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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from  GAC

11-Mar-2020

PLANNED SUSPENSION OF VESSEL TRAFFIC
Dardanelles, Turkey

DRAFT RESTRICTIONS DUE TO SHOALING
Upper Mobile River, United States

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS – UPDATE (CHANGE 1)
United States

FORTH PORTS MARINE GROUP: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) GUIDANCE
Firth of Tay, United Kingdom

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR ITALY /UPDATED ADVICE FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS
Australia

UPDATED ADVICE FOR CRUISE SHIPS
Australia

ISSUING OF VISAS SUSPENDED
Kuwait

UPDATED CORONAVIRUS MEASURES
Ras Laffan, Qatar

TRANSNET ACTION PLAN TO MONITOR CORONAVIRUS
South Africa

SIGNING ON/OFF HALTED
Vadinar, India

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Tees and Hartlepool, United Kingdom

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
Port of Tyne, United Kingdom

WHO LABELS COVID-19 A PANDEMIC
Worldwide

Planned suspension of vessel traffic
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Dardanelles, Turkey

It is planned to suspend vessel traffic in the Dardanelles during below listed periods due to the 18 March Canakkale Victory and Martyrs’ Day:

16 March from 14:00 to 18:00 hours local time for National Ceremony trials of 18 March Canakkale Victory and Martyrs’ Day (17 March is reserve day in case of no trials on 16 March)

18 Marchh from 14:00 to 18:00 hours local time due to the National Ceremony of 18 March Canakkale Victory and Martyrs’ Day.
For information about operations in the Turkish Straits contact GAC Istanbul at turkey@gac.com

Draft restrictions due to shoaling
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Upper Mobile River, United States

The Mobile District Army Corps of Engineers released the latest soundings of the Upper Mobile River and show that there is shoaling in the channel from Three Mile Creek turning basin and southward several hundred feet.

Because of the existing conditions, a maximum draft of 39 feet will be imposed for ships using that portion of the Mobile River north of the Grain elevator at the Alabama State Port Authority.

For vessels that are currently loaded with a draft that exceeds 39 feet and desiring to transit that location, please contact this office. Please check with the bar pilots as to any further restrictions prior to sailing a ship in that location…

…This notice is cancelled June 1, 2020.

(For information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source: Alabama State Port Authority Harbor Master Notice To Shipping No.05-20

Novel Coronavirus – Update (Change 1)
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, United States

The CDC [Center for Disease Control] has updated their Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfyG) and Cruise Ship Travel to Asia (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfVP).

Illness of a person onboard a vessel that may adversely affect the safety of a vessel or port facility is a hazardous condition per 33 CFR 160.216 and must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP). Cases of persons who exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must be reported to the COTP.

Per 42 CFR 71.21, vessels destined for a U.S. port are required to report to the CDC any sick or deceased crew/passengers during 15 days prior to arrival at the U.S. port. Guidance to vessels to report deaths and illnesses to the CDC can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xdjmj. U.S. flagged commercial vessels are also advised to report ill crewmembers in accordance with the requirements of each foreign port called upon.

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

Passenger vessels or any vessel carrying passengers that have been to Iran or China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) or embarked passengers who have been in Iran or China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States. If all passengers exceed 14 days since being in Iran or China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) and are symptom free, the vessel will be permitted to enter the United States to conduct normal operations. These temporary measures are in place to safeguard the American public.

Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to Iran or China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) or embarked crewmembers who have been in Iran or China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days, with no sick crewmembers, will be permitted to enter the U.S. and conduct normal operations, with restrictions. Crewmembers on these vessels will be required under COTP authority to remain aboard the vessel except to conduct specific activities directly related to vessel cargo or provisioning operations.

The Coast Guard considers it a hazardous condition under 33 CFR 160.216 if a crewmember who was in Iran or China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the past 14-days is brought onboard the vessel during transit. This requires immediate notification to the nearest Coast Guard COTP.

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 cognizant CDC quarantine station, who will coordinate with local health authorities.

Vessel masters shall inform Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crewmembers on their vessel prior to embarking the team.

Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard COTP, 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 COTP, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.

Maritime facility operators are reminded that they are not permitted to impede the embarkation/ disembark of crew members as permitted under Seafarer’s access regulations. This authority resides with CBP, Coast Guard, or the CDC for medical matters. Facility operators should contact their local CBP, Coast Guard, or CDC/health department offices regarding specifics questions or concerns about their individual operations.

The Coast Guard recommends that people review the CDC travel guidance (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html) and the U.S. Department of State (DoS) Travel Advisories related to COVID-19 at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/.
(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Information Bulletin No.02-20 (Change 1) dated 9 March 2020

Forth Ports Marine Group: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Firth of Tay, United Kingdom

A Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) is required for all vessels on arrival from a foreign port.

However, in response to this emerging situation regarding COVID-19, Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Ports Liaison Network require that information be submitted to the Scottish Port Health Authority of the ports in the table below in the following cases irrespective of whether the vessel is arriving from a foreign port or another UK port:

CRUISE VESSELS
ALL cruise vessels
CONTAINER AND CARGO VESSELS
Where anyone on board the vessel has travelled from or via any current risk area or if they have been in close contact with confirmed case of COVID-19 infection within the 14 days prior to the vessel arriving in a Scottish Port.
The information we require is the same as that required in the current MDH and should therefore allow Port Authority to establish:

Any persons unwell during the voyage and/ or on arrival, and any sanitary measures taken in response to that illness
Origin of the ship, when it left the origin port, and all ports where the vessel has docked during the 14 days prior to arrival
Any crew changes involving people from risk areas
We ask that the master of the vessel submit the information using the current MDH form, where possible, for convenience…

…Where a port operator or ship’s agent receives notice that there are ill persons on a vessel then:

If the suspected case is a medical emergency, you must call 999 for medical assistance and you must inform attending services that the case has originated from a COVID-19 risk area or has had contact with a confirmed case. DO NOT disembark the patient or arrange alternative transport to a hospital until advised to do so. Also ask the Harbour Master to inform the NHS Public Health (local Health Protection Team) and the Port Health Authority (the local authorities).

If the suspected case is not seriously ill you must notify the relevant NHS Health Protection Team on (See list below). Contact details for the case must be provided with sufficient information to allow the Health Protection Team to determine follow up action. This will include symptoms, duration, contacts and travel history. DO NOT disembark the suspected case…

…The following are the contact details for submitting your Maritime Declaration of Health: The MDH should be sent electronically to both email addresses.

Port of Dundee
– FTNS:
Tel No. 01324 498584 or 498586 / Email address: forth&taynavigationservice@forthports.co.uk
– Port Health:
Tel No. 01382 432424 / Email address: port.health@dundeecity.gov.uk

Radio Channel for Harbourmaster: Channel 12

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United Kingdom, contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com)

Source: Forth Ports Limited Notice to Mariners No.07 of 2020 dated 6 March 2020

Travel restrictions for Italy /updated advice for commercial vessels
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Australia

Effective 11 March 2020 at 1800 AEDST, foreign nationals who are in Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020, will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days, from the time they have left or transited through Italy. These restrictions will replace the enhanced health screening measures that took effect on 5 March 2020 at 2100 AEDST.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, legal guardians and spouses will be exempt from these measures, but will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from their arrival into Australia.

The Australian Border Force (ABF), working with partner agencies, will establish advanced screening and reception arrangements to facilitate identification of those individuals to whom these measures apply…

…All vessel masters will be required to answer the following health screening questions as part of their entry reporting:
1. Has the vessel been in Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020?
2. Has any person on the vessel been in Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020?

ABF and Biosecurity officers remain responsible for border clearance processes. Vessels that report ill persons will undergo a human health inspection by a Biosecurity Officer on arrival in Australia, and before the vessel is granted pratique.

Vessels that report persons who have been in Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020 are subject to additional restrictions outlined in this document.

For Commercial Vessels that departed Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020
– All crew will remain on-board while the vessel is berthed in Australia.
– Crew are only able to disembark to conduct essential vessel functions and crew must wear personal protective equipment while performing these functions.
– The restrictions above apply until 14 days has elapsed since the vessel or any person on- board left Italy.

For Commercial Vessels with crew joining from Italy
– Where a commercial vessel has crew joining the vessel and that crew have travelled to or transited through Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020, all crew are to remain on-board the vessel.
– Crew are only able to disembark to conduct essential vessel functions and crew must wear personal protective equipment while performing these functions.
– The restrictions above apply until 14 days has elapsed since the vessel or any person on- board left Italy.

For Maritime Industry
– Industry members engaging with commercial maritime vessels subject to the restrictions outlined above should consider the use of personal protective equipment.
– Maritime Pilots will be provided personal protective equipment for the initial engagement with those vessels subject to restrictions.

Local Port Authority
The requirements outlined in this document are required to facilitate border clearance of vessels and their crew. Local port authorities may have additional requirements over and above those outlined.

For general information concerning the Novel Coronavirus please refer to the Department of Health website (https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov).

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

Source: Australia Border Force updated advice dated 11 March 2020

Updated advice for cruise ships
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Australia

Effective 11 March 2020 at 1800 AEDST, foreign nationals who are in Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020, will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days, from the time they have left or transited through Italy.

These restrictions will replace the enhanced health screening measures that took effect on 5 March 2020 at 2100 AEDST.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, legal guardians and spouses will be exempt from these measures, but will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from their arrival into Australia.

The Australian Border Force (ABF), working with partner agencies, will establish advanced screening and reception arrangements to facilitate identification of those individuals to whom these measures apply…

…For cruise ships from Italy
From 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020, if a traveller is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or their immediate family, legal guardian or spouse), cruise ships operators are required to contact the Border Operation Centre at +61 1300 368 126.

In most circumstances, if the traveller does not meet the above travel conditions they should not be permitted to board.

All non-essential crew are to remain on board the vessel. Where crew are required to disembark to conduct vessel functions, they are required to wear personal protective equipment.

For industry members engaging with cruise ships, such as ship surveyors and maritime pilots, please ensure you refer to the Department of Health website (www.health.gov.au) for guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment.

For cruise ships from other locations
From 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020, cruise ship staff should ask the traveller if they have travelled to or transited through Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020.

Staff should also examine the passport for any evidence to determine if there has been any travel from Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020.

If the traveller advises they have left or transited through Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020 and are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or their immediate family, legal guardian or spouse), the cruise ship operator should contact the Border Operations Centre at +61 1300 368 126.

In most circumstances, if the traveller does not meet the above travel conditions they will not be permitted to board (the mechanism for which will be visa cancellation).

Additional messages for travellers
– From 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020, if you arrive in Australia and it is determined that you have travelled to or transited through Italy on or after 1800 AEDST 11 March 2020, your visa will be cancelled and you will be restricted on board the cruise ship or placed in an alternative place of detention for a quarantine period.
– Please do not travel to Australia unless you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or their immediate family, legal guardian or spouse).

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

Source: Australia Border Force updated advice dated 11 March 2020

Issuing of visas suspended
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Kuwait

The Government of Kuwait has announced that it will stop issuing visas. Only those for individuals on diplomatic missions will be issued, after approval by the Ministry of Health.

All arriving Kuwaiti and expats will have to undergo compulsory quarantine at home of in centres/hospitals for a period determined by the Ministry of Health.

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

Updated coronavirus measures
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Ras Laffan, Qatar

Below are the updated measures in force at the port of Ras Laffan:

Business visa and Residence Permit holders with valid Ras Laffan & Offshore passes can travel to offshore after coronavirus screening inside port/subject to approval.

Ras Laffan gate pass applications are endorsed by the port authority after verifying their passport entry stamp copy.

Crew changes for (Sign on/ off) from international voyages are stopped till further notice. For unavoidable cases, approval must be obtained 7 days in advance.

Seaman visa process for on-signers has been stopped by immigration for the following 15 nationalities till further notice:
China
Italy
Iran
India
Iraq
Lebanon
Nepal
Bangladesh
Pakistan
Philippines
South Korea
Sri Lankan
Syria
Thailand
Egypt

Seaman that have entered Qatar through the airport will be accepted to join the vessel (Irrespective of nationality) through Ras Laffan, subject to Corona virus screening inside port and subject to approval.

If any crew working offshore has completed the 14-day quarantine period, the port authority must be requested to sign off approval in advance. Visa and passes will be processed once permission is granted.

Agent must submit an undertaking letter & exit flight ticket copy (same day travel) to accept sign-off of crew members from the 15 restricted nationalities listed above. Crew should transfer directly from Ras Laffan port to airport. They are not permitted to stay in a hotel or any other place.
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Qatar, contact GAC Qatar at qatar@gac.com

Transnet action plan to monitor coronavirus
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, South Africa

Transnet, as custodian of rail, ports and terminals, has established a Command Centre to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Command Centre will be responsible for the coordination and monitoring of all vessels docking into all the eight South Africa’s commercial seaports. The ports are Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Saldanha.

This also includes monitoring of passengers on Transnet’s Blue Train which caters for the tourist trade.

Transnet, which is responsible for vessel berthing and unloading of goods from vessels coming from different countries, is also rolling-out sanitizers and safety protective wear for employees.

All procedures involving screening of the virus are done through the Port Health officials in collaboration with the Department of Health (DoH) and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) to monitor the outbreak.

The following additional measures are in place to safeguard South Africa’s ports and its employees:

All employees at Transnet National Ports Authorities and Transnet Port Terminals interfacing with vessels from affected areas are continuously provided with all hygienic and protective equipment.

Transnet has dispersed had sanitizers throughout the company.

TNPA marine pilots are provided with appropriate personal protective equipment to use when receiving vessels from affected areas.

All foreign vessels entering the ports must receive free pratique by the Port Health department and details of the last 10 ports of call are captured.

Separate list of vessels calling from affected areas are recorded.

During the warning period, all South African Citizens – including marine pilots – are to refrain from consuming foods and liquids on board vessels.

Should reports of infection be reported on board a vessel, the vessel may dock and the process quarantine through Port Health will be instituted. No persons are permitted to go on-board until Port Health has cleared the vessel.

No crew will be allowed to disembark off a vessel without obtaining Port Health Clearance.

A thorough sweep of stowaways will be conducted.

Should stowaways be found, the vessel is to remain at anchor until stowaways are examined and cleared by Port Health.

All waste from the vessels from affected areas will be incinerated and not accepted ashore.

All yachts arriving in the country from all areas must report to South African Police Services and Port Health Department. The skipper is to be informed to ensure that he and his crew remain isolated on-board the vessel until cleared by Port Health.
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in South Africa, contact GAC South Africa at shipping.capetown@gac.com

Signing on/off halted
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Vadinar, India

Nayara (Essar) Terminal at Vadinar has advised that signing on/off has been stopped at its facilities.

Any personnel visiting for ship-related business must obtain Port Health Office clearance and provide their travel history for the past 14 days.

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

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Tees and Hartlepool, United Kingdom

The following now applies to all vessels visiting the Ports of Tees and Hartlepool.

Under UK and International Health Regulations, vessels entering port are normally required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health only when there has been an occurrence on board that may affect public health.

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID -19, additional requirements to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health will now apply.

Please ensure that a Maritime Declaration of Health is completed and conveyed to River Tees Port Health Authority and Tees VTS, if anyone on board presents with flu-like symptoms, including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.

Further advice can found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the UK, contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com)

Source: PD Teesport Ltd Notice To Mariners No.19 of 2020

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) reporting requirements
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Port of Tyne, United Kingdom

Port of Tyne, in conjunction with Tyne Port Health Authority, advise that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, additional requirements to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health will now apply, effective from Monday 16th March 2020 at 0001, and until further notice is given.

Masters and Agents of ALL vessels must ensure that a Maritime Declaration of Health is completed and passed to the Tyne Port Health Authority and to Tyne VTS for vessels arriving to any berth / facility within Port of Tyne area of jurisdiction.

Masters are advised that all vessels arriving from non-UK ports will be asked by Tyne VTS by VHF radio to confirm that they have submitted their Maritime Declaration of Health prior to pilot boarding (if subject to compulsory pilotage), or prior to entering Port of Tyne jurisdiction (if not subject to compulsory pilotage).

Failure to submit the form may result in cancelled pilotage or delays to the vessel’s arrival and entry and reporting to the Port Health Authority.

All enquiries regarding the Maritime Declaration of Health should be directed to the Tyne Port Health Authority:

Environmental Health
Public Protection Services
Quadrant (East)
Silverlink North
Cobalt Business Park
North Tyneside
NE27 0BY

Tel: (0191) 643 6100 / Out of hours: 07816 931413
Fax: 0191 643 2016
Email: tyne.port.health@northtyneside.gov.uk
Website: https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/550/tyne-port-health

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the UK, contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com)

Source: Port of Tyne Notice to Mariners No 4 of 2020 dated 11 March 2020

WHO labels COVID-19 a pandemic
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Worldwide

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has today (11 March) labelled the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.

At a media briefing today, WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks. He added, however, that calling the outbreak a pandemic did not mean the WHO was changing its advice about what countries should do.

For information about measures taken at ports worldwide to counter the spread of COVID-19, contact the respective GAC office. Contact details may be found in the ‘GAC WORLDWIDE’ section of www.gac.com

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