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Port of Thessaloniki. Picture by Regina J. Faraclas

Hot Port News from GAC


Mumbai, India

Haldia, India

Suez Canal, Egypt


Tamil Nadu coast, India

Cebu, Philippines


Dredging at Indira Dock
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Mumbai, India

From tomorrow (26 November) through to 3 December, dredging is planned at the Indira Dock harbour wall berths No.18 to 22 (outer berths).

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

Jetty to close for urgent maintenance
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Haldia, India

Oil Jetty-I (HOJ-I) at Haldia port will be shut down for a period of three days from Friday (27 November), for urgent maintenance works.

During this period, no vessels will be accepted at the jetty.

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

Rebates for crude oil tankers
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Suez Canal, Egypt

As an encouragement for laden VLCCs & ULCCs (of DWT more than 250,000 tons) to transit the Suez Canal, Suez Canal Authority had decided the following:

VLCCs & ULCCs (of DWT more than 250,000 tons) loaded from “ports at North West of Europe till the port of Gibraltar” and heading to “Ports at South East of Asia & the Far East starting from Port Klang and its Eastern ports” shall be granted a rebate of 48% from Suez Canal normal tolls.

The afore mentioned VLCCs or ULCCs are allowed to conduct the following commercial operations:
1) Stopping at any intermediate port(s) to discharge a part of its cargo before transiting the Suez Canal in laden condition.
2) Stopping at any intermediate port(s) after transiting the Suez Canal in laden condition to continue loading.

Conditions of applying the Circular:

1) Any operating company wishing to benefit from this circular must submit a request through its shipping agency before the tankers sailing from port of origin. The request must state: vessel’s particulars, origin port, sailing date, destination port, intermediate ports & the reason of calling such ports, ETA to Suez Canal, vessel’s condition upon transit (laden/ballast) and the type & quantity of cargo.

2) Full normal Suez Canal transit tolls to be paid upon transit and the rebate amount will be refunded after submitting all the required documents within one calendar year starts the following day of transit (where all the required documents related to the rebate case must be submitted as one package).

3) Required documents to refund the rebate amount:
a) “Origin port” certificate from the last port that the vessel sailed from stating the departure date, quantity of cargo in metric tons and type of cargo on departure to be duly signed & stamped by the port authority or other competent authorities.
b) “Destination port” certificate from the first port of arrival stating the arrival date, quantity of cargo in metric tons and type of cargo on arrival duly signed and stamped by the port authority or other competent authorities.
c) “Stoppage” certificates from all intermediate ports called by the tanker whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes. The certificate must state the date of arrival, date of departure, reason of calling and in case the reason of calling was for a commercial purpose (discharging or loading) the certificate must state the type & quantity of cargo upon arrival & departure. In all cases the certificates must be duly signed and stamped by the port authority or other competent authorities.
d) “Principals Claim” requesting to refund the rebate amount stating the circular number, vessel’s particulars, port of origin and sailing date, destination port and arrival date, Suez Canal transit date, called intermediate ports for commercial purposes & the date of arrival & departure from these ports, claimed rebate percentage and the name of the local shipping agent to whom the rebate percentage should be refunded which is the transit agent.
e) Failing to submit all the required documents in due time or breaching any of the pre-set circular conditions will lead to the cancellation of the rebate previously granted to the vessel as per this circular.

This circular is applicable to laden VLCCs & ULCCs (of DWT more than 250,000 tons) sailing from port of origin from 1st of December 2020 till 31st of May 2021.

(For information about operations in the Suez Canal, contact GAC Egypt at suezcanal@gac.com)

Source: Suez Canal Authority Circular No.6/2020 dated 24 November 2020

MUA announce extended industrial action
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Australia

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has given notice of protected industrial action by its members employed by tug operator Svitzer Australia from 12:01am on Monday 30 November 2020 through to 11:59pm on Sunday 3 January 2021.

This will involve bans on overtime, use of Svitzer Australia’s planned maintenance system Sertica, and use of Svitzer Australia’s online training courses.

This is an extension of previously notified protected industrial action being undertaken in the ports in which Svitzer operate and are covered by Svitzer Australia’s National Towage Enterprise agreement.

Svitzer advise they will continue to review schedules and crewing requirements to minimise any potential disruption.

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

Port operations suspended
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Tamil Nadu coast, India

Inward movement in port and cargo operations have been suspended at Chennai, Ennore, Karaikal and Kattupalli due to a cyclone alert affecting the Tamil Nadu coast.

Flag No.9 signal has been hoisted at each port and all vessels have been shifted to OPL.

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

Crew change hub activated
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Cebu, Philippines

A crew change hub has been activated at the port of Cebu to facilitate the process for arriving and departing seafarers coming to and from the Visayas.

Safety protocols are in place to avoid possible transmission of COVID-19 during crew change operations.

All arriving vessels will be anchored at the designated anchorage or docking site authorised by the CPA and the Philippine Coast Guard. Disembarking seafarers must observe health and safety protocols such as disinfection, hand washing, social distancing, and wearing of full personal protective equipment – face mask, face shield, gloves, and hazmat suit.

Upon arrival at the Port of Cebu’s OSS facility, seafarers must immediately proceed to the registration booth and undergo mandatory swab testing. After completing the procedures, they will board the assigned vehicles that will take them to their designated quarantine facilities approved by the Bureau of Quarantine, where they will stay while they wait for the release of their swab test results.

For embarking vessel crew members, only those with negative COVID-19 test results and those issued a Certification of Containment will be allowed to board their designated vessels.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the Philippines, contact GAC Philippines at philippines@gac.com

Nationwide general strike
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, India

India’s National Open Mass Convention of Workers has called a nationwide general strike for tomorrow (26 November).

Although no official notification has been received, labour unions at VOC Port (Ex. Tuticorin), as well as Paradip, Mumbai, Vizag and New Mangalore have decided to join the strike.

There is currently no indication of a strike at other ports but as government offices/employees are likely to join, operations at port offices could be affected.

Truck movements at most ports will come to a standstill, which in turn will hit cargo delivery and inter port movements.

Measures are being taken so as to ensure smooth operations for vessels currently at berth.

The impact of the strike will be minimal at private ports, with only outside movements being affected.

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

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