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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC




Al Wajajah border, Oman


Ras Laffan, Qatar

Basrah, Iraq


El Salvador

Alabama, United States


Dredging in Temasek Fairway
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Singapore

Dredging works are underway in Temasek Fairway for Tuas Terminal Phase 2.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Notice No.027 of 2020 dated 6 May 2020, the work is being carried out 24 hours daily – including Sundays & Public Holidays – until 5 November, within the working area bounded by the following coordinates (WGS 84 Datum):
1) 01 deg. 15.678’N / 103 deg. 39.066’E
2) 01 deg. 15.719’N / 103 deg. 39.165’E
3) 01 deg. 15.760’N / 103 deg. 39.265’E
4) 01 deg. 15.257’N / 103 deg. 39.468’E
5) 01 deg. 15.216’N / 103 deg. 39.368’E
6) 01 deg. 15.175’N / 103 deg. 39.268’E

Dredging works are being carried out by grab and suction dredgers, supported by hopper barges and pusher tugs. The dredgers are held in position by spuds within the working area.

A safety boat is in attendance to warn and direct craft in the vicinity to keep clear of working area.

Craft involved in the works exhibit the appropriate local and international day and night signals.

When in the vicinity of the working area, mariners are reminded to:
a) Keep well clear of the working area;
b) Maintain a proper lookout;
c) Proceed at a safe speed and to navigate with caution;
d) Maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 22 (Jurong Control);
e) Communicate with Jurong Control on VHF Channel 22 for assistance, if required.

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

Lockdown until 29 May
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Oman

Due to the persistent proliferation of coronavirus in some areas, it has been decided to continue the Muscat Governorate lockdown until 10pm on Friday 29 May.

Crew changes at all ports in the country remain suspended until further notice, and incoming vessels must adhere to Ministry of Health/ Port Authority guidelines.

The entry of non-Omani nationals into Oman by air, sea and road is banned until further notice. Immigration authorities have suspended accepting visa applications until further notice.

All international and domestic flights to/from Omani airports have been halted and public transport is suspended until further notice.

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

Customs offices closed
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Al Wajajah border, Oman

Customs clearance offices at Oman’s Al Wajajah border post have been closed from 6 May, upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Health to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Importers, exporters, and clearing agents are being encouraged to use the Bayan online single window/one-stop services.

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

Guidelines for interzonal movement
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Philippines

Executive Order 112 dated 30 April 2020 imposed an Enhanced Community Quarantine [ECQ] in High Risk Geographical Areas of the Philippines and General Community Quarantine [GCQ] in the rest of the country from 1 to 15 May 2020…

…An ECQ shall be in effect in the entirety of the following geographical areas, all provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), independent component cities (ICCs), component cities (CCs), and municipalities situated therein from 0001 on 1 May to 2359 on 15 May 2020, where vessels are calling or leaving ports below:

National Capital Region;
Region III (Central Luzon), except Aurora Province;
Pangasinan Province;
Iloilo Province;
Cebu Province;
Bacalod City;
Davao City.
For the same period, a GCQ is imposed in all other areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, provided that minimum health standards are achieved and continuously observed.

The non-essential entry and exit of people to/from the ECQ zone is prohibited…

…Travel by uniformed personnel and government officials and employees for official business, with corresponding travel authority, especially those transporting medical supplies and laboratory specimens related to COVID-19, and other relief humanitarian assistance shall be allowed. OFWs, permanent residents of foreign jurisdictions and stranded foreign nationals may leave for abroad through seaports in areas under ECQ or GCQ…

…The movement of all types of cargoes by sea within and across areas placed under ECQ and GCQ shall be unhampered. Workers in the logistics sector, such as cargo, trucking and port operations shall be allowed to transit across areas placed under ECQ and GCQ…

…all persons are mandated to wear face masks, earloop masks, reusable do-it-yourself masks or face shields, handkerchiefs or such other protective equipment to effectively lessen the transmission of COVID-19 wherever they go…

(For information about operations in the Philippines, contact GAC Philippines at philippines@gac.com)

Source: Extracts from Philippines Coast Guard Memorandum issued on 6 May 2020

Pass applications being accepted again
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Ras Laffan, Qatar

Effective from today (7 May), Ras Laffan City (RLC) Security are again accepting RLC Pass applications for contractors’ staff effective today. However, one additional requirement which needs to be completed in the application process.

In addition to the normal pass application requirements, a Letter of Undertaking must also be submitted from the Contractor/Sponsor, on their company letterhead and signed by an authorised person, stating that the individual applying for the pass is free of CORONA-19 and other contagious viruses.

This applies to all RLC pass applications irrespective of the type and duration of pass.

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

Terminal SBM under maintenance
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Basrah, Iraq

SBM# 3 at Bas Oil Terminal is under maintenance since yesterday (6 May). Due to adverse weather, the SBM Stbd hawser has parted from the shore-end connection of the chain.

Nonetheless, no congestion or delays is anticipated. Loading operations at all four jetties and three other SBMs continues without any hindrance.

For information about operations in Iran, contact GAC Iraq at iraq@gac.com

Revised guidelines for relaxation of restrictions
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Cyprus

The Cypriot Minister of Transport, Communications and Works has issued revised guidelines for the gradual relaxation of the Restrictive Measures to Response to the Pandemic of the COVID 19 virus in ports and port facilities in Cyprus.

The following revised restrictive measures are to be applied to all ports and port facilities:

Any disembarkation of passengers and persons who are members of crews of any type of vessel is prohibited, including cruise ships and recreational craft, for the purpose of conducting visits, stays or overnights on the territory of the Republic, except for the replacement/change of crews as referred to in 2 below.

The transfer and/or departure from the Republic of persons who are members of crews of commercial vessels, cruise ships in decommissioning status, yachts and crew members on platforms conducting exploratory drillings within Exclusive Economic Zones of States with which the Republic of Cyprus has established diplomatic relations, either on board vessels calling in ports of the Republic, or arriving, with flights exceptionally authorised by the Minister of Transport. A relevant protocol has been prepared for the procedure to be followed for the change of crews.

With respect to the crews of commercial vessels (tugboats, etc.) which have a permanent basis in Cyprus and should they operate on international voyages outside territorial waters or voyages within territorial waters and come into contact with other ship crews or foreign ports, they must strictly comply with the instructions of the Medical and Public Health Services, i.e. self-limitation of the occupants for 14 days, on their return to Cypriot ports. Such vessels sailing in or outside territorial waters, where the same crew members work as employers in the company and provided that, when serving other ships, they do not come into contact with the crews of other ships and do not visit foreign ports, then there will be no obligation to self-restraint.

The long-term stay of ships in anchorages of the Republic for decommissioning purposes, in readiness conditions (warm lay-up) on the basis of the availability of slot for anchoraging for decommissioning purposes and on the basis of the characteristics of the ships is permitted. It is understood that passengers may not be disembarked or disembarked for reasons other than for crew replacement/change purposes as referred to in 2 above.

Military Vessels: They may be docked after Notam Verbatim, but their crews may not be disembarked except for replacement/change as mentioned in 2 above.

Private vessels may move between authorised berths within the territory of the Republic for maintenance and repair purposes.

It is permitted to move members of the UNIFIL Command force based in the ground installations of the port of Limassol. As regards the crews of UNIFIL vessels, it is only allowed to disembark for direct transport to an appropriate hotel inland for self-restraint and for their replacement/change as referred to in 2 above.

In the event of emergencies (emergency medical situations) for a sick passenger or a sick crew member, either at anchorage or in port, agents exceptionally and due to the emergency medical situation will be entitled to make the necessary arrangements for the transport and care of the patient, provided that they are consulted in advance with the Medical Services and Public Health Services and inform the Cyprus Port Authority.

No one is allowed to embark on any vessel for any reason apart from conducting activities which relate to cargo operations. It is permissible for stevedores, lashers-unlashers and surveyors to embark on vessels for conducting cargo operations with the prerequisite that the Master shall undertake to isolate/restrain the crew and send a written confirmation to the relative Port Establishment, that the crew is in self-restraint order within the cabins and no contact shall incur with the abovementioned personnel during their stay on board the vessel. If their activities can be conducted electronically (signing of certificates) they are prohibited from boarding. The same applies for surveyors involved in the administrative part of operations. Only those who conduct operations relating to sampling checks and measurements (i.e. bunkering) may embark. Stevedores, lashers-unlashers and surveyors must strictly adhere to the rules of self-protection/hygiene (masks, gloves, keeping necessary distance of 1-2 metres from each other, washing hands etc) during embarkation and disembarkation from the vessel.

If there is a need for an inspection of a berthed vessel on the quay by crew members, only one member of the crew may disembark for a short period of time, provided that the ship’s agent informs the Cyprus Port Authority or the Contractors/Licensees/Port Operators, in order to remove the persons working at that time in the specific part of the yard. The Port Police should be present to supervising the aforementioned procedure.

Provisions/Supplies: Crew must self-restrain in their cabins during the ship’s provision process. The Captain is responsible for confirming, both to the Ship Agent and the Cyprus Port Authority or the Contractors/Licensees/Port Operators, that there will be no physical contact/interface of crew with ground personnel. Providers/suppliers will place the supplies on the quay, at a point near the ship to be indicated, and after they have evacuated the area, the crew will be allowed to approach and load the supplies to the ship. At anchorage, provision is permitted provided there will be no physical contact/crew interaction with the providers/suppliers.

Instructions for boarding and disembarking vessels:

Before navigators board the pilot boat:
A. Hand washing before use of equipment (masks, gloves).
B. Installation/application of equipment (masks/gloves) before boarding the pilot boat.
C. Using masks with respirator-filter (type FFP2).
D. Use of disposable gloves.
E. Always have an antiseptic solution with at least 60 % alcohol content so that the gloves can be disinfected in the manoeuvre.

Boarding on board:
F. A distance of at least 1 meter from any person shall be kept.
G. The ship’s bridge shall accommodate the minimum necessary number of people.

Disembarkation of Navigators:
H. Gloves, masks are properly removed and dispensed at the end of the manoeuvre as quickly as possible, in a bin on the quay that shall be placed for this purpose and definitely before entering the offices or interacting with any other persons.
I. Hand washing and antiseptic use.

Those who have no other option to boarding a ship for operations – such as Port State Vessel Inspectors or Ship inspectors or Technicians necessary for conducting inspections or other qualified persons for supervision of unloading machines (e.g. bulk cargo, oil products) and inspection of equipment and safety incidents – must comply with the applicable instructions relating to boarding procedures.

Individuals who remain on board (such as the ‘Mooring Master’ for transhipment operations of petroleum products from ship to ship – ‘STS Operations’, and specialised persons for unloading petroleum products at power stations) , regardless of duration, the following should be adhered to:
A. Certification by the ship carrying the cargo that has been preceded by disinfection of the person/person(s). Where possible such persons should be accommodated in single or double cabins.
B. Clarification whether a personal toilet is available for such staff. In the case of a positive response, the personnel will remain isolated in their cabins without contact with the ship’s crew and will use the personal toilets exclusively and strictly adhere to the personal protective/health measures. In the event of a negative response, the ship must designate a separate toilet for the persons for which it will also have to certify its prior disinfection.
C. The person(s) should carefully remove the personal protective/health equipment after completion of supervision and before entering the cabin. When leaving the cabin and if they are to come into contact with the ship’s crew, personal protective/hygiene equipment should be available for change in the cabin. The final removal of personal protective/health equipment will take place as recorded in the guidance for navigators (i.e. once they reach land).
D. Special importance should be given to avoiding the unnecessary stay of any personnel of the ship near the Mooring Master/Specialised Persons.
E. As far as the issue of nutrition is concerned, it is recommended that they carry the necessary supplies for his/her stay on board with him/her. In case anything additional is needed, he/she will leave it out of the cabin and strictly keep the hands clean.

Crew shall be prohibited to disembark and perform work on the quay for the purpose of maintaining the ship, e.g. painting, washing a vessel, etc.

Those entering ports and port facilities should adhere strictly to the instructions of the Medical Services and Public Health Services in relation to the use of personal protective/health facilities.
Requests for exemption from the application of any of the above submitted to the Cyprus Port Authority will be forwarded by the Cyprus Port Authority to the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works and the Director General of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works for examination and decision after consultation with the Minister of Health.

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

Quarantine extended
Thursday, May 7, 2020, El Salvador

El Salvador has extended its national quarantine until 16 May.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in El Salvador, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at hub.us@gac.com

Stay Home orders still in force
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Alabama, United States

The Stay Home orders for the State of Alabama remain in effect until 5:00pm CDT on 15 May.

While the State is preparing to slowly reopen, nothing has changed in terms of COVID-19 policy and procedures at the Port Authority’s terminals and buildings. Temperature screening, social distancing and sanitizing protocols are still being followed. 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

Crew change protocol
Thursday, May 7, 2020, Cyprus

The Ministry of Transport, Communication and Works has today (7 May) advised that crew changes may be carried out in Cyprus for crew members of commercial ships, platforms conducting exploratory drilling within Exclusive Economic Zones of States with which the Republic of Cyprus has diplomatic relations, cruise ships in decommissioning state, and yachts.

The below protocol should be followed:

Crew must undergo days self-quarantine for 14 days before arriving in Cyprus, and confirm the same by completing the self-declaration form.

They will be subject to a molecular test for COVID-19 prior to their arrival (or upon arrival, if not possible beforehand), and the result of the test must be negative.

The company for which they work and/or the agent responsible for the crew change will undertake to transport the crew directly from the ship to the airport, and to transport crew arriving by air direct from the airport to the port of departure, under strict protective measures.

If it is not possible to synchronise the arrival of the ship and the arrival of the flight, the company and/or agent must make arrangements with the authorities for the crew to stay in designated accommodation under quarantine status until the flight or vessel arrives.

If the results of the molecular tests are pending, the company and/or the agent must make arrangements with the authorities for the crew to stay in designated enclosures, in isolation, until the results of the molecular tests have been obtained.

Where possible, disembarking crew shall remain on board until the date of the flight.

For crew members of vessels already berthed in Cypriot ports who will disembark to depart Cyprus, if synchronisation between the departure of the ship and the departure of the flight, the company and/or the agent must make arrangements with the authorities for the crew to stay in designated accommodation, in isolation, until the flight arrives.

Procedure at airport:

Crew changes will be facilitated through flights specially chartered either by the agent or ship owner and/or those organised by the Republic of Cyprus for the repatriation of Cypriot citizens (if there is available space).
All safety instructions should be complied with within the airport area.
The use of a mask is mandatory and all measures should be taken for hand hygiene. Distances of 2 metres must be maintained by airport workers and other persons at the airport.
Transfer to the Airport should be made within a reasonable time, such as the airline’s instructions before boarding at the airport.
Procedure at port:

Crew members entering a port or port facility to board/disembark a ship must follow strict protective measures.
The use of a mask is mandatory and all measures should be taken for hand hygiene. Distances of 2 metres from port workers and other persons within the port should be maintained.
Transport to the Port should be made within a short period of time in relation to the time of embarkation and after the ship is ready for boarding.
Disembarkation should take place only when the transport means is present to transport the crew to the airport or designated accommodation, as appropriate.
New crew members shall board after the previous crew have left, unless this is not applicable for safety reasons.
Any additional instructions set by the Port Operators and the Cyprus Port Authority as the Regulatory Authority are faithfully complied with.
Process of transfer:

Transportation to and from the destination, depending on the case (port, airport, hotel) is made under strict rules.
Transport is made directly and no intermediate stop is permitted. It is prohibited to disembark from the transport means, except in case of an emergency.
The mode of transport chosen shall be proportionate to the number of passengers and to those applicable in the Republic.
Company and/or agent should make the necessary arrangements to transport crew directly to a laboratory to carry out molecular examination, prior to transport to accommodation.

Where the use of designated accommodation is required, the company and/or the agent should make arrangements for appropriate accommodation for crew to remain in isolation for the required time.

The cost of crew members’ ticket, transport, protective measures, molecular examination and accommodation shall be covered by the company and/or the agent.

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

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