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Hot Port News from GAC


Ras Laffan, Qatar

Hong Kong

Paradip, India

Port Kembla, Australia

Antwerp, Belgium

United Kingdom

Health screening
Friday, July 10, 2020, Ras Laffan, Qatar

As per current Qatar Petroleum Healthcare guidance, staff going to Offshore at Ras Laffan must undergo the health screening at Ras Laffan Madina Clinic facility (near RLC Camp). Those coming from Offshore, however, must undergo the health screening at Ras Laffan Port Clinic prior exiting Port Gate.

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

New conditions for arriving crew members
Friday, July 10, 2020, Hong Kong

Starting from today (10 July), in addition to the aforementioned conditions and as appropriate, all crew members of goods and passenger vessels arriving Hong Kong at the Hong Kong International Airport for sign-on are also required to comply with the following conditions:

(a) Crew arriving Hong Kong at the Hong Kong International Airport to sign-on goods/passenger vessels must have a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at his/her last place of embarkation within 48 hours prior to his/her time of departure from the place of embarkation. The test should be performed by an ISO 15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located;

(b) The shipping company / agent shall declare on the guarantee letter to be submitted to the Immigration Department that the crew member(s) concerned has/have been tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid within 48 hours prior to his/her time of departure from the place of embarkation in an ISO 15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located;

(c) The crew is required to present the test report and guarantee letter to staff of Department of Health when he/she enters Hong Kong.

(d) Crew members who do not possess negative test results will be denied entry, and the shipping company / agent concerned are required to arrange these crew members to fly back to their originating country(ies) forthwith.

Upon arrival at Hong Kong, crew members must pay attention to their health condition, take body temperature twice daily and report to their shipping company/agent.

If they feel unwell, they should call 2125 1133 (if they have stayed in Mainland China, Macao or Taiwan) or 2125 1999 (if they have stayed in other overseas countries/territories).

They are allowed to operate another trip and must wear a surgical mask during work.

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

Servicing of Baby Cape Size vessels
Friday, July 10, 2020, Paradip, India

Paradip Port will accept berthing of Baby Cape/Cape size vessels of LOA up to 300 metres, beam up to 48 metres, DWT up to 118,000 and draft up to 14.5 metres, at CQ-1/CQ-2 berth, NIOB and CB-1.

Berthing of above type of vessels will be carried out subject to favourable weather conditions and during daylight hours only. Berthing of the vessels at CQ-1/CQ-2 berths is permitted until 31 August 2020 and berthing at NIOB and CBI-1 is permitted throughout the year.

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

Adverse weather could disrupt shipping schedule
Friday, July 10, 2020, Port Kembla, Australia

The Port Authority at Port Kembla has advised that adverse weather conditions are expected due to predicted storm activity, which could disruptions the normal shipping schedule.

Currently, the weather is expected to worsen early in the morning of Monday (13 July) and this disruption is likely to continue until Wednesday 15 July.

The forecast outlook also shows higher than normal winds expected over the next two weeks.

Port Kembla VTS will continue to keep all informed of any changes which may include closing of anchorages or suspension of pilotage.

For information about operations in Australia, contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

Port limits damage during corona crisis
Friday, July 10, 2020, Antwerp, Belgium

The total throughput of the Port of Antwerp fell by 4.9% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2019. After a strong first quarter, the port experienced a decline in the transhipment of all flows of goods, with the exception of the container sector. Despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis on global production and logistics chains and a pandemic-driven drop in demand, the port remained 100% operational.

Container traffic increased in the first quarter of the year, but felt the effects of cancelled sailings from April onwards. Nevertheless, for the period January-June 2020, container traffic recorded a slight increase of +0.4% in TEUs compared to the same period last year (with April and May 2019 as absolute record months). The number of calls made by vessels decreased, but this was compensated by a higher average volume per vessel and by additional calls on top of the normal sailing schedules. Notable climbers in this special period were the transhipment of pharmaceutical products, e-commerce and health foods. At the beginning of June, the port also welcomed the world’s newest largest container ship, the HMM Algeciras with a capacity of 23,964 TEU.

Since mid-2019, global trade issues continue to adversely affect goods flows in the conventional breakbulk sector. This has culminated in an overall 29% decrease for the period January-June compared to 2019, with inbound and outbound flows being affected to the same extent. The throughput of iron and steel, the most important freight group within this sector, experienced its best month of 2020 in June but a total decrease of 33.1% for the first six months of this year.

The automotive sector was already struggling in 2019 with the introduction of stricter rules on passenger car emissions in Europe and this trend continued in 2020. From March onwards, the coronavirus crisis only compounded this situation: less exports of new European cars, less supply of new Asian cars and downtime in the second-hand market due to travel restrictions. As a result, the total RoRo throughput fell by 21.8%.

While the transhipment of coal continued to grow in the first quarter, it came to a standstill in the second quarter. This resulted in a 13.1% drop in dry bulk transhipment in January-June 2020 compared to the same period last year. This decrease is partly attributable to the growing supply of green energy, which reduced the need for coal, partly by reduced demand for coal from the steel sector and partly by a strong second quarter in 2019. Fertilisers, which represent the largest share of dry bulk volumes, grew slightly (+1%) compared to January-June 2019.

Liquid bulk decreased by 7.5% compared to the first half of 2019 because of the coronavirus crisis, which wiped out demand for oil products, combined with price wars. Thanks to the gradual lifting of the coronavirus measures and the recovery of the oil price, fuel throughput increased in May and June. Moreover, chemicals decreased by 8.9% compared to the first six months of 2019, mainly due to reduced demand from the automotive sector.

Over the past six months, 6,797 seagoing vessels called at Antwerp, representing a decrease of 5.6% compared to the same period in 2019. The gross tonnage of these vessels fell by 7.9% to 193 million.

Following discussions with the Antwerp port community about the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, the Port Authority decided to grant a postponement of payment for the shipping and inland navigation dues and for the domain concessions.

For the third quarter, while the Port of Antwerp is still expecting blank sailings, it is also seeing the first signs of recovery and an upturn in the European economy. The Port of Antwerp is making every effort to continue to ensure the efficient functioning of the port…

(For information about operations in Belgium, contact GAC Belgium at agency.antwerp@gac.com)

Source: Port of Antwerp (www.portofantwerp.com) press release dated 8 July 2020

Exemption from self-isolation
Friday, July 10, 2020, United Kingdom

Starting from today (10 July) any person arriving into the UK from any of the countries on the travel corridor list by land, sea or air will be exempt from self-isolating.

The only current exception is people arriving into Scotland from Spain and Serbia, who must continue to self-isolate for the time being, this will be updated as coronavirus cases reduce in these specific countries.

Countries on the travel corridor list are:

Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Antigua and Barbuda
The Bahamas
Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
the Channel Islands
Czech Republic
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
French Polynesia
Hong Kong
the Isle of Man
Macao (Macau)
the Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
San Marino
South Korea
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
St Barthélemy
St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Pierre and Miquelon
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Vatican City State
If a person has been to, or stopped in, a country that is NOT on the travel corridor list in the last two weeks they will need to self-isolate until 14 days have passed since they left that country.

If you have crew travelling to the UK who are NOT from a country listed on the corridor list (i.e. USA, Philippines) then please follow our latest quarantine guidelines relating to seafarer self-isolation exemptions.

If you are planning to perform any crew changes, including on-signing non-ship crew (inspectors, engineers, superintendents, etc) please contact your local GAC branch in advance with all the details. They will check with their local Border Force office to ensure compliance with all the latest rulings.

The below ports currently have some restrictions in place for crew change. All other UK & Irish ports are currently permitting crew change operations:

Braefoot Bay: no crew changes unless emergency

Flotta: crew changes not permitted

Ineos LPG & Hound Point: crew changes not permitted (Ineos J & E Jetties still permitting)

Milford Haven: crew changes not permitted at VPOT. Crew changes permitted via jetty at Puma. Crew changes permitted at Dragon LNG & South Hook LNG

Pembroke: crew changes not permitted at Valero

Sullom Voe: crew change considered on a case by case basis
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the UK, contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com

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