Home » Hot Port News from GAC

Hot Port News from GAC

01-Sep-2020

UPDATED TRAVEL GUIDELINES
Bahamas

USE OF ACCOMMODATION LADDERS FITTED WITH TRAPDOORS
Panama Canal, Panama

TEMPORARY RELIEF MEASURES EXTENDED TO YEAR-END
Panama Canal, Panama

VESSEL TRAFFIC SUSPENSION POSTPONED
Dardanelles, Turkey

POST HURRICANE LAURA UPDATE (1 SEPTEMBER)
Beaumont/Port Arthur, United States

PASSENGER LOCATOR FORMS FOR SEAMEN
United Kingdom
Updated travel guidelines
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Bahamas

Commercial and private flights and sea vessels are now permitted to travel into, within and out of The Bahamas.

Travel between all islands of The Bahamas based on the following requirements:
– Before departure, a negative RTPCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test with a negative result within 5 days from the date of travel.|
– Upon arrival, mandatory quarantine at a government identified facility or any other appropriate facility as determined by the Ministry of Health, at traveler’s expense, for 14 days or for the duration of stay, if for a lesser period.
– Undergo a RTPCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test at the end of the quarantine period.

A negative test is not required:
– In respect of an emergency
– If traveling from an island where curfew is not in effect
– If traveling between islands where curfew is not in effect
– If traveling from an island into either Grand Bahama or New Providence (a negative test is required for travel between Grand Bahama and New Providence).
– For a child under 10 years of age (mandatory 14-day quarantine still required)
– Operators of flights or vessels carrying cargo and passengers

The Chief Medical Officer may exempt a person traveling within The Bahamas from the negative test requirement, however, mandatory quarantine is still required for 14 days upon arrival, at the traveler’s expense.

For international travel, the entry requirements for citizens, legal residents and visitors are:
– Before departure to The Bahamas, a Health Visa issued by the Government of The Bahamas. To apply, visit travel.gov.bs.
– Before departure to The Bahamas, a RTPCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test with a negative result within 5 days from the date of travel.
– Upon arrival, mandatory quarantine at a government identified facility or any other appropriate facility as determined by the Ministry of Health, at traveler’s expense, for a period of 14 day (hotels qualify as a quarantine site).
– Undergo a RTPCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test at the end of the quarantine period.
-A negative COVID-19 test result is not required for a child under 10 years of age (mandatory 14-day quarantine still required)

As a condition of entry into The Bahamas, a traveler must agree to monitoring by way of the HubbCat Monitoring Platform; the Ministry of Health; members if the COVID-19 Enforcement Unit; unscheduled visits by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Citizens and legal residents who refuse to be monitored must quarantine at a government identified facility as appointed by the Competent Authority, at the traveler’s expense, for a period of 14 days.

Visitors who refuse to be monitored shall be deported at the earliest opportunity and until deportation will be placed in mandatory quarantine at a government identified facility.

The CMO may exempt a person (international or domestic traveler) from the requirement of a RTPCR COVID-19 diagnostic test at the end of the quarantine period.

(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 – GAC agent

Use of accommodation ladders fitted with trapdoors
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Panama Canal, Panama

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) considers proper boarding facilities to be an absolute necessity to ensure the safety of ACP personnel and others using these facilities while in Canal waters. Poorly constructed, installed, maintained, or operated boarding facilities are not acceptable in Canal waters.

We remind all Panama Canal users that Section 10 of Notice to Shipping N-1-2020 “Vessel Requirements” lists the acceptable specifications for boarding facilities in Panama Canal waters.

Due to several recent non-compliance reports of trapdoors installed on the lower platform of some accommodation ladders, be advised that the use of trapdoors is permitted only when in full compliance with the requirements contained in paragraph f.(2)(f) of the same Section 10 of Notice to Shipping N-1-2020.

QUOTE…
“If a trap door is fitted in the lower platform of a combination ladder arrangement to allow access from and to the pilot ladder, the aperture should not be less than 750 mm x 750 mm (30 inches x 30 inches) and of a design approved by the Authority. In this case the after part of the lower platform should also be fenced as specified in Paragraph 10.f (2) (c), and the pilot ladder should extend above the lower platform at least 2 meters (6 feet 8 inches). The aperture on the lower platform must be open to the side of the vessel’s hull to allow the pilot ladder to lay flat against the hull.”
…UNQUOTE.

Vessels that arrive at Panama Canal waters with boarding facilities not in compliance with the above-mentioned requirements will be considered deficient, which may result in transit delays until an acceptable boarding facility is provided, or corrective measures are implemented to these facilities. Additional costs incurred as a result of non-compliance with ACP transit requirements are the responsibility of the vessel and are chargeable to the vessel´s account.

Canal users are urged to arrive at Panama Canal waters with acceptable boarding facilities, which allow for safe boarding of all personnel.

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal, contact GAC Panama at operations.panama@gac.com)

Source: Extracts from Panama Canal Authority (www.pancanal.com) Advisory To Shipping No. A-31-2020 dated 31 August 2020

Temporary relief measures extended to year-end
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Panama Canal, Panama

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the global economy, the Panama Canal will extend its temporary relief measures to December 31, 2020, offering further support for the industry’s recovery.

This extension comes after continued dialogue between the Canal and industry leaders on how to best provide relief as the world looks to recover from the economic and social impact of COVID-19…

…Implemented on May 4 and originally set to run until September 1, the relief measures include the suspension of advance payments for transit reservation fees and other changes to the waterway’s reservation system. Together, they allow customers to maintain higher liquidity, as well as added flexibility for swapping or substituting booking slots among their own fleets…

…Transits at the Panama Canal climbed from 845 in June to 933 in July, and August is showing a similar trend. The increase was largely driven by a surge in containership transits along the U.S. East Coast to Asia route.

The extension of the relief measures comes on the heels of the Canal’s commitment to make the investments in order to secure a sustainable, long-term solution to water levels, furthering the waterway’s operational reliability in the years to come.

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal, contact GAC Panama at operations.panama@gac.com)

Source: Extracts from Panama Canal Authority (www.pancanal.com) press release

Vessel traffic suspension postponed
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Dardanelles, Turkey

According to verbal information from the authorities, the planned suspension of vessel traffic in the Dardanelles between 07:00 and 19:00 hours on 3 & 4 September has been postponed to a later date.

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

Post Hurricane Laura update (1 September)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Beaumont/Port Arthur, United States

Since 8pm yesterday (31 August), Port Condition Zulu is in effect for the Calcasieu Waterway and recovery is underway for the Sabine-Neches Waterway.

A rig is still obstructing the offshore Calcasieu Channel for deep draft ships. Salvage operations to refloat a dry dock sunk in the Sabine-Neches Canal 2 miles south of Beans Fleet are on-going. Traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) remains restricted by downed power lines at Mile Marker 260 and two swing bridges are currently closed. Many aids to navigation remain discrepant.

No vessel movements are allowed in the Calcasieu Waterway without permission of the Captain of the Port. Requests for vessel movements may be directed to (409) 460-0435.

The Sabine-Neches Waterway is open with the following restrictions:

Salvage operations are ongoing to raise and move a sunk dry dock in the vicinity of Sabine-Neches Canal LT “60”. No vessel may pass the salvage operation without the permission of the Captain of the Port. Only light tows and smaller vessels will be allowed to pass during daylight hours. Requests to pass should be directed to VTS Port Arthur on VHF-FM Channel 65A or by phone to (409) 719-5070.
Deep draft traffic may operate unrestricted below the sunk dry dock in the vicinity of Sabine-Neches Canal LT “60” and normal VTS protocols are in place.
Inland traffic including tows may operate unrestricted above and below the sunk dry dock in the vicinity of Sabine-Neches Canal LT “60” and normal VTS protocols are in place.
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from the West Port Arthur (Highway 87) Bridge west to High Island is open to eastbound and westbound inland traffic.
The GIWW from Orange Cut east to Calcasieu River is closed to all traffic. Power lines are down and in the water at MM 260.
For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com

Passenger Locator Forms for seamen
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, United Kingdom

According to the latest Government guidelines, recognised seamen in possession of a seaman’s book do not need to complete the Passenger Locator Form when departing a vessel in the UK.

However, as there have been a few recent instances where local Border Force officers have requested the forms for offsigning marine and project crew, it may be recommendable to continue to complete Passenger Locator Forms for both arrival and departure to/from UK by air to avoid any possible delays or fines.

The quarantine advice document has been updated to reflect the latest Government guidelines.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United Kingdom, contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com

You may also like

Leave a Comment