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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


Cochin, India

Deendayal, India

Ras Laffan, Qatar

Mobile, United States

United Arab Emirates



Fujairah, United Arab Emirates


South Africa

New Orleans, United States

Indexation of charges
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Cochin, India

The annual indexation factor @ 1.88% (subject to achievement of performance standards) will come into effect for the year 2020-21 from 1 May 2020.

The Cochin Port Trust has achieved the Cargo related standards as per the Performance Standards notified in the Official Gazette. Hence, Cochin Port Trust has decided to apply the indexation to the following charges covered in the SOR and escalate the rates by 1.88% with effect from 1 May 2020:

Chapter III – Cargo related charges
Chapter IV – Hire charges for port equipment
Chapter V – Container related charges
Chapter VI – CFS related charges
Chapter VII – Miscellaneous charges
– 7.4 – Charges for removal of goods by the port in case importer/exporter fails to remove the goods.
– 7.5 – Charges for use of de-ballast tanks, transfer/inter-transfer of POL products.
(For further details, as well as information about operations in India, contact GAC India at india@gac.com)

Source: Cochin Port Trust Trade Circular dated 27 April 2020

Change to Scale of Rates
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Deendayal, India

Since Dendayal Port Trust has achieved the committed performance standards during the year 2019, the Scale of Rates is indexed by applying an indexation factor of 1.88% for the year 2020-21 from 1 May 2020.

The tariff so indexed will be effective from 1 May 2020 and shall be valid until 30 April 2021.

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

Source: Dendayal Port Trust Trade Circular dated 27 April 2020

Processing of new port passes
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Ras Laffan, Qatar

Processing of new Ras Laffan port passes has been put on hold with immediate effect until further notice.

Only seaman transit pass and existing port pass renewal is currently possible.

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

New SAFER AT HOME policy
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Mobile, United States

A new SAFER AT HOME Order has been released for the State of Alabama, effective from 5:00pm CDT on 30 April through to 5:00pm CDT on 15 May.

While the State is taking these measures to slowly reopen, it is important to note that nothing has changed in terms of COVID-19 policy and procedures at the Port Authority’s terminals and buildings. The Port Authority is continuing with its temperature screening, social distancing and sanitizing protocols. Employees continue to use email, text, teleconferencing and phone calls to conduct business and travel remains suspended.

The Management of the Port of Mobile is in constant contact with federal and state officials to ensure the port remains open to commerce.

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

Unified measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, United Arab Emirates

In order to protect workers in UAE ports and territorial waters by taking all preventive measures, the FTA [Federal Transport Authority] stresses the necessity to follow the following instructions:


It is prohibited for the Ship or any Marine unit to enter into any of the Dry Dock/Ship Repair/Maintenance Workshop until the vessel completes 14 days prior to the date of departure from its last foreign port and also if a crew of the vessel had contact with any other person will also be considered as Quarantine period for the vessel for 14 days.
The Captain of the Ship of the Marine Unit, in coordination with its agent, shall inform the competent health authorities of any symptoms of suspected “Coronavirus-Covid19” in order to avoid the penalties imposed in UAE in the event of a violation thereof.

Suspending marine recreational activities of Commercial and Private Pleasure boats during the period of national sterilization, with the exception of the community residing in islands and mountains who use the marine unit of transportation to reach the mainland.
Stop accepting foreign yachts or issuance of cruising permits for sailing in UAE Territorial Waters.

Allowing wooden ships in UAE waters and ports is limited to:

Ships loaded with food and fish only.
Vessels with no cargo on board and have contracts with shipping agents for loading of ready goods.
It is prohibited for Foreign Registered Wooden ships with no cargo on board to enter into UAE ports for commercial business unless they have commercial contract.
Wooden ships are allowed to remain in UAE waters and ports of UAE for a maximum period of 7 days by maintaining safe distance and on board seafarers should not be in contact with others.
Accordingly, FTA through its monitoring system, will work in coordination with all the competent authorities in the UAE to implement and enforce these instructions, and take necessary actions and impose fines application to violators.

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

Source: United Arab Emirates Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime Circular No. (8) 2020 dated 27 April 2020

Crew changes for Indian seafarers
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, India

To facilitate and regulate crew changes for Indian seafarers in view of the Coronavirus pandemic, India’s Director General of Shipping has issued Order No.12 of 2020 prescribing Standard Operating Procedures/Protocols (SOP) for Sign On/Sign Off.

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

State of Emergency and flight ban extended
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Thailand

Thailand’s State of Emergency and temporary ban on all international flights has been extended until 31 May.

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

Updated COVID-19 advice
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

Port of Fujairah requests all port users, shipping agents, suppliers, contractors and visitors to follow the below instruction. This is to ensure the health and safety of your company personnel as well as POF personnel.

All entering POF premise shall ensure that they don’t have any symptoms related to COVID 19 as per the guidelines issues by UAE Health Authorities.
All are advised to follow the precautionary methods to prevent COVID 19 infection and spreading of virus stipulated by UAE Health Authorities.
Ensure appropriate hand wash facilities, access to hand sanitizers and COVID 19 awareness posters are provided.
Ensure periodic sanitisation and disinfection is carried out in your facility and accommodations.
Ensure all employees are provided with face mask and gloves along with other PPE.
Ensure to check the body temperature on daily basis and record it. Social distancing of 2meters need to be followed wherever possible.
Any symptoms of sore throat, fever, breathing difficulties or illness to be reported to the Port Clinic.
If any of your personnel have travelled outside UAE recently, follow 14 days self-quarantine.
If any personnel are tested positive for COVID 19, identify the primary contact and secondary contacts as per the Ministry of Health guidelines and the list need to be provided to POF authorities as early as possible.
The primary and secondary contacts shall be isolated, tested and prohibited from access to port/work for a minimum period of 14 days even if they were tested negative. Test results to be submitted. The request for permission to access the port/work for rest of the employees (who are not in the list of primary and secondary contact) will be considered subject to strict compliance of Health Ministry guidelines and to the satisfaction of Port of Fujairah.
Disinfection to be carried out in all facilities. Disinfection certificates to be provided.
Stay up-to-date with the latest COVID 19 developments and avoid unnecessary meeting with POF staffs.
We encourage to use E-Mail communication/ Voice calls/ Video conferencing etc. , as an alternative for personal meetings.
Do not spread any rumours or false information regarding COVID 19.
You shall not communicate to any one regarding confidential information or developments within POF regarding COVID 19.
Always follow the instruction given by the Health Authorities of UAE.
Remote working is encouraged. Stay Home! Stay Safe!
(For information about operations in Fujairah, contact GAC Fujairah at fujairah@gac.com)

Source: Port of Fujairah note dated 29 April 2020

Crew disembarkation ban extended
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Brazil

On 24 April, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and National Security extended the ban on the disembarkation of crewmembers at Brazilian ports and points of entry, for 30 days starting from 27 April.

Ordinance 47/2020 has been revoked and therefore it is still not possible to change or repatriate crew in Brazil, except for medical evacuation.

Yesterday (28 April), the same Ministry issued an order banning the entrance of foreigners through Brazilian Airports for another 30 days.

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

Level 4 lockdown
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, South Africa

South Africa will be on a Level 4 lockdown status from Friday, 1 May.

This is a step down from the drastic measures of Level 5 to contain the coronavirus and save lives. Under level 4, some activity can be allowed to resume, subject to extreme precautions required to limit community transmission and outbreaks.

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

Southwest Pass recommended transit draft
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, New Orleans, United States

The Bar Pilots for the Port of New Orleans recommend that vessels transiting Southwest Pass from the Sea Buoy (Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy “SW”) to Mile 1.5 above Head of Passes should not have a deep draft in fresh water greater than forty-three feet (43 feet).

This draft recommendation, which may be increased or decreased at any time as conditions warrant, becomes effective immediately.

Nothing in the recommendations should be construed as limiting a pilot in the exercise of their judgement.

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

Source: Associated Branch Pilots (Bar Pilots), Port of News Orleans, notice dated 29 April 2020

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