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Hot Port News from GAC


Sohar, Oman

Florida ports, United States

Ras Laffan & Mesaieed, Qatar

Mombasa, Kenya

South Florida, United States

Port operations during Eid Al Adha
Thursday, July 30, 2020, Sohar, Oman

The oil tanking terminal at Sohar will continue working 24/7 throughout the Eid Al Adha holiday. Sohar Industrial Port Company will continue operations throughout the holidays under overtime. Sohar Port Gate passes cannot be issued during holidays. Based on past experience, visas will probably not be issued during the holiday.

The Eid Al Adha holiday in Oman began today (Thursday 30 July) and will continue up to and including Thursday 6 August. Normal office working hours will resume on Sunday 9 August.

For information about operations in Sohar contact GAC Oman at sohar@gac.com

Port Condition Whiskey (72 hour alert) set
Thursday, July 30, 2020, Florida ports, United States

Tropical Development Nine is southeast of Puerto Rico and moving northwest.

Due to the possibility of gale force winds, Port Condition WHISKEY was set yesterday (29 July) for the ports of Tampa, St Petersburg, Manatee, Ft. Myers, Miami, Miami River, Port Everglades, Palm Beach, Ft. Pierce and all remaining terminals and facilities within Sector Miami’s responsibility.

Weather predictions for the region will continue to be evaluated.

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

Port closures & operations during holiday period
Thursday, July 30, 2020, Ras Laffan & Mesaieed, Qatar

The ports of Ras Laffan and Mesaieed are closed from today (30 July) until Thursday 6 August. Normal duties will resume on Sunday 9 August. However, port operations continue on an overtime basis as per the port tariff.

Ras Laffan gate pass office will be closed on Friday & Saturday. An additional QR250/- per pass is to be paid for processing during the period 30 July-6 August.

The Qatar Petroleum offshore pass office is closed until 1 August. From 2 to 6 August, it will open between 0800 and 1200 hours for emergency passes. Chopper manifest to be submitted + QR 250/- per pass additional fee applicable.

Customs & Immigration are closed from today until 8 August, resuming work on 9 August.

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

Crew change procedures
Thursday, July 30, 2020, Mombasa, Kenya

The Government of Kenya, in close cooperation with the International Maritime Organization, World Health Organization, Development partners and the local shipping sector has developed the following guidelines to allow for the exchange of ships crew in the port of Mombasa following the freeze on the same in March 2020 as part of the COVID-19 mitigation strategies developed nationwide…

…Crew change at the Port of Mombasa will be allowed for the following categories of seafarers
i. Seafarers who have completed their employment contracts in accordance with the seafarer employment agreement;
ii. Seafarers who are no longer medically fit to work on board ship;
iii. Seafarers wishing to sign off on compassionate grounds; and
iv. Seafarers whose sign off does not affect the safe manning of the ship

In order to obtain approval for crew change at the port of Mombasa, the following general procedures must be observed;
i. Application for approval in the attached form must be lodged at Kenya Maritime Authority with supporting documentation at least seven days before the crew change;
ii. Approval given for sign on/sign off in collaboration with other GoK Agencies;
iii. Based on i. and ii above Crew can now sign on/sign off
iv. All relevant authorities notified of successful sign on/sign off.

Procedure for Sign –on
a) The identified crew to sign-on must have been in self-quarantine in their home country at least 14 days before scheduled sign on date;
b) Crew must submit covid-19 negative test certificate issued at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure date;
c) The receiving ship must or scheduled to be in Kenya prior to arrival of the crew;
d) The crew must have an okay to board letter from the shipping line;
e) At the airport, crew temperature must be taken and confirmed at below 37.5 degrees (if above 37.5 degrees, measures must be taken in accordance with Port Health protocols);
f) After Immigration and customs clearance, the crew shall be received by the Ships Agent
and directed to the approved transport vehicle;
g) Crew arrives on-board ship;
h) Agent notifies the Authorities and Kilindini Joint Operation Centre (JOC) of the arrival on
board of the crew by email

Procedure for Sign -off
a) The identified crew to have a confirmed flight out of the country within 72 hours of the ships arrival.
b) All documents required to be provided, including temperature history, seafarer employment agreement or proof of reason for sign off;
c) Crew to be cleared by the Port Health, Immigration and Customs Authorities, and duly signed crew change request form provided;
d) Crew boards the designated transport vehicle;
e) Crew arrives at airport, clears with Immigration;
f) Agent notifies Authorities and JOC by email of the safe departure of the crew

NB: Kenyan crew returning home shall be dealt with on a case by case basis to determine if they are required to go for mandatory quarantine…

…To minimize the risk of importation and spread COVID-19 in Kenya, it is a requirement that the Crew is transferred directly between the ship and the point of arrival/departure.
a. Where it is not possible to effect direct transfer to the airport, the seafarer will be
accommodated at an approved holding facility. However, the seafarer can stay at the designated holding facility for a maximum of 72 hours unless in exceptional circumstances and with prior approval from authorities;
b. Ships Agent receiving the sign-on crew at the airport shall provide a fresh face mask and hand sanitizer;
c. The approved transport vehicle shall provide sanitizing facility to the sign on /sign off crew;
d. Mandatory Temperature screening shall be undertaken on crew upon disembarkation from the plane.

The following documents will be required and must be submitted to Port Health in order to obtain approval for sign on/sign off;

6.1 Sign-on
i) Crew temperature record for the last 7 days;
ii) Crew declaration on self-quarantine before departure for Kenya;
iii) Ships Agent declaration on crew fitness to travel;
iv) Application for approval of crew sign on shall be on Company letterhead.
v) COVID-19 test certificate showing negative result obtained within the last 7 days must be provided.

6.2 Sign –off
i) Application for crew sign off to be made on Company letterhead
ii) Confirmed outbound air ticket to be provided;
iii) Crew temperature record for the last 7 days to be provided;
iv) Master/Agent Declaration on crew fitness to travel to be provided;
v) Evidence of reason for sign off (e.g. Seafarer Employment Agreement,);
vi) Copies of crew passport;
vii) Declaration that crew did not go ashore in the last 14 days;
viii) Ship’s Declaration of Maritime Health…

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

Source: Extracts from Republic of Kenya Guidelines on Ships Crew Change and Seafarers Repatriation While Observing Measures To Prevent Transmission of COVID-19 at Port of Mombasa, July 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias ninth named storm of 2020 hurricane season
Thursday, July 30, 2020, South Florida, United States

Tropical Storm Isaias, which became the ninth named storm of a busy 2020 hurricane season late Wednesday (29 July) night, saw its forecast track make a small move to the east in today’s 5am advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The center of that track keeps the core of the storm slightly off the shores of South Florida. All of South Florida, however, remains in the forecast path of a storm that had tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 415 miles from the center in the latest advisory.

The system is projected to remain a tropical storm for its foreseeable duration (maximum sustained surface winds ranging from 39-73 mph).

At 5am EDT Tropical Storm Isaias was some 100 miles WSW of Ponce Puerto Rico moving NW at 21 mph. maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. little change in strength is anticipated before landfall in the Dominican Republic later today with re-strengthening on Friday and Saturday.

It is expected to continue aiming northwest with a dead-center pass over Hispaniola (the island that comprises the Dominican Republic and Haiti), contending with mountains as high as 10,000 feet.

Isaias is expected to continue on a northwest track until it reaches Florida, where a turn north is anticipated.

Tropical storm-force gusts could arrive Florida as early as Friday night, but Saturday is much more likely. The wind field is massive, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 415 miles north from the system’s center.

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

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