this time.

These precautionary measures may be subject to further updates based on the latest guidance of the national health authorities and international organisations on the spread of Coronavirus, in order to ensure the safety of all residents of the State of Qatar.

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

Source: State of Qatar Government Communications Office Press Release dated 8 March 2020

Temporary border restrictions
Monday, March 9, 2020, New Zealand

New Zealand has implemented temporary border measures to reduce the chances of COVID-19 spreading within New Zealand. People who have left or transited through mainland China, Iran and the Diamond Princess cruise ship (Category 1a countries) in the 14 days prior to boarding are denied entry into New Zealand. This includes transit passengers.

People who are exempt from the temporary restrictions are:

New Zealand citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family
Australian citizens and permanent residents whose primary place of established residence is New Zealand
Air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
People exempt from the temporary restrictions register with Healthline and self-isolate for 14 days after they return to New Zealand if they have been in, or transited through, mainland China, or Iran (excluding airport transfers), or have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Some people arriving in New Zealand may have only been in transit in a category 1 country. For transit passengers, the recommendation to self-isolate will take into account the traveler’s chance of being exposed to a case. If the risk of exposure is assessed by health staff as low, they will be provided with the information on symptoms to watch out for and advice to seek medical attention early, but may not need to self-isolate.

Countries in Category 1b are northern Italy (specifically the provinces of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna) and the Republic of Korea. People who have travelled in these countries in the past 14 days may enter New Zealand but are requested to undertake 14 days self-isolation and register with Healthline. A map of Northern Italy with more specific details is available on Ministry of Health website at https://www.health.govt.nz/sites/default/files/images/our-work/diseases-conditions/map-showing-specified-areas-of-italy.png

Category 2 countries are Hong Kong, southern Italy, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. People who have travelled from or via these countries in the past 14 days do not need to self-isolate but will be given advice about symptoms of concern (fever, cough or shortness of breath) and how to seek advice if they become unwell.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has increased the travel advisory to level 4: do not travel to any part of mainland China or Iran. For updated information, see https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/travel-advisories …

(For information about operations in New Zealand, contact the GAC Singapore Hub Agency Centre at hub.sg@gac.com)

Source: Extract from New Zealand COVID-19 Border Advisory (10) dated 6 March 2020

Mandatory quarantine and entry ban
Monday, March 9, 2020, Oman

The Ministry of Health in Oman has imposed a mandatory quarantine of 14 days for travelers arriving from Egypt by air, sea & road as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Further, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that visitors from coronavirus-hit countries will not be allowed to enter the Sultanate of Oman by air, sea or land, even if they are transferred through other countries and have valid visas.

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

Required documentation
Monday, March 9, 2020, Mongla, Bangladesh

All ships must submit Deratinq Exemption Certificate, Free Pratique Certificate and also Master’s declaration on board Corona free certificate before arrival at Fairway Buoy at Mongla.

Concerned shipping agencies must submit above mentioned certificates without fail.

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

Source: Mongla Port Authority Circular No.10/2020 dated 8 March 2020

Quarantine for vessels arriving from foreign ports
Monday, March 9, 2020, JNPT – Nhava Sheva (Mumbai), India

With immediate effect, cargo vessels at JNPT – Nhava Sheva (Mumbai) arriving from foreign ports will be quarantined for a period of 14 days starting from the day of departure from the last Foreign Port) with immediate effect.

With more confirmed COVID-19 cases being traced in India, in the last few days, the Government is now on a heightened state of alert; to detect and stop any possible widespread community transmission, in any form.

As understood, vessels with a transit times of more than 14 days will be eligible for a berth on arrival (subject to other senior vessels waiting in line after completing of their quarantine period & necessary clearance being received from the port health authorities) as it will have met the window period of 14 days, which is the incubation period for this virus.

Vessels with less than 14 days transit time will need to go through this quarantine process.

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

Vessels arriving from foreign ports (amended & updated SOP)
Monday, March 9, 2020, JNPT – Nhava Sheva (Mumbai), India

Today (9 March), the Port Health Organisation at JNPT Sheva Navi Mumbai advised that the previous circular about quarantine for arriving vessels has been cancelled.

Instead, its Circular No.PHO/JNP/483-484 states the following:

“PHO is issuing following SOPs for cargo vessels clearing at JNPT:

1) Vessels coming from affected countries – China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia. Malaysia, Iran, Nepal and Italy (12) will be screened and declared ‘suspect’ or “healthy’ by the PHO.

2) Healthy vessel will be given health clearance for port operations and ‘suspect’ vessel; will be cleared by PHO as per Covid-19, Mohfw guidelines.”

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

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