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Hot Port News from GAC





Mississippi River, United States

Aden, Yemen

Cotonou, Benin








Riga, Latvia

Revised crew changes FAQs
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, India

India’s Director General of Shipping has issued a new set of Frequented Asked Questions related to controlled crew changes at the country’s ports.

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

Crew changes possible at some ports
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, France

Crew changes are now possible for all nationalities at the ports of Montoir, Donges, Saint Nazaire and Nantes.

Other changes in the status of operations at French ports include:

Despite visits to vessels being reduced to a minimum at Brest, Seamen’s Club can come at gangway for “take away” services.
At Lorient, stevedores and crane drivers are working normally except break between 1200 and 1300 hours to avoid teams meeting if working in dayshift.
At most ports in the country, there is no curfew or quarantine, but cruise vessels and ferries carrying more than 100 passengers are forbidden.

Any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases must be included in the Maritime Declaration of Health submitted by the Master prior to arrival.

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations at French ports, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com)

Source: SEA-Invest Shipping Company – GAC agent

Weather deterioration forecast
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Bahamas

A frontal boundary presently over the southeast Bahamas will back up over the central Bahamas on Wednesday [13 May] and stall through Thursday [15 May]. Conditions are expected to become favorable for the development of an area of low pressure along the frontal boundary on Friday afternoon [15 May] in the vicinity of Cat Island.

Pockets of squally showers, heavy thunderstorms, strong gusty winds and the potential for waterspouts and tornadic activity can be expected over portions of the northwest and central Bahamas Wednesday through Saturday.

Residents in the northwest and central Bahamas should prepare for possible flooding especially in low lying areas due to long periods of rain.

Small craft operators in the northwest and central Bahamas should remain in port on Friday and Saturday.

The area of low pressure will move northeast and away from the Bahamas late Saturday night and partly sunny and drier conditions are expected to return Sunday.

The Bahamas Department of Meteorology takes this opportunity to remind the public to ensure that the necessary pre-hurricane precautions are completed before the official start of the 2020 Hurricane Season which begins on 1 June.

Remember preparation is the key, Bahamas. So be prepared!

(For information about operations in the Bahamas, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at hub.us@gac.com)

Source: Bahamas Department of Meteorology Special Weather Statement issued on 12 May 2020

High water restrictions rescinded
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Mississippi River, United States

Effective Wednesday May 13th, the NOBRA Pilot Board of Examiners are rescinding their High Water Restrictions that were put into place on March 30th of this year.

The requirement for vessels with a draft of 35 feet or greater to maintain a pilot onboard while at anchor remains in effect.

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

Source: New Orleans and Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots for the Mississippi River notice dated 11 May 2020

Aden declared contagious city
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Aden, Yemen

The Yemeni Ministry of Health has declared the port city of Aden as a contagious city due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Along with other epidemics such as Chikungunya, Dengue fever and malaria, COVID-19 virus is claiming the lives of dozens of citizens on a daily basis in the face of the collapse of the health system.

The port of Aden remains open and operational.

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

Updated requirements for calling vessels
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Cotonou, Benin

Vessels calling at the port of Cotonou for loading or discharge operation are allowed entry.

Port Health will board all calling vessels to screen the crew before free pratique is granted for cargo operations. Crew condition reports will be submitted to the port including other pre-arrival documents.

No crew change is allowed in Benin until further notice from the government.

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Benin, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com)

Source: OMA Benin – GAC agent

Domestic flights suspension extended
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Pakistan

The Government of Pakistan has extended the suspension of domestic flights until 23:59 hours local time on Thursday 29 May.

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

Quarantine period reduced
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Norway

The quarantine period for individuals arriving in Norway from overseas has been reduced from 14 to 10 days. This does not apply to crew changes.

Crew members and other persons on board who have not had any contact with persons outside the ship, and who are signing off in Norway after the minimum days on board without any symptoms may be regarded as not infectious and do not need to be put in quarantine.

Shore leave is not permitted in any Norwegian ports.

All ports in Norway are closed for passenger transport, but cruise ships may be able to come alongside for provisions, water supply, garbage removal and crew changes. Passengers and crew may not leave ships.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations, contact GAC Norway at norway@gac.com or go to https://deliveringyourstrategy.no/information-regarding-covid-19/

Temporary restriction of crew changes
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Indonesia

Crew changes and the repatriation of foreign crews are temporarily restricted in Indonesia. This does not apply for the repatriation of Indonesian workers.

To curb the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the government has restricted the travel of foreigners to Indonesian Territory. This temporary prohibition will be effected through immigration control at the country’s borders.

The decision will be reviewed on 16 May.

All foreigners are restricted to enter and transit through the Indonesian territory. However, the restriction does not apply to:

a) Children of dual citizenship holding foreign passport and registered in the immigration system as an Indonesian citizen;

b) Foreigners holding Temporary Stay Permit (ITAS) and Permanent Stay Permit (Permanent Residents/KITAS and KITAP) with a valid Multiple Re-entry Permit.

c) Foreigners holding Diplomatic Visa and Official/Service Visa,

d) Foreigners holding Diplomatic Stay Permit and Official/Service Stay Permit.

e) Foreigners for Medical Services and Delivery of Supplies (humanitarian purposes),

f) Crew member of transportation.

g) Foreigners working on NATIONAL STRATEGIC PROJECTS such as infrastructure or construction with approval from the Director-General of Immigration.

The following are required for the above exclusions:

Valid health certificate in English issued by the health authorities of each country;
14 days in a region/country with no confirmed cases of Covid-19;
Statement of compliance to be quarantined for 14 days conducted by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia;
Undergo additional health screening, including:
a) Interviews;
b) Temperature check, signs and symptoms COVID-19;
c) Oxygen saturation test
d) Rapid Test/PCR examination.
Crew members will be allowed to enter if they are:

An active crew status assigned by an operator to duty on an aircraft when entering Indonesia;

An extra crew as a passenger when entering Indonesia to become an active crew when leaving Indonesia under the following circumstances:
a. Providing a notification letter which assigns him/her as an active crew
b. The notification letter shall be delivered at least 24 hours prior to extra crew’s arrival;
c. Showing a crew identity card or crew member certificate during an immigration clearance;
d. A registered crew in the same airline as inbound flight as he/she arrives.

Crew members not allowed to disembark from their ships unless otherwise declared as emergency circumstances and urgent matter.

For signing-on crew, Indonesian Visa application at the Indonesian Embassy or Consulates is temporarily closed subject to business hours and only open for Diplomatic Visa, Official/Service Visa application, or persons engaged with essential work in Indonesia for National Strategic Projects.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Indonesia, contact PT Andhika GAC at shipping.indonesia@gac.com

GAC resumes Cash To Master services
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Singapore

After sourcing a new supplier, GAC Singapore has now resumed its Cash To Master (CTM) services which were suspended last week due to depleted stocks of foreign currencies and forex suppliers/money changers being deemed non-essential services during the lockdown period.

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

Curfew in place, COVID-19 protocols at port
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Barbados

Barbados is under curfew from 2000 to 0500 hours.

The port is fully operational with Covid-19 protocols being observed. Ship must fully sanitise their gangway, pilot’s ladder, handrails, bridge, tables, etc. upon arrival at Barbados. Further, sanitisation stations to be made available onboard for any visitors, and social distancing be exercised by stevedores/crew while onboard with PPE to be worn by crew and stevedores.

The airport remains opened but presently not handling commercial flights into/out of Barbados. Charter flights are being handled.

Arriving visitors arriving MUST undergo a 14-day quarantine period.

However, crew changes are possible, but written permission must first be sought/given, and crew MUST travel directly to the ship or to the airport.

Most hotels remain closed.

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

Crew changes possible despite quarantine
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Lithuania

The national quarantine will remain in force in Lithuania until 23:59 hours local time on 31 May. Crew changes, however, are possible subject to travel logistics such as availability of flights, etc.

The ports of Klaipeda and Butinge are operating normally with no clearance delays expected or congestion due to COVID-19 or operations.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Lithuania, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com

Crew changes with restrictions
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Estonia

Crew changes are possible in Estonia, with restrictions, as follows:

Upon arrival of a ship in the port, a crew member shall be permitted to enter the port (quay) during the vessel’s stay in the port of Estonia only for towing, landing or loading or other activities necessary for the operation.

No regular landing by a member of the crew shall be permitted while the vessel is in port.

The admission of a crew member as a transit passenger to Estonia shall be subject to a special reasoned request submitted by the Police and Border Guard Board to the Tallinn Corps or to the Tallinn-1 border inspection post (Airport) under the following conditions:
3.1 a crew member who does not show any signs of illness and crosses Estonian territory for the purpose of immediate transit to his / her country of residence, if transport connections allow (air traffic, bus traffic, etc.);
3.2 a crew member who does not show any signs of illness and crosses the territory of Estonia immediately in order to board a merchant ship for the purpose of transit.

The accommodation of a crew member in the hotels is not permitted in Estonia.
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Estonia, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com

COVID-19 precautionary requirements
Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Riga, Latvia

In view of the state of emergency declared throughout Latvia to restrict the spread of Covid-19, the crews of all cargo ships calling at the Port of Riga, personnel of all terminals and the port shall adhere to the following requirements:

Ship agents of all cargo vessels calling at the Port of Riga, in addition to other pre-arrival documentation shall submit also completed Maritime Declaration of Health Form via the International Ship Logistics and Port Information System (SKLOIS) before entering the port.

Upon crossing the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) reporting line, the Master of the vessel shall call the VTS – call sign “RIGA TRAFFIC” – on VHF Ch 09 and confirm that all crew members are in good health. The Master of the vessel shall also provide an identical report at least one hour prior departure from the port.

Crewmembers of foreign-flagged vessels calling at the Port of Riga shall not be allowed to come ashore, except when routine operation of the vessel requires so (for example, to inspect the draft marks, to receive ship supplies).

All activities related to cargo handling and ship maintenance shall be carried out with a minimum of physical contact between persons within a minimum distance of 2 meters. Visits on board vessel shall be limited to essential crew only.

In case of suspicion on board the ship of having COVID-19, the Master of the vessel shall immediately report it to the Harbour Master office either by e-mail satiksme@rop.lv, phone + 371 67082035 or reporting to VTS on VHF Ch 09. In this case, the vessel is directed to the anchorage for further action.
Crew change is only possible for Latvian nationals.

The latest information on the situation in the country and recommendations for action in the event of a pandemic is available at www.spkc.lv

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Latvia, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com

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