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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


Hong Kong

South Africa

Sri Lanka

Visakhapatnam, India

Deendayal, India


United States


Deendayal, India





Tung Chung New Town extension project marine works
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Hong Kong

For approximately 11 months, marine works involving construction of cofferdam, ground investigation, laying of geotextile and sand blankets, deep cement mixing and hydrographic survey [are being] carried out within the area bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (D) and the adjacent shoreline:
(A) 22 deg. 17.995’N / 113 deg. 58.147’E
(B) 22 deg. 18.101’N / 113 deg. 58.149’E
(C) 22 deg. 18.220’N / 113 deg. 58.351’E
(D) 22 deg. 18.170’N / 113 deg. 58.536’E

The works [are being] carried out by a flotilla of special purpose vessels, jack-up barges, cement supply barges, anchor boats, spilt hopper barges, sand discharge barge, backhoe barge and flat top barge. The number of vessels engaged in the works will change from time to time to suit operational requirements.

A working area of approximately 50 metres is established around each working vessel. Yellow marker buoys fitted with yellow flashing lights are laid to mark the positions of the anchors extending from the working vessels.

Yellow flashing lights are installed at the corners of the jack-up barges to indicate the positions of the jack-up barges.

Silt curtains, extending from the sea surface to the seabed, are established around the boundary of the works area. The silt curtain is a large piece of netting used to contain mud and sediments. Yellow marker buoys fitted with yellow flashing lights are laid to mark the extent of the silt curtains.

The hours of work are from 0700 to 2300 hours including Sundays and public holidays. Vessels employed for the works stay in the works area outside the hours of work.

Diving operations will be carried out from time to time during the hours of work.

Vessels engaged in the operations will display signals as prescribed in international and local regulations.

Vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with caution and keep clear of the works area at slow speed, bearing in mind there are divers working in the area.

(For information about operations in Hong Kong, contact GAC Hong Kong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com)

Source: Government of the Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No. 56/2020

Transporting wine & fresh produce for export during lockdown
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, South Africa

South Africa’s Department of Transport has confirmed that during the current COVID-19 lockdown period, the transportation of the wines and any other fresh produce at sea ports and International Airports designated as port of entry for export is allowed.

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

Naval sea firing exercise
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Sri Lanka

A sea firing exercise by naval ships is scheduled to take place in Sri Lankan waters tomorrow (22 April).

The Sri Lankan Navy requests all merchant vessels, boats, tugs, fishing and other crafts anchored or operating in below given areas to keep well clear until the completion of the exercise.

Name of the ship: P439, P4446

Time & date of exercise: 1030-1330 hours on 22 April
Relevant area: VCD II
Coordinates of the allocated area:
07’ 9” N 79’ 10” E / 07’ 16” N 79’ 30” E
07’ 02” N 79’ 10” E / 07’ 06” N 79’ 30” E
Surface clearance (safety margin): 5 NM (9250 m)
Name of the ship: SLCGS Samaraksha

Time & date of exercise: 1000-1400 hours on 22 April
Relevant area: VCD II
Coordinates of the allocated area:
07’ 19” N 79’ 10” E / 07’ 16” N 79’ 30” E
07’ 02” N 79’ 10” E / 07’ 06” N 79’ 30” E
Surface clearance (safety margin): 2.15 NM (4000 m)
Name of the ship: SLNS Sindurala

Time & date of exercise: 0600-1600 hours from 21 to 24 April
Relevant area: VCD III
Coordinates of the allocated area:
06’ 50” 01 N 79’ 25” 08 E / 06’ 50” 01 N 79’ 39” 08 E
06’ 35” 01 N 79’ 25” 08 E
Surface clearance (safety margin): 5 NM (9250 m)
For information about operations in Sri Lanka, contact GAC Sri Lanka at srilanka@gac.com

Force Majeure further extended
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Visakhapatnam, India

Due to the lockdown extension until 3 May 2020, the circular issued by this office on 31 March 2020 regarding Force Majeure declaration is extended until 3 May 2020.

The whole of India is on shutdown on 22 March and lockdown from 24 March up to 4 May, due to the onset of corona virus… Central Government ordered a lockdown of 75 districts (including Visakhapatnam) from 22 March and the whole country from 24 March.

In view of this extraordinary situation, it is impossible to carry out normal operations at the Port of Visakhapatnam, in spite of GOI declaring Port Services as essential services.

Accordingly, it is hereby declared and confirmed that Force Majeure conditions prevail at the Port of Visakhapatnam from 22 March 2020 to 4 May 2020.

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

Source: Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Circular dated 15 April 2020

Port reverts to Three-Shift timings
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Deendayal, India

It has been decided to switch over [port operations] to the original Three-Shift timings, from 0700 hours on 20 April, as under:
– First Shift: 0700 hours to 1500 hours
– Second Shift: 1500 hours to 2300 hours
– Third Shift: 2300 hours to 0700 hours.

The General Shift (1000-1700/1730 hours) for Ministerial Staff; and all other staff at Gandhidham/Gopalpuri shall contine as per existing system.

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

Source: Extract from Deendayal Port Trust Order dated 16 April 2020

Lockdown extended, impact on port ops
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, India

India’s Prime Minister has further extended the nationwide lockdown which started on 25 March, until 3 May, to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Ports have been struggling due to shortage of workers to move cargoes, particularly for dry bulk shipments. Vessel movements almost halted because of the lockdown and quarantine measures taken by the government to control coronavirus pandemic and the resultant delays, due to manpower shortage and logistics problems at the ports.

Even though port services have been brought under the ‘Essential Services List’, some vessels which came alongside berths have encountered difficulties in carrying out cargo operations as only 20-25% of the total workforce were present. There is also a shortage of trucks, which is badly affecting cargo evacuation alongside berths and at storage yards.

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

COVID 19: Port and facility operations (update)
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a myriad of unique operating conditions that warrant special considerations. Some challenges have included cruise ships mooring at facilities not approved for passenger operations, garbage removal, and facility and vessel crew interactions.

Because of these operational concerns, the following clarification and guidance is provided to help ensure the safety and security of workers, ports, and facilities:

Signatures: Both Declarations of Security (DoS) and Declarations of Inspection (DOI) require signatures. Electronic signatures discussed below are acceptable. However, if electronic signatures are not reasonable, in lieu of having one DoS/DOI with two signatures, two separate forms may be used. Each DoS/DOI will be signed and the name of the other Person in Charge (PIC) or Facility Security Officer (FSO)/Vessel Security Officer (VSO) or their designated representative should be written on each form with a date and time. Each PIC and FSO/VSO shall keep their respective copies. Communications are key and both parties should ensure complete understanding of their duties and responsibilities before beginning any operations. (Ch 1)

Declarations of Security (DoS) – 33 CFR 105.245 and approved Facility Security Plans require a DoS to be completed in certain situations, depending on the Maritime Security (MARSEC) level. While there may be a requirement to complete a DoS, there is no requirement for the coordination of security needs and procedures, signature of the DoS, or implementation of agreed upon measures to be conducted in a face-to-face manner between the FSO and the Master, VSO, or their designated representative. As such, electronic communication may be used for the purposes of completing the DoS, however a conversation should still occur between both the vessel and facility.

Declarations of Inspection (DOI) – 33 CFR 156.150 requires a DOI to be completed before any transfer of oil or hazardous material to or from a vessel. Prior to the transfer beginning and in accordance with 33 CFR 156.120 and 156.120(w), the PIC from the vessel and facility shall meet to begin completing the DOI and hold a conference to ensure both parties understand the operation. The DOI meeting/conference can be completed over the radio, phone or at a safe social distance and still meet these requirements, however both PIC’s must communicate with each other before beginning any transfer. Additionally, both PIC’s shall sign the DOI, but it can be done electronically. All other requirements of 33 CFR 156.150 must be met before the transfer begins.

Seafarer’s Access – Maritime facility operators are reminded they are not permitted to impede the embarkation/disembarkation of crew members as permitted under Seafarer’s Access regulations. The authority to restrict access resides with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Coast Guard, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for medical matters. Facility operators should contact their local CBP, Coast Guard, or the CDC, State and local health department offices regarding specific questions or concerns about their individual operations. Nothing in the Seafarer Access requirements prevent the facility from maximizing options to minimize direct interaction that may include use of camera systems, barriers, or other measures. These modifications can be made to the Facility Security Plan or use of Noncompliance, as discussed below, may be used.

Noncompliance – 33 CFR 105.125 discusses noncompliance with the facility security requirements. If a situation arises where a facility will not be able to comply with the requirements of 33 CFR 105, the facility must contact the Captain of the Port (COTP) to request and receive permission to temporarily deviate from the requirements. Potential situations where this can be used are modified escort requirements in secure areas or mooring a cruise ship at a non-passenger terminal. This request should include any new measures or safeguards the facility plans to employ to mitigate any risk from the non-compliance with 33 CFR 105. While not discussed in 33 CFR 105, the facility operator should also evaluate and consider any safety risks that may be created from the non-compliance. For example, if a facility will receive a different type of vessel than they normally receive, the facility operator should consider if the dock is physically capable of handling that vessel, and any logistical issues that may arise such as movement of personnel from the vessel off the facility, any medical issues or personnel that may be introduced to the facility, supplies for the vessel, and waste removal from the vessel.

Waste Reception Facilities – Garbage and Medical Waste: 33 CFR 158 regulations require all ports and terminals under the jurisdiction of the United States to provide vessels with reception facilities for garbage (33 CFR 158.133(c)). International regulations require these reception facilities to have a Certificate of Adequacy (COA) issued by the Coast Guard that attests to their ability to offload garbage, which may include medical waste (33 CFR 158.410)…

TWIC Enrollment Centers – If applicants are planning to visit an enrollment center, please use the “Find an Enrollment Center” feature at the bottom of the Universal Enroll website (https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/locator) to determine if the center is open and its hours of operation.
(For 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.07-20, Change 1, dated 17 April 2020

Crew changes
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Australia

The situation in Australia remains unclear in relation to crew changes.

On 9 April, the Australian National Cabinet agreed that the Australian Government and all states and territories would implement a consistent and immediate exemption for non-cruise maritime crew to provide for the transiting to and from their places of work, within and across jurisdictions with agreed documentation.

Whilst the Federal Government has put reasonable restrictions in place which do allow for crew changes, Australia is a federation of states and each state has their own Government and makes their own individual laws. Each state has put additional restrictions for crew changes in place.

In general, on-signing crew would require to be isolated in a hotel at the airport of arrival into Australia. This quarantine would be for 14 days and would be at the owner’s expense. It should also be noted there are limited flights into Australia.

Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have closed their borders. If crew arrive to another city but need to transit into these states, they would need to be quarantined on arrival in Australia for 14 days before travelling to these states. They would then be quarantined in Queensland, Northern Territory or Western Australia for another 14 days.

Off-signing crew are easier. If the vessel has been more than 14 days from its last overseas port, there will be no issues with crew signing off. If the vessel has been less than 14 days from its last overseas port then crew will require to serve the remainder of the 14 day isolation either ashore in a hotel or before leaving the vessel. There are very limited internal flights in Australia with one major airline going into administration this week and others have reduced the number of flights.

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

Repair works at oil jetty
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Deendayal, India

Oil Jetty-3 (OJ-3) at Deendayal Port, Kandla, is undergoing repair works involving fixing fenders & ladders from today (21 April to 5 May).

Vessel operations at the jetty will be suspended during this period.

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

Pre-arrival documents, crew movements & port operations
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Denmark

Due to measures in place to control the spread of COVID-19, all ships calling at Danish ports must send their Maritime Declaration of Health prior to arrival to their agent for submission to the relevant authorities.

Crew changes are still possible. All inbound and outbound personnel need to carry documents stating their purpose of transit. This can be a letter from their employer or GAC Denmark can issue a Letter of Guarantee, if appropriate.

Shore leave is prohibited. Crew members must stay on board unless for crew change purposes or activity related to cargo/projects and waste.

All Danish ports are still operational, but operating with minimum manning, which can cause some delays. Danish pilots are still servicing both harbour and transit pilotage needs. Stevedores and warehouses are also still operating, but physical contact must be avoided.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Denmark. Contact GAC Denmark at denmark@gac.com

Public sector work suspension extended, curfew expanded
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Kuwait

Kuwait is extending the suspension of work in the public sector until 31 May 31 and expanding the nationwide curfew to 16 hours, as part of efforts to combat Coronavirus.

The 4pm to 8am curfew will come into effect at the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which will fall on Thursday or later this week, depending on the sighting of the new crescent moon.

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

Repatriation guidelines
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Philippines

The Philippines Bureau of Quarantine has issued guidelines for the repatriation via cruise ships and other maritime vessels.

In its Memorandum Circular No.2020-18 dated 16 April 2020, the Bureau covers general guidelines as well as specific measures for vessel arrivals – including inspection, quarantine, and disembarkation of both Filippino and foreign crew – and vessel departure.

All vessels must submit their Notice of Arrival (including purpose of call and vessel activity) one week before the estimated time of arrival.

All repatriate crew must stay in individual cabin and must be exempted from non-emergency duties. Only service crew must provide the basic needs of the repatriate crew, work their regular task, and function in ship keeping. Segregation of repatriate crew done upon departure from last port.

All quarantine inspections and clearances will be conducted at quarantine anchorages.

Infection prevention and control protocols must be observed at all times.

The Bureau of Quarantine has also issued guidelines for the use of cruise ships as a quarantine facility.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the Philippines, contact GAC Philippines at philippines@gac.com

Closure of airports extended
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Nigeria

The closure of [Nigeria’s] five international airports – namely Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (DNMM), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (DNAA), Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (DNKN), Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Port Harcourt (DNPO) and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enegu (DNEN) – has been extended for a further two weeks effective 23 April at 2300Z to 7 May at 2300Z.

Henceforth, all airports in Nigeria are closed to all international flights except for emergency and essential flights.

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

Source: Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority notice dated 20 April 2020

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