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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


South Africa

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Dampier, Australia



Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

Balochistan Province, Pakistan

Krishnapatnam, India

Mormugao, India

Dubai & Fujairah, United Arab Emirates


US East Coast, United States

Beirut, Lebanon

SAMSA levy adjustment
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, South Africa

With effect from 24 August 2020, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) levy will be adjusted.


1. Ships required to hold a local safety certificate issued in terms of the Merchant Shipping Act 1951 (Act No. 57 of 1951)
– R 20.37 per metre overall length or part thereof per calendar year or part thereof, payable to the Authority at the same time as the charge for the initial or renewal survey of the ship for the issue of a local safety certificate

2. Fishing vessels not required to hold a local safety certificate issued in terms of the Merchant Shipping Act 1951 (Act No. 57 of 1951)
– R 139.43 per 100 tons or par thereof, payable to the National Ports Authority upon each call at a commercial port.

3. Coasting ships (not being ships referred to in item 1)
– R139.43 per 100 tons or part thereof per calendar month or part thereof
(a) Payable to the National Ports Authority
(b) If a coasting ship calls at a port outside the Republic of South Africa or the Republic of Namibia, then item 4 also applies.

4. All other ships
– R 139.43 per 100 tons or part
(a) Payable upon first entry into the territorial waters of the Republic after a voyage from a port or place outside the Republic, except in the case of a ship engaged solely in victualling, stores, spares or changing crew beyond port limits.
(b) Payable to the National Ports Authority in the case of a ship calling at a commercial port, or to the Authority in any other case unless proof of prior payment to the National Ports Authority is produced.

The levy determination does not apply to:
(a) ships in distress;
(b) ships in innocent passage;
(c) ships used solely for sport or recreation;
(d) ships belonging to the South African Police Service;
(e) ships belonging to the South African National Defence Force or the defence force of another state;
(f) ships belonging to the National Sea Rescue Institute.

For further details of the adjusted levy and information about operations in South Africa, contact GAC South Africa at shipping.capetown@gac.com

Use of Electronic Record Books (ERB) on board ships under MARPOL
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Hong Kong

Amendments to the following subsidiary legislation (the “Amendment Regulations”) under the Merchant Shipping (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Ordinance (Cap. 413) will come into operation on 1 October 2020:
i) Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 2020;
ii) Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) (Amendment) Regulation 2020;
iii) Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 2020.

Details of the Amendment Regulations are available on the following websites:
i) https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/2020/ln120!en
ii) https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/2020/ln121!en
iii) https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/2020/ln122!en

The Amendment Regulations give effect to the latest amendments made to Annexes I, II, V and VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), 1973 under Resolutions MEPC.312(74), MEPC.314(74) and MEPC.316(74) as accepted by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization on 17 May 2019.

The aforementioned amendments will permit ships currently using traditional hard copy record books (Oil Record Book, Cargo Record Book, Garbage Record Book and Ozone Depleting Substances Record Book) to use the ERB as an alternative on or after 1 October 2020. All ERB must be approved by the Director or recognized organizations. The use of ERB under MARPOL Annex II has been addressed by the existing Merchant Shipping (Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk) Regulations (Cap.413B).

Masters, coxswains, owners/operators of ships intended to use ERB as alternative of hard copy record books under the MARPOL on or after 1 October 2020 are required to observe and comply with the Amendment Regulations. For enquiries, please contact the Senior Surveyor of Ships / Maritime Policy at telephone number 2852 4395 or by e-mail to “hkmpd@mardep.gov.hk”.

(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.112/2020

Dredging at West Kowloon Refuse Transfer Station, Stonecutters Island
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Hong Kong

For approximately 3 months, dredging operations will be carried out within the area bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (E) and the adjacent shoreline:
(A) 22° 19.636’N 114° 08.537’E
(B) 22° 19.608’N 114° 08.516’E
(C) 22° 19.630’N 114° 08.479’E
(D) 22° 19.615’N 114° 08.469’E
(E) 22° 19.625’N 114° 08.450’E

The works will be carried out by one derrick lighter. One tugboat, one split hopper barge and one work boat will assist in the works.

A working area of approximately 15 metres around the lighter will be established. Yellow marker buoys fitted with yellow flashing lights will be laid to mark the positions of the anchors extending from the lighter.

The hours of work will be round-the-clock.

Vessels engaged in the operations will display signals as prescribed in international and local regulations.

Vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with caution.

(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.113/2020

Sustaining Infrastructure Due
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Dampier, Australia

Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) is introducing a new port due – the Sustaining Infrastructure Due (SID) – effective from 1 October 2020 for the 2020/21 Financial Year.

Some of the constraints to meeting future customer demand at the Port of Dampier include the berth depth and capacity of the Dampier Cargo Wharf (DCW).

To enable PPA to progress planning for any upgrades to the facility, it needs to undertake additional geotechnical investigation and engineering design studies. The information from these investigations will confirm site geology required by dredging contractors to determine the scope of work for dredging.

The introduction of the SID is to cover the costs of these investigative works. Levying the SID for the remainder of the current Financial Year is a balanced and equitable way to fund the cost of sustaining Port infrastructure given that the work involved benefits all port users.

Revenue from the SID will be quarantined for investment within the Port of Dampier for the identified works.

The SID will be levied on the following basis:
– The SID will be $0.047 and will be charged on a GRT basis.
– The application of the SID will be ‘per vessel visit’ at a flat rate over the balance of the Financial Year from 1 October 2020.

A revised schedule of Port Charges incorporating the SID has been placed on PPA’s website [www.pilbaraports.com.au]

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

Source: Pilbara Ports Authority letter dated 31 July 2020

Enhancing safety measures
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is enhancing safety measures in the Port of Singapore, in view of the heightened risks of importing COVID-19 cases into Singapore…

..MPA is working with the industry taskforce to provide more detailed guidelines on the ‘safe-corridor’ procedures to safeguard the crew change process including the need to self-isolate while serving the 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN), to ensure accurate COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, and direct transfers from airport to ship for the crew while in Singapore to minimise contact…

…As there have been some instances of procedural breaches leading up to performing crew changes in Singapore, MPA has recently reminded ship owners, managers and agents to adhere strictly to the ‘safe-corridor’ procedures including ensuring accurate COVID-19 tests and compliance to self-isolation while serving SHN.

MPA has also previously informed the industry that any ship owner, manager or agent whose crew member is found to be COVID-19 positive whilst in Singapore for crew change will be suspended from performing any further crew changes for a stipulated period. This will allow the company time to review its internal processes to ensure strict adherence to MPA’s ‘safe-corridor’ crew change procedures.

Given the increasing number of crew change applications, MPA will also need to prioritise new crew change applications. These will include crew with expiry of contracts which flag States are not extending further, Singapore-registered ships, and crew sign-offs…

…As an added precaution in the Port of Singapore, all shore personnel in contact with ship crew are advised to don face shields or goggles in addition to face masks and gloves when working on the ships. For ships which have conducted crew change in the past 14 days, shore personnel are advised to ensure that there is no contact with the ship crew…

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

Source: Excerpts from Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore press release issued on 24 July 2020

Updated Crew Change Guidebook
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Singapore

The Singapore Crew Change Working Group (SCCWG) has revised the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook (SCCG) to incorporate the updated requirements and measures on crew change for Cargo Ships in the Port of Singapore. The latest revisions in the SCCWG include the protocol for crew in their origin country.

Members are to refer to the latest edition of the SCCWG on these revisions and a copy can be downloaded from this link – https://www.ssa.org.sg/images/ssa/pdf/Ver2%20-%20SG%20Crew%20Change%20Guidebook%20-%20final.pdf

SSA strongly advises all members to ensure that all crew strictly comply with the 14 days Stay Home Notice (SHN) as stipulated by Ministry Of Health (MOH)…

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

Source: Singapore Shipping Association notice dated 3 August 2020

Crew change protocol during COVID-19 period
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

Shipping agencies who wish to make crew change in Port of Fujairah during the COVID-19 period, have to submit the below listed declaration and forms duly filled, signed and stamped by the concerned Shipping Agency.

Crew Change – F 1: Its original should be submitted to the Harbour Master’s office (one-time submission).
Crew Change – F2: This form needs to be duly filled and submit every day.
Crew Change – F3: This form needs to be duly filled and submit every month.
All crew changes should be done in accordance with the norms of our Notice to Mariner No. 284 and FTA Circular No. 12/2020.

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

Source: Port of Fujairah Notice to Agent 06/2020 dated 4 August 2020

Province extends smart lockdown
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Balochistan Province, Pakistan

The Government of the Province of Balochistan has decided to extend the province-wide smart lockdown enforced to curb the spread of the coronavirus until 17 August.

Restrictions in force during the lockdown include:

A ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
No more than two people will not be allowed to travel in the same car.
Wearing face mask is mandatory at public places.
All educational institutions, marriage halls, parks, auditoriums, cinemas, farmhouses and places of entertainment will remain closed.
Shops/malls will be allowed to remain open from 9am to 10pm six days a week.
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Pakistan, contact GAC Pakistan at pakistan@gac.com

Low driver turnout
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Krishnapatnam, India

Low turnout of truck drivers (inter-carting vehicles) has resulted in poor evacuation of cargo from the jetties at Krishnapatnam, impacting productivity on all working vessels.

All inward movements have been suspended temporarily by the port.

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

Monsoon conditions
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Mormugao, India

Due to active monsoon conditions and squally weather, all ports from Dahanu to Mormugao have hoisted warning signal LC-III, today (4 August).

Operations at Mooring Dolphins and Berth No.6 & 7 are normal, but WOB Anchorage is closed for the monsoon season.

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

Procedures for on- and off-signing crew
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Dubai & Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

GAC has created flow charts showing the procedures for on- and off-signing crew at Dubai and Fujairah.

For details and updates, as well as information about operations in Dubai and Fujairah, contact GAC at crewdesk.ae@gac.com or sss.ae@gac.com

Special Entry Permit
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Cyprus

Passengers travelling to the Republic of Cyprus from countries not included in Categories A or B must beforehand obtain a special permit as defined by the Infectious Diseases (Determination of Measures to Prevent the Spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus) Decree (No. 30) of 2020, as amended for the time being.

The following categories are exempt:

Cypriot citizens permanently residing in the Republic of Cyprus and members of their families (their alien spouses, under-age children and parents).
Persons legally residing in the Republic.
Persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention.
From today (4 August), applications for the granting of a Special Entry Permit must be submitted online through the platform at https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/special-permission-request

Obtaining a Special Entry Permit to the Republic of Cyprus applies only to persons from countries not included in the Categories A and B.

Countries in Categories A are: Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Countries in Categories B are: Andorra, Australia, Belgium, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Holy See (Vatican City State), Italy – not offering Covid-19 test, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Rwanda, San Marino, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Special Entry Permit shall be granted only in the following cases:

First degree relatives of persons who reside legally in the Republic and/or are economically active in the Republic (spouse, children, parents) for family reunion purposes.
Persons, regardless of nationality, whose arrival in the Republic is necessary for the purpose of implementing public projects or for honouring other important professional commitments.
Changes of aircraft crews in the case where they are travelling as passengers for replacement purposes.
Requests for the granting of a special permit may be submitted through the e-platform Monday-Friday between 7:30 – 15:00, within 14 days prior to the expected travel date and the approval granted shall be valid for a month since the date of issue.

Upon the granting of the special permit a unique number will be sent exclusively connected to the passenger’s identity card number or passport number.

The passenger would then be able to use the said number in filling out his/her application for acquiring a CyprusFlightPass, by writing it down in the required space as special permit number.

For requests for aircraft crew changes and seamen these shall be submitted to and become accepted ONLY by ground handling service providers and agents and must contain, amongst other, the following additional details:

Name of Ground Handling Service Providers and Airline Company Name or Aircraft Registration Number in the case of a private flight by which the crew members are employed.
Ship’s name and Agent’s Details: (Name, Surname, Agent’s company, contact number).
The same procedures continue to apply for persons travelling from Category A or B countries as are applied to those arriving from Category A and B countries.

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

Isaias inland but still a tropical storm
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, US East Coast, United States

The center of Tropical Storm Isaias is inland over eastern Virginia. Initial intensity remains at 60 knots and moving quickly north northeastward at about 29 knots.

Due to land interaction with the eastern US, weakening will occur today (4 August) and Wednesday. However, the interaction with a strong upper level may only allow for a slow weakening trend over the next 12 hours. A faster weakening trend should begin by this evening. It is forecast to remain a tropical storm for the next 12 hours or so before it begins to transition to a post tropical cyclone as it reaches higher latitudes and interacts with a non tropical low pressure area.

Southwesterly flow associated with an upper level trough to the west will cause Isaias to move quickly to the north northeast over the next 24 hours. Thereafter, its forward speed is likely to slow as it interacts with a larger non tropical low pressure system. This latest forecast track has the center of Isaias moving from the Mid Atlantic today and into the Northeast US by tonight, eventually reaching eastern Canada on Wednesday as a weakening post tropical low.

The ports of Baltimore, Norfolk, Philadelphia and Wilmington are closed and at Port Status Zulu due to Isaias.

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

Massive explosion at port
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Beirut, Lebanon

Multiple injuries and at least ten deaths have been reported after at least one huge explosion shook Beirut port this evening (4 August).

The blast released a shockwave which caused widespread damage to buildings, shattering windows in different parts of the city. Reports claim it was felt as far away as Cyprus.

Details have yet to be established and the cause of the explosion(s) has not yet been confirmed.

For information about operations in Lebanon, contact GAC Lebanon at lebanon@gac.com

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