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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


Hong Kong

Ras Laffan, Qatar


Geraldton, Australia

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Ngqura, South Africa

Temporary loading facility at Cha Kwo Ling
Friday, July 17, 2020, Hong Kong

A temporary loading facility has been established at Cha Kwo Ling. The facility has one discharging platform protruding about 10 metres seawards from the seawall. The temporary loading facility will operate for a period of approximately 13 months.

Two dumb lighters, one Ro-Ro barge and one tugboat will berth at the facility within the operation area bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (D) and the adjacent shoreline for loading operation:
(A) 22 deg. 17.923’N / 114 deg. 13.746’E
(B) 22 deg. 17.902’N / 114 deg. 13.707’E
(C) 22 deg. 17.963’N / 114 deg. 13.666’E
(D) 22 deg. 17.980’N / 114 deg. 13.696’E

The hours of operation will be from 0700 hours to 1900 hours. No operation will be carried out on Sundays and public holidays. Except the Ro-Ro barge, the remaining vessels employed for the operation will not stay in the operation area outside the hours of operation.

(For information about operations in Hong Kong, contact GAC Hong Kong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com)

Source: Government of the Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.101/2020

New tariff for LNG tankers
Friday, July 17, 2020, Ras Laffan, Qatar

Ras Laffan Port announces a new port tariff for LNG vessels, as detailed below:

– Revised Tariff: USD 4,000.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 8,000.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 4,000.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 20,000.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 12,000.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 60,720.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 30,650.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 600.00

– Revised Tariff: USD 30.00

Port users are requested to make a note of the above charges and process necessary preparation of payments accordingly. Other supplemental port charges not detailed above will remain at current levels.

The above charges are applicable with effect from 1 January 2021.

(For information about operations in Qatar, contact GAC Qatar at qatar@gac.com)

Source: Qatar Petroleum Tariff Notification dated 6 July 2020

Crew changes update (17 July)
Friday, July 17, 2020, Malaysia

Crew change activities including foreign crew is now being attended to at various ports of Malaysia. Stringent rules apply at different locations, at the discretion of officers.

Currently, multiple crew change activities are being performed by GAC at Johor, Lumut and Penang.

At East Malaysian ports, there is a new requirement of 14 days’ quarantine for both incoming and off-signing crew.

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

Wharf investment plan announced
Friday, July 17, 2020, Geraldton, Australia

The Western Australian state government has announced a $10m investment in Geraldton Port Wharf 4 (strengthening and rail replacement).

The project is to upgrade a key piece of Geraldton Port infrastructure, paving the way for long-term growth in mineral sands exports. Wharf 4 is the primary export wharf for mineral sands, talc and concentrates from Geraldton Port, shipping 1.2m tonnes of mineral sands and concentrates in 2018-19. The original Wharf 4 structure was built in 1965.

Improvements to Wharf 4 and associated rail are to extend the design service life of the structure by another 25 years and will allow for the continuation and growth of mineral sands and concentrates shipping through Geraldton.

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

COVID-19 tests for vessels’ crew
Friday, July 17, 2020, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

As a leading Trade enabler, and to facilitate our customers in a critical pandemic situation, DP World, UAE Regions is pleased to introduce the COVID-19 test facility for vessels crew in Jebel Ali Port.

Any crew wishes to sign off from the vessel in Jebel Ali Port can get their COVID-19 test done at the DP World Clinic prior to approaching the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) for the exit.

The process shall be as following:

The Agent/Sponsor must obtain ‘Return Permit’ for UAE residents and visit visa for Non-UAE resident crew from GDRFA.

Deposit/Transfer of AED1,000 per test/per person is to be made in DP World UAE Region’s bank account as per below details:
– Account Name: DP World UAE Region FZE
– Bank: Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, Dubai Main Branch, UAE
– Account No: 101-23233516-02
– IBAN: AE360260001012323351602

Send crew details (use this link to download the template) with the ‘Return Permit’/Visit visa, and a copy of the deposit slip to DP World Customer Care copying the DP World Clinic and DP World Security on below e-mail addresses at least 72 hours before the vessel’s arrival.

Customer must sign an undertaking letter on their company’s letterhead with the authorised signature and stamp.

DP World Customer Care will verify the details and acknowledge the e-mail.

DP World clinic will provide a test appointment depending on the vessel’s arrival.

COVID-19 test timings shall be between 0700 hours – 1500 hours from Sunday to Thursday (except public holidays).

Upon the vessel’s arrival, DP World Security will pick up the crew from the vessel and drop them to DP World Clinic for the test.

The crew must carry original documents i.e. Passport and/or Emirates ID for verification.

After completion of the test, DP World Clinic will send an e-mail to the requester confirming that the test is done, and it can be presented to GDRFA for further formalities.

If the crew members are UAE residents, DP World Security will drop them to the GDRFA office located near Gate no. 3 in Jebel Ali Port to proceed with exit formalities.

If the crew members are not UAE residents, then DP World Security will drop them to easyHotel in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) to remain in quarantine until the test results are received. Non-UAE residents cannot exit from Jebel Ali Port unless the test results are received. Hence, the agents must book with the easyHotel in advance to avoid any inconvenience upon the crew’s arrival.

DP World Clinic will send the test results to the requester within 2 working days.

In case the test result is positive, it is the requestor’s responsibility to arrange for quarantine with the respective person, and comply with all requirements as per Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) regulations.
Should you require any further clarification, please feel free to contact DP World Customer Care or DP World Clinic.
Customer Care Department
Tel: +971 4 8897797
Email: customerservice@dpworld.com
DP World Clinic:
Tel: +971 4 8896399
Email: dpw.clinic@dpworld.com

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Dubai, contact GAC Dubai at dubai@gac.com)

Source: DP World Circular No.DPW/250/2020 dated 16 July 2020

Rules for crew changes (updated 17 July)
Friday, July 17, 2020, Pakistan

The following rules for crew changes in Pakistan are now in force and must be complied with. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of crew change permission and may be deemed criminal offense, with heavy penalties.


Crew must bring latest COVID-19 PCR test report, generated only 48 hours before.
Hotel stay is only allowed only for 72 hours as per limit mentioned in the Landing Permit. Thereafter, crew must join their vessel at berth or outer anchorage. If joining is not possible, they must leave Pakistan before the Landing Pass expires.
If joining a vessel at outer anchorage, arrival of crew at Karachi airport must during the daytime as the port authority service boat is not allowed to leave the jetty with on-signers after sunset. Otherwise, crew must stay in hotel until daylight.
If joining the vessel at outer anchorage, flights/arrival of crew must be arranged one day after the vessel’s arrival as immigration, dock security and PMSA will only grant permission once the vessel has arrived at outer anchorage, not before.
For OK to Board (OKTB), two letters are usually arranged for on-signers – one Confirmation/Guarantee letter (LOG) from GAC, and the other from the concern airline’s local office. Due to COVID-19, most airlines are not issuing OKTB. If it is possible for on-signers to fly with GAC’s LOG, landing permit (VISA) will be arranged on arrival. If any on-signer experiences difficulty due to non-availability of the airline’s OKTB whilst traveling, GAC cannot be held responsible.
E-ticket must be sent to arrange OKTB at least 48 hours (working days) before departure of the flight from its origin. Upon receiving the e-ticket for joiners, we have to receive landing permission from immigration authorities on the basis of immigration permission and our LOG, and the concerned airline will issue their “OK TO BOARD” letter.
Visa can be arranged on arrival (LANDING PERMIT) for joining crew only if arriving at Karachi Airport, for all nationalities except Israel.

Joining crew should not depart on flight without OK to board letter at least. Any joiner that misses their flight must not arrange new flight without new OKTB letters.

At times, a full working day will be needed to receive PMSA permission if crew are joining at outer anchorage.

Crew joining a vessel at Pakistani ports must sail with the vessel and cannot off-sign after joining and before sailing. Crew cannot stay in a hotel if their vessel is at berth.

Crew’s landing permit to crew will be granted on arrival only if they have VALID PASSPORT AND SEAMAN BOOK ISSUED FROM SAME COUNTRY & SAME RANK MENTIONED ON THE SEAMAN BOOK. Availability of both the documents (passport & seaman book) is compulsory.

CLEAR READABLE COLORED SCAN COPIES OF SEAMAN BOOK / PASSPORT (FRONT PAGE / SHOWING ISSUING AND EXPIRY DATE) WITH RANK OF THE CREW and e-ticket must be provided at least 48 working hours prior arrival of joiners.

Joiners should show their Seaman Book / Passport to immigration authorities at Karachi airport and advise authorities that “they have arrived to join the vessel MV XXXXXXX at PORT QASIM or KARACHI PORT and M/S GAC Pakistan (Private) Ltd is their agent.

Joiner must have their home company’s letter mentioning full particulars / details of seaman and clearly mentioning that they will join the vessel MV XXXXXXX at PORT QASIM or KARACHI PORT.

On Signing of INDIAN, BANGLADESHI, BURMI, AFGHANI, VIETNAMESE, MYANMAR, NORTH KOREAN & TAIWAN NATIONALS crew is permitted under immigration escort only and THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAY IN HOTEL. They must proceed from airport to the Ship directly under immigration escort. They may not join the vessel from anchorage, so flights must be arranged on the basis of the vessel berthing schedule or arranged when vessel is at berth.


Port Health Authority will conduct the COVID-19 scanning. If symptoms are detected in off-signers they will ask the agent to arrange their COVID-19 test report on an urgent basis.
For crew found to be infected after test report, it is at the discretion of concerned authority that what action they will take regarding the vessel and other crew members.
All airlines require a COVID-19 test report before boarding or departure from Karachi Airport. The report must not older than 72 hours.
Check with the airline what rules and regulation apply. If they do not require a negative test result, they should be asked to send an email to their local airline office in Pakistan confirming that crew may fly without COVID-19 test report and the airline’s local office in Karachi send a copy of the confirmation email to GAC.
Flights should be arranged directly from port/vessel to airport in order to avoid any hotel stay.
If an off-signer needs to stay in hotel before their departure from Karachi Airport, before disembarkation they must provide their COVID-19 PCR test report, without which they cannot stay in the hotel.
Hotel stay is only allowed only for 72 hours as mentioned in the Landing Permit. If departure is not possible in this time, crew must leave the country or re-join the vessel at berth or outer anchorage.
If signing-off from the vessel at outer anchorage, flight from Karachi airport must be in between 1800 hours to 0300 hours local time as the authority service boat is not allowed to leave the jetty to bring off-signers after sunset. Otherwise, disembarkation must be arranged one day before departure or before sunset and crew will have to stay in hotel until their flight and the vessel must stay at outer anchorage until off-signers’ departure, if crew ichanging from outer anchorage..
If crew leaves their vessel from outer anchorage, flights must be arranged before one day of vessel’s sailing. Vessel will not be allowed to sail until off-signers have departed Karachi Airport.
At least 2 days are required for COVID-19 report.

Crew can only fly to their home land and if need to fly to other country he must be in possession of the valid visa of that country.

A copy of e-ticket must be provided to arrange exit visa and to obtain permissions from local authorities.

At least 24 working hours is required to arrange crew sign-off permission.

Off-signing of INDIAN, BANGLADESHI, BURMI, AFGHANI, VIETNAMESE, MYANMAR, NORTH KOREAN & TAIWAN NATIONALS crew are permitted under immigration escort and THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAY IN HOTEL. They must leave vessel to airport directly under immigration escort. They are not allowed to disembark from the vessel at anchorage, so

In case of flight change or cancellation of crew change where immigration permission and OKTB has been already obtained, this cost will be settled in the account.

On/Off signing crew seaman book must be previously endorsed as SHIP’S CREW RANK only. Other ranks Superintendent / Owner’s Representative / Vetting inspector / Expeditor / Auditor / Supernumerary / Technicians / Riding Crew etc are NOT ALLOWED to Sign On/Off the vessel as per local immigration regulation.

If crew is changing from outer anchorage then vessel must be registered to port authority and anchorage charges paid for the vessel’s stay during crew change operation by vessel. The Master of the vessel must arrive at Karachi outer anchorage area and have to contact with port control authority to register their vessel and inform port control authority that vessel has arrived on ETC timings for crew change purpose only. Thereafter, that port control will register their vessel and PMSA will grant the permission to service boat to go alongside the vessel for crew change purpose.

Once the vessel arrives at Karachi outer anchorage and is registered, it cannot sail without performing crew change operation and vessel / owner must submit the undertaking to the agent and port authority that the vessel will not sail without performing crew operation.

In case of any emergency, permission must be requested of the port authority through the handling agent, and after port’s confirmation vessel will be able to sail.

Passport and seaman book copies of all crew on board is required with the arrival crew list (endorse form Master of the vessel), before vessel’s arrival to immigration.

Before vessel departure, a departure crew list is required (endorse form Master of the vessel) with all crew passport and seaman book copies on board including newly joined on-signers then the immigration authorities will issue the clearance and allow the vessel to sail.

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

Port closure
Friday, July 17, 2020, Ngqura, South Africa

One of the vessels calling at the port lost containers overboard due to adverse weather conditions. In the interest of ensuring the safety of navigation of vessels within port limits, a decision was taken to close the port for any further shipping movements.

To mitigate the risk of ongoing business disruption, the port has activated its Business Continuity Plans with the view to restoring operations as soon as possible. An aerial survey was undertaken today to locate the lost containers. Further scanning of the entrance channel and anchorage areas will be undertaken over the next three days to ensure that all is safe for shipping. Until this is completed, all shipping movements in and around the port have been suspended until further notice.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will inform you as soon as port operations resume. We will keep all our valued customers updated with any latest developments.

(For information about operations in South Africa, contact GAC South Africa at shipping.capetown@gac.com)

Source: Transnet notice from Port Manager, Port of Ngqura dated 15 July 2020

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