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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


Paradip, India


Panama Canal, Panama

Panama Canal, Panama

United States

Aden, Yemen

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Townsville, Australia




Kårstø, Sture & Mongstad, Norway

Louisiana, United States

Turkish Straits, Turkey

Scale of Rates to increase
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Paradip, India

Paradip Port Trust has advised that its of Scale of Rates will be indexed by a factor of 1.88% for the year 2020-21, with effect from Friday, 1 May, and until 30 April 2021.

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

MaritimeSG Together package for maritime companies, individuals and seafarers
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will provide further financial support to the maritime industry in the wake of the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) outbreak.

The maritime sector is key to Singapore’s economy. Sea trade, which accounts for over 80% of global trade, is particularly important during this time to ensure the flow of essential goods including food and medicine. To provide support to the industry, MPA has announced the MaritimeSG Together Package which will take effect from 1 May 2020. This is on top of previous measures announced under the Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets.

The MaritimeSG Together Package, amounting to about $27 million, will provide:
a) Financial support to companies;
b) Financial support to individuals for training; and
c) Financial and employment support to Singaporean seafarers.

To help vessel owners and operators of cargo vessels, MPA will provide a 30% port dues concession for cargo vessels from 1 May to 31 Dec 2020. MPA will also grant a 30% port dues concession for all non passenger-carrying harbourcraft in the Port of Singapore over the same period.

MPA has earlier announced a 35% rebate to regional ferry operators to offset their monthly rental fees for overnight berthing of vessels and counter rental at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal for three months starting Mar 2020. With effect from 1 May 2020, MPA will increase this support to 50% until 31 Dec 2020.

To strengthen longer-term capabilities, MPA will introduce new manpower schemes and increase the co-funding provided under selected Maritime Cluster Fund programmes, from 1 May to 31 Dec 2020.

A new Maritime Cluster Fund-Internship Reimbursement Scheme will help maritime companies continue to provide students who are Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Residents with internship opportunities. MPA will co-fund 50% of the internship allowance paid by maritime companies, capped at $500 per month per intern, for up to a maximum period of six months.

MPA will also increase its co-funding support under selected Maritime Cluster Fund schemes to up to 90%. These measures seek to encourage upskilling and further support maritime companies in their digital transformation efforts during this period.

MPA recognises that maritime companies may face challenges in managing their cash flows and meeting their financial obligations. MPA will exercise flexibility in credit management measures from 1 May to 31 Dec 2020.

During this COVID-19 period, seafarers are faced with uncertainty due to increased border control measures and crew change restrictions. MPA has been facilitating the return of Singaporean seafarers who wish to sign off when their ships call at Singapore.

We have about 500 Singaporean seafarers and they are an invaluable asset to Singapore’s maritime sector. To support them, MPA and the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) will roll out the Seafarers Relief Package for eligible seafarers who are unable to secure shipboard employment between 1 May to 31 Jul 2020. They can apply to receive up to $800 per month in financial assistance.

To encourage Singaporeans to continue to pursue their career advancements, MPA, the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), SMOU, and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) are jointly providing $10,000 to eligible Certificate of Competency Class 1 (COC 1) holders who can accumulate at least six months of sea experience as Chief Officers or Second Engineers from Jan to Dec 2020.

To enable the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) cadets to complete their diploma and obtain their Certificate of Competencies (CoC) as scheduled despite disruptions to their shipboard training, MPA and SMA will exercise flexibility on the curriculum requirements and put in place alternative arrangements such as carrying out classroom trainings online and deferring shipboard training. MPA has also started to carry out oral examinations via video-conferencing for seafarer candidates so as not to hold up the advancement of their careers.

MPA will continue to partner seafarer welfare associations to providing for the needs of seafarers onboard ships calling at Singapore. MPA will provide a one-off increase of $50,000 to its annual contribution of $150,000 to the seafarer missions in May 2020. The annual grant supports a wide range of welfare services for seafarers including free counselling services and pastoral care which are both available online…

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

Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore news release dated 29 April 2020

Temporary relief measures
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Panama Canal, Panama

To help mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Panama Canal has announced a temporary adjustment to its reservation system that will provide customers with added flexibility and relief.

Effective May 4, 2020, the waterway will implement temporary changes to the requirements for the placement of booking guarantees and advance payment of reservation fees when the reservation is confirmed. Customers will be allowed to place the guarantee for the payment of the booking slot prior to the vessel initiating transit…

…The measure will be in place for 120 days, lifting on September 1, 2020. It comes as the result of dialogues between the Canal’s leadership team and industry leaders, during which the Canal collected input on how to best provide support to its customers.

In January, the Panama Canal began implementing measures to safeguard its sustained operations, the health of its workforce, customers, and the crew of ships in transit in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, the waterway instituted heightened procedures, including a reduction of on-site staff to only those essential for transit operations, and mandating their strict compliance with protocols set forth by the Panamanian health authorities.

The Panama Canal remains committed to providing industry-leading environmental, time and cost savings to shipping lines and shippers who want to take advantage of Panama’s all-water route and strategic geographic position. As such, the waterway will continue to operate normally and with a full contingency of personnel needed to sustain transit operations for the time ahead.

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal, contact GAC Panama at operations.panama@gac.com)

Source: Panama Canal Authority press release dated 29 April 2020

Temporary suspension of advance payment for transit reservation (booking) fees
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Panama Canal, Panama

Due to concerns regarding the adverse effect that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on world trade, and the shipping industry in particular, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announces temporary modifications to requirements for the placement of booking guarantees and advance payment of reservation fees when a reservation is confirmed.

Beginning at 0900 hours Monday, May 4, 2020, until 0859 hours Tuesday, September 1, 2020, the following modifications will be in effect:

Transit reservation requests for all booking periods submitted during this time period will not require the placement of a booking guarantee, nor will require payment of the booking fee at the time the slot is awarded. However, the guarantee shall be placed prior to the vessel beginning its transit.

Substitution of booking slots will not require the placement of the guarantee for the substituting vessel. If the substituted vessel has already paid the reservation fee, it will be refunded after deducting any additional charges that may apply.

Swaps between vessels without guarantees, or between a vessel with guarantee and another vessel without guarantee, will not require the placement of guarantees in order for the swap to be approved. Nevertheless, these vessels shall have their guarantee placed prior to beginning their transit.

Similarly, booking date changes and Daylight Transit Service requests will not require the placement of a guarantee in order for the date change or the Daylight Transit Service to be approved. The corresponding guarantees shall be placed prior to the vessels beginning their transit.

Cancellation of booking slots that do not have a guarantee already established will require the placement of the guarantee that covers the amount of the cancellation.
Booking slots that have already been allocated and the guarantee has been placed will not be refunded.

The guarantee requirements for the Transit Itinerary Creation Fee will remain unchanged. This guarantee must be approved by the guarantor bank in ACP’s automated system in order for the booking slot to be confirmed and for any request for substitution or swap to be accepted.

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal, contact GAC Panama at operations.panama@gac.com)

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory To Shipping No.A-17-2020 dated 29 April 2020

Onboard precautions for COVID-19
Thursday, April 30, 2020, United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019. This guidance includes measures to prevent infection in crew members, recommended PPE, cleaning and disinfection, how to manage sick passengers or crew.

Vessel owners and operators are encouraged to develop procedures to prevent, respond, and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on board vessels. These plans should include the applicable aspects of the CDC guidance as well as any additional requirements of local health agencies.

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

New COVID-19 cases confirmed
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Aden, Yemen

Following the registration of five confirmed COVID-19 cases in Aden, the following measures are in effect:

A 24-hours curfew in Aden for three days starting at midnight Wednesday 29/04/2020

Closure of all markets, restaurants and shopping malls for two weeks

Closure of mosques and prayer rooms for two weeks

Closure of border outlets except for cargo and humanitarian aid movements,
Meanwhile, the port of Aden remains open and operational as normal.

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

Port charges’ amendment
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Port charges applied at ADNOC’s Petroleum Ports will be adjusted effective Monday 1 June 2020, to be calculated at the rate of 1.60 AED per Gross Registered Ton (GRT), excluding taxes, for vessels over NRT 4,500 ton…

…Other service charges shall remain under the Port Charges Scheme, Article 3.2 of the Petroleum Ports Regulations.

(For information about operations in Abu Dhabi, contact GAC Abu Dhabi at abudhabi@gac.com)

Source: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Petroleum Ports Authority Circular No.2/2020 dated 30 April 2020

Change to two-port policy
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Townsville, Australia

From midnight tonight (30 April), Maritime Safety Queensland will change the two-port policy to also include the Port of Townsville under the same restrictions as the port of Brisbane.

Therefore, from midnight tonight, vessels arriving at Townsville (other than those arriving from China and South Korea) will be allowed to berth and commence cargo operations provided all non-essential crew remain on board and in self-isolation.

Crew essential to the operations of the vessel will be permitted to carry out essential tasks provided they observe social distancing and wear appropriate PPE. This is provided there is no sickness reported onboard.

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

Crew change protocol
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Gibraltar

In continuation of Port Circular No.8 of 2020 dated 5 April 2020, crew changes will be allowed by Gibraltar Port Authority subject to compliance with the following measures:


No OPL crew changes allowed – vessel must be at anchor.
Vessel disembarking crew cannot depart Gibraltar until crew have boarded the aircraft.
In case of flight cancellation, crew to be returned to vessel – master to confirm acceptance of this in writing.
Disembarking crew to confirm free of any symptoms for past 14 days – vessel’s master to provide official declaration.
Agent to arrange special transport provisions – transportation from port to airport is to be using designated transport facilities, managed by HMGoG’s office for Civil Contingencies.
Agent launch crew to avoid close contact with disembarking crew.
No hotel stay allowed.
Embarking Crew:

No OPL crew changes allowed – vessel must be at anchor.
Onsigners to be isolated in their hotel rooms for stay.
Only designated hotel to be used where hotel stay is required. This hotel facility is being managed by HMGoG’s office for Civil Contingencies.
Agent to arrange special transport provisions – transportation from airport to hotel (limited to one night’s stay) and to port is to be using designated transport facilities, managed by HMGoG’s office for Civil Contingencies.
Agent launch crew to avoid close contact with embarking crew.
(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Gibraltar, contact GAC Gibraltar at agency.gibraltar@gac.com)

Source: Gibraltar Port Authority Port Circular No.12 of 2020 dated 30 April 2020

Revised COVID-19 declaration
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Qatar

A revised COVID-19 declaration form becomes effective for vessels calling at Qatari ports from tomorrow, 1 May. All vessels should comply with the same for each port call.

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

Partial lifting of lockdown restrictions
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Namibia

The State of Emergency declared in Namibia on 17 March will remain in for six months, and may be extended subject to the changing situation. In line with global guidelines, the country has adopted 4 stages of restrictions, as follows:

The current countrywide lockdown will end at midnight on 4 May.

Gradual re-opening, under strict precautions, from 5 May to 2 June 2020. During this:

All members of the public will be required to wear facemasks in public spaces. The Government will assist vulnerable persons to acquire masks.
People will be permitted to travel domestically between regions and within towns and cities, without restriction.
Borders will remain closed for non-Namibians. Returning Namibians will be permitted to re-enter the country subject to screening at points of entry and supervised quarantine for 14 days.
Businesses and productive activities, unless prohibited, will be allowed to reopen, subject to responsible personal and organisational conduct and in compliance with Health & Hygiene guidelines
More moderate precautions could come into effect from 2 June until the end of the month.

This final stage will introduce a New Normal and could last until the end of the State of Emergency.

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

Revised helicopter tariffs
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Kårstø, Sture & Mongstad, Norway

According to the agreement between Airlift AS and the Norwegian Pilot services, a price adjustment may be considered if the number of boardings show change over time.

The level at Kårstø, Sture and Mongstad has been adjusted due to an increase in the number of assignments for pilot with helicopter.

From 1 May 2020, the prices are:

Kårstø, Sture, Mongstad – 92.345 per assignment

Nyhamna – 125.265 per assignment

Melkøya – 146.536 per assignment

For information about operations in Norway, contact GAC Norway at norway@gac.com

Border to re-open, Stay at Home order remains
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Louisiana, United States

On May 1, 2020, the border between Texas and Louisiana will be opened again. The Stay At Home Order remains in place in Louisiana until 15 May.

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

Attendance of Turkish technicians
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Turkish Straits, Turkey

As per the latest advice from the authorities, Turkish technicians may be onboard vessels in the Turkish Straits, subject to certain conditions and rules.

While they are onboard;

They will declare that they accept all rules which in force by related authorities via the vessel’s agent.
Compulsory wearing of all personal protective security clothes.
Keeping of social distance while onboard is compulsory.
They may not stay onboard for more than 24 hours.
They may not work in the vessel’s living quarters and may have no physical contact with living quarters.
No permission will be given for more than 4 Turkish technicians to be onboard at the same time.
If Turkish technicians do not obey above listed rules they will have to stay at a decided quarantine place for 14 days for incubation period.

Further, the Captain must provide the below listed documents to obtain the necessary permissions from related parties:

A letterhead with the Captain’s signature and stamp which mentions the malfunction onboard.
Last 10 ports
Maritime Health Declaration
Fever measurement report for all crew onboard in last 3 days
Crew list which shows all crews embarkation date place
For information about operations in Turkey, contact GAC Turkey at turkey@gac.com

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