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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC


Dardanelles, Turkey


Kiel Canal, Germany


Ras Laffan, Qatar

Suspension of vessel traffic
Monday, August 31, 2020, Dardanelles, Turkey

Vessel traffic at Dardanelles will be suspended between 07:00 and 19:00 hours local time on 3 and 4 September due to the construction of Canakkale 1915 Bridge.

For information about operations in the Turkish Straits, contact GAC Turkey at turkey@gac.com

Gradual phased reopening
Monday, August 31, 2020, Bahamas

The Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr. Hubert Minnis, yesterday (30 August) announced the gradual phased reopening of the country, underlining of the importance of continuing to comply with precautionary measures.

Commercial and private flights and sea vessels are permitted to travel into, within and out of The Bahamas, with specific requirements and conditions. The updated travel guidelines has been published online at https://opm.gov.bs/covid-19-travel-guidelines-30-august-2020/

The country has increased hospital capacity (including for COVID patients), created a COVID-19 Enforcement Unit, increased testing capacity, improved turnaround time for test results, and generally improved the analysis of health data.

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

Source: Elnet Maritime Agency – GAC agent

Lock closed after vessel collision
Monday, August 31, 2020, Kiel Canal, Germany

The Kiel Canal Authority has closed one big lock at Kiel, due to severe damage of the lock gate after a vessel collision yesterday (30 August). There is therefore only one big lock currently available at Kiel.

Repair works will start in due course, but it is not currently known how long the lock will remain closed.

There is currently no waiting time, but this may change subject to traffic.

(For information about operations in Germany, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at hub.ae@gac.com)

Source: Sartori & Berger – GAC agent

Enhancements to crew change for cargo ships
Monday, August 31, 2020, Singapore

From 1 September, MPA will consider the following circumstances for crew change applications:
(a) crew whose employment contract has expired;
(b) additional crew on board whose sign-off would not affect the safe manning of the ship;
(c) change of crew due to the sale or purchase of ship;
(d) personnel who are not part of the ship’s crew such as superintendents and service engineers;
(e) compassionate grounds e.g. death of family member; or
(f) the crew is no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship.

The requirements for crew change are as follows:


a) In general, all signing-on crew are required to serve 14-days Stay-HomeNotice (SHN) in the originating country/region. The crew should be properly isolated (individual room with dedicated toilet) with strictly no interaction with others (including family members) at his/her place of residence, or serve the SHN in a dedicated facility/hotel.

b) Crew from specific low risk countries/regions will either no longer be required to serve the SHN or serve a shorter SHN of 7 days in the originating country/region prior to departure for Singapore. Please refer to Annex A for more details.

c) In addition to the SHN requirement, if a crew was previously diagnosed with COVID-19, the date of first ever positive PCR test must be more than 21 days ago from date of departure from the home country to Singapore.

d) The crew must have a negative result from a COVID-19 test (polymerase chain reaction (PCR) type) taken at a government-approved or ISO 15189-accredited testing facility not more than 48 hours prior to the departure flight.

e) The crew shall be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor at his/her originating country not more than 24 hours prior to the departure flight.

f) During the entire crew change process, especially during the journey to join the ship in Singapore, crew may be in groups of not more than five (5) persons, but must remain in the same group, and there must be no interactions between the groups.

g) The crew shall only arrive Singapore to join his/her ship not more than two (2) days before the ship’s departure from Singapore.


a) The crew must not have gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking the ship and has remained well throughout that period.

b) The crew shall be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship.

For crew changes to take place safely, MPA continues to expect all owners, agents, ships and individuals to ensure that the COVID-19 preventive measures are followed strictly. Any breach will be taken seriously.

Ship owners/managers/agents must apply for crew change in Singapore by filling up the online form at www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/port-ofsingapore/operations/crew-change. As MPA expects a high volume of applications, we urge ship owners/managers/agents to submit applications at least 14 days before the planned crew change, especially if the application includes sign-on crew. For foreign-flagged ships, crew change will be considered if the ship meets all prevailing requirements, and are in Singapore for cargo operations, bunkering and/or other marine services.

Shipowners/managers/agents should check and ensure sign-off crew comply with the latest entry restrictions/requirements for the sign-off crew’s destination country.


To enhance the capacity of designated holding facilities in Singapore, MPA, with the support of PSA Corporation Limited, have set up a self-contained Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) at Tanjong Pagar Terminal, as of 1 Sep 2020. The CFC will allow Singapore to facilitate more crew changes in a sustainable manner and with minimal health risk to the general population. Three floating accommodations at the CFC will be designated as holding or quarantine facilities. These will house sign-on crew that are waiting for their ships’ arrival for up to 48 hours, and a quarantine facility to house close contacts of crew who are tested positive for COVID-19. There will also be an on-site medical service provider for healthcare services within the CFC. Please refer to Annex B for details of the designated holding facilities…


SHN requirements for sign-on crew (as at 28 Aug 2020)

Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand
– No SHN required but crew must remain in originating country for the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry to Singapore.

Australia (excluding Victoria State), Macao, Mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia
– 7-days SHN in originating country.

Other countries
– 14-days SHN in originating country.

In addition to the SHN requirement, if a crew was previously diagnosed with COVID19, the date of first ever positive PCR test must be more than 21 days ago from date of departure from the home country to Singapore.


Designated holding facilities for SIGN-ON crew

Floatels @ Tanjong Pagar Terminal
Rooms: Air-conditioned with en-suite bathroom
Meals: All three meals are included. Meals will be delivered to the room.
For reservations, please contact: +65 8939 7507, floatelsg@dracoventure.com

Designated holding facilities for SIGN-OFF crew

Seacare Hotel
Rooms: Air-conditioned with en-suite bathroom
Meals: All three meals are included. Meals will be delivered to the room.
For reservations, please contact: Phang Jing Huei +65 6818 2680, reservations@theseacarehotel.com.sg

Accommodation vessel Posh Bawean
Rooms: Air-conditioned with en-suite bathroom
Meals: All three meals are included. Meals will be delivered to the room.
For reservations, please contact: Jonathan Ng +65 9740 4775, reservations@paccoffshore.com.sg

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

Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Port Marine Circular No.36 of 2020 dated 28 August 2020

Offshore supply vessels arriving with joiners from other countries
Monday, August 31, 2020, Ras Laffan, Qatar

Vessels arriving from other countries with the passengers to be signed as crew members on OSVs need to be quarantined at the anchorage for seven days.

Once this period is completed, the respective vessel’s crew members and passengers shall be SWAB tested. If all the crew members and passengers test negative, port team will sign and stamp the report.

Immigration authorities will process the entry formalities and permit crew changes once they receive the certified SWAB test results.

The current protocols as promulgated by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health must be complied with in case any of the crew or passengers will be tested either positive or reactive. Persons with inconclusive SWAB test results shall undergo retesting.


a) The crew shall otherwise comply with all immigration and GDIS rules and regulations.

b) Issuance of pass does not waive any of the provisions of above listed protocols.

c) The crew shall still join within 72 hours of receiving a negative result.

d) The responsibility to comply with this provision rests with the agents. Thus, while applying for the passes in advance, agents must make a representation that the crew will undergo a swab testing before boarding and will join the vessel with 72 hours of receiving a negative result.

e) Crew shall continue to safeguard themselves and exercise good measures to avert any COVID 19 exposure.

Ex positive cases crew members gate pass application endorsement requirement.

f) Completed total 21 days quarantine, and asymptomatic

g) Latest medical certificate (report from any private clinic) (Latest medical certificate not applicable for ex-reactive cases)

h) JVOC confirmation that respective personnel are exempted from swab test

i) Ehteraz application (screen shot showing green)

j) Completed/filled up form (excel sheet as attached file) – one form for all if same quarantine period.


a) Personnel needing to board offshore support vessel at cargo berths shall also comply with these protocols. They must visit the Laffan Offshore Terminal access control centre placed prior to New Service berth 12 and get registered.

b) No crew changes shall be performed at the cargo berths

c) It is the agent’s responsibility that all visitors are mindful and comply with these requirements.

d) No pass application shall be submitted to port unless the agents ensure with the compliance.

e) Vessels at OSBs shall also comply with a. and b. above.

Ras Laffan Port Medical Centre (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)
Al Madina Clinic, Ras Laffan City (Saturday, Monday, Wednesday)
Doha Heliport Clinic (7 days per week)

Since 1 August, non-Qataris may enter Qatar. Those arriving from countries deemed low-risk by the government are subject to a coronavirus test upon arrival at the airport and must pledge to quarantine at home for one week. Alternative options for testing before arrival may be available depending on accredited COVID-19 testing centres available in the low-risk country. Individuals arriving from countries not deemed low-risk are required to obtain a test from an accredited testing centre less than 48 hours before traveling. One week of home quarantine is required after arrival. If no accredited testing centres are available, the individual may arrive in Qatar but is required to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense, booking the hotel through the Discover Qatar website. A COVID-19 test is required at the end of that week of quarantine. If it is negative, the individual may then quarantine at home for an additional week.

Shore leave application will be accepted for only emergency medical cases (crew transfer from port to hospital in ambulance).

The EHTERAZ app is mandatory for business visa, Government visa & RP holders to access port & boarding any vessels inside Ras Laffan port or anchorage.

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

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