Freightools

FREIGHTOOLS INDUSRTY NEWS – IMPACT ON SHIPPING - UPDATES

{COVID-19} Resource Center

We remain committed to serving our valued customers

The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has caused widespread panic across the globe and is disrupting life everywhere. In these exceptional times, the logistics industry plays a vital role for society as a whole. As more businesses are impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and are encouraging their employees to work from home, we want to do our part to help you manage your freight business with Freightools.

 

We are  adapting our response on a daily basis,  focusing on protecting the health of employees and ensuring our customers’ operations continue as smoothly as possible during this difficult period. 

 

We’re committed to supporting your business during this challenging time and are continuing to scale our API and infrastructures to support greater demand, ensuring streamlined, reliable access to the service throughout this period.

 

We will continue to update you as the situation evolves. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need more information.

Read about the tools that lets you run your freight business in uncertain times.

General Updates

United States

20 March: The USCG now considers any ill person onboard a vessel, regardless of where they have been or who they have interacted with, who show symptoms of COVID-19 or other flu like illness to be a hazardous condition as per 33 CFR 160.216. Accordingly, the owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge must immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard Sector Office (Captain of the Port – COTP) or Group Office. U.S. Flag commercial vessels are advised to report ill crew-members in accordance with the requirements of each foreign port called upon. As the Master is likely to be the first person in charge aware of an ill crew-member, we strongly recommend the Master to immediately notify the nearest USCG COTP as per above, in addition to the U.S. CDC immediate reporting requirements.

 

The CDC have issued interim guidance for ships.

 

USCG MSIB 02-20 (Change 3) dated March 16, 2020, which details the above USCG reporting requirement. It also covers the latest Presidential Proclamation restrictions on persons arriving to the USA, as well as other USCG guidance and information for vessel owners and operators.

 

22 April: USCG MSIB 07-20 (Change 1) – the Coast Guard is providing the following updated information to port and facility operators as it relates to COVID-19.

  • Signatures: Both Declarations of Security (DoS) and Declarations of Inspection (DOI) require signatures.  Electronic signatures discussed below are acceptable.  However, if electronic signatures are not reasonable, in lieu of having one DoS/DOI with two signatures, two separate forms may be used.  Each DoS/DOI will be signed and the name of the other Person in Charge (PIC) or Facility Security Officer (FSO)/Vessel Security Officer (VSO) or their designated representative should be written on each form with a date and time.  Each PIC and FSO/VSO shall keep their respective copies.

  • Declarations of Security (DoS) – 33 CFR 105.245 and approved Facility Security Plans require a DoS to be completed in certain situations, depending on the Maritime Security (MARSEC) level. While there may be a requirement to complete a DoS, there is no requirement for the coordination of security needs and procedures, signature of the DoS, or implementation of agreed upon measures to be conducted in a face-to-face manner between the FSO and the Master, VSO, or their designated representative. As such, electronic communication may be used for the purposes of completing the DoS, however a conversation should still occur between both the vessel and facility.

 

  • Declarations of Inspection (DOI) – 33 CFR 156.150 requires a DOI to be completed before any transfer of oil or hazardous material to or from a vessel. Prior to the transfer beginning and in accordance with 33 CFR 156.120 and 156.120(w), the PIC from the vessel and facility shall meet to begin completing the DOI and hold a conference to ensure both parties understand the operation. The DOI meeting/conference can be completed over the radio, phone or at a safe social distance and still meet these requirements, however both PIC’s must communicate with each other before beginning any transfer. Additionally, both PIC’s shall sign the DOI, but it can be done electronically. All other requirements of 33 CFR 156.150 must be met before the transfer begins.

 

  • Seafarer’s Access – Maritime facility operators are reminded they are not permitted to impede the embarkation/disembarkation of crew members as permitted under Seafarer’s Access regulations. The authority to restrict access resides with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Coast Guard, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for medical matters. Facility operators should contact their local CBP, Coast Guard, or the CDC, State and local health department offices regarding specific questions or concerns about their individual operations. Nothing in the Seafarer Access requirements prevent the facility from maximizing options to minimize direct interaction that may include use of camera systems, barriers, or other measures. These modifications can be made to the Facility Security Plan or use of Noncompliance, as discussed below, may be used.

 

  • Waste Reception Facilities – Garbage and Medical Waste  33 CFR 158 regulations require all ports and terminals under the jurisdiction of the United States to provide vessels with reception facilities for garbage (33 CFR 158.133(c)).

  • Reception Facilities – Ports and terminals must be ready to receive any medical waste from any vessels calling at their facility. This means that those ports/terminal with or without a COA for garbage, must provide vessels with adequate reception facilities for medical waste or a list of persons authorised by federal, state or local law or regulation to transport and treat such wastes.

 

  • Vessels – In addition to notifying the COTP, vessels must coordinate with the port/terminal/recreational boating facility their needs for reception facilities for medical waste, 24 hours in advance of their arrival (33 CFR 151. 65(b)), or immediately if already in port.

 

COA Waivers – If there are issues or concerns with the health hazards associated with any garbage, reception facilities and vessels should work with the appropriate federal, state, and/or local agencies to determine the actual risks and formulate a plan of action based on information received from those agencies. COTP may also exercise their authority to grant waivers under 33 CFR 158.150, if necessary, to allow for offloading of medical waste or garbage to a reception facility without having a COA.

 

26 March: San Francisco and Los Angeles

  • Operations continue subject to USCG guidance in MSIB 02-20 (Change 3) and MSIB 07-20 (Ports & Facilities).

 

  • Agents report that business for bulkers and tankers remains strong. There has also been a surge in cargo claims due to product mishandling and temperature abuse, potentially due to COVID workforce issues.

 

  • Port state control continues.

 

  • Agents continue to have access. Most companies have controls on who can board, and require the use of masks and other precautions.

 

  • On 3/25/20, CBP sent guidance to agents informing them that “all foreign crew are being detained on board.” CBP is moving almost all clearance procedures to an electronic environment, by having agents email copies of documents. CBP’s “decision to conduct boardings of arriving vessels will be conducted on a case-by-case basis based upon actionable intelligence or other necessities.”

  • The USCG publicly states that they do not have restrictions beyond those listed in MSIB 02-20.Notably MSIB 02-20 reminds facility operators (in bold) “they are not permitted to impede the embarkation/ disembarkation of crew members as permitted under Seafarer’s access regulations.”

 

  • Any vessel that enters from a port from a high-risk country or with a potential COVID illness will be subject to a COTP Order keeping all crew aboard.

 

  • Port State Control of foreign tankers continues as before the epidemic. The CG is exercising greater discretion to protect its personnel and crews for non-tank vessel PSC boardings.

 

  • The State of California issued a Shelter in Place Order, with broad exceptions for many sectors, including transportation.

 

  • On ships, agents are required to meet company hygiene protocols and confirm that they have not visited a high-risk country during the prior 14 days.

 

  • USCG is reminding all vessel operators that Illness of a person onboard any vessel that may adversely affect the safety of a vessel or port facility is a hazardous condition per 33 CFR §160.216 and must be reported immediately to the USCG Captain of the Port (COTP). All cases of persons who exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must be reported to the COTP.

6 April: Georgia

  • All cruise vessel calls to Georgian ports have been halted.

 

  • Ships calling at Georgian ports shall, at least 24 hours before arrival, submit Maritime Health Declaration with annexes.

  •  

  • If as ship, her crew or passengers entered countries consider High Risk within the last 21 days they will be subject to thermal screening.

 

  • The ship Master is also responsible for observing the further health of crew and passengers while alongside, at anchorage points or waiting areas and must communicate any suspicious cases to the Harbour Master and appropriate authorities without undue delay.

 

  • If submitted documents or screening show the existence of COVID-19 on board, all possible contacts will be restricted with the subject vessel.

 

  • Pilots must use personal safety equipment when going onboard, including mask, single use gloves and safety glasses. All crew are requested to put on masks and PPE to prevent the spread of virus before meeting pilots embarking on the weather dock. The Bridge team must also wear masks during pilotage.

17 April: New York

  • Effective 0000 hours on March 17, 2020, CBP in conjunction with the United States Coast Guard have detained all foreign crew members arriving within 14 days from the following countries: Iran, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), United Kingdom, Ireland and European states within the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

 

  • CBP is requiring a guard presence to deter the absconding of detained crewmembers prior to inspection by our officers on the 15th day from their last port call in the affected countries listed above.  Every vessel that arrives into the Port of New York/ Newark that fits the criteria listed above will be contacted by CBP to ensure a proper security plan is in place prior to the vessel’s arrival.

 

  • CBP recognizes the hardship this may place on crewmembers however, this protocol is necessary to address the health concerns in our ports…  …For any questions or concerns please contact a Supervisory CBP Officer, Maritime Admissibility Unit, Port of New York/Newark at 201-436-2850 or e-mail MAU-NY-NWK@cbp.dhs.gov

27 April: Texas

From 1 April, USCG Houston-Galveston requires vessel to submit an NOA for arrival to the Houston-Galveston COTP zone will be required to complete and submit a COVID-19 attestation confirming:

(1) no crew/passengers have displayed COVID-19/flu-like symptoms over the past 14 days;

and

(2) no crew/passengers have been to China (excluding Hong Kong, and Macau), Iran, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, or the Republic of Ireland in the past 14 days.

 

Vessels will remain on the Not Cleared To Enter List until the attestation form is received and reviewed.  The USCG review process will normally only occur during business hours, so it is advisable to be proactive by sending the attestation at the time of NOA submission or as soon as possible thereafter to avoid unnecessary delays.

 

Brownsville

Open.  No COVID-19 closures at this time.  No shore leave permitted.  Requests for crew changes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  CBP is currently not boarding and using local agents as intermediaries to exchange scanned copies of documents, signatures, etc. Vessel must notify Coast Guard Boarding Teams of any crew illnesses prior to embarkation; vessel must notify Coast Guard Captain of the Port of any crewmember showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  Crewmembers can seek testing at medical facilities with testing kits.  Limited quantities of testing kits at this time. Any testing would likely be conducted onboard the vessel.  Brownsville had its first confirmed COVID-19 case late last week (week of March 15).  Effective March 25, 2020, Cameron County, which encompasses Brownsville, is under a shelter-in-place order through 4 May.

 

Corpus Christi

Open, except for intermittent fog-related and ship channel dredging closures.  No COVID-19 closures at this time.  Local agents have reported that there is no shore leave for foreign crew in the Port of Corpus Christi, per CBP.  Presumably, there could be exceptions for emergencies, but this will be handled on a case-by-case basis. CBP is currently minimizing boarding activities and using local agents as intermediaries to exchange scanned copies of documents, signatures, etc Vessel must notify Coast Guard Boarding Teams of any crew illnesses prior to embarkation; vessel must notify Coast Guard Captain of the Port of any crewmember showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  Crewmembers can seek testing at medical facilities with testing kits.  Limited quantities of testing kits at this time. Any testing would likely be conducted onboard the vessel. The Port of Corpus Christi at its March 24th Commission meeting unanimously approved a three-month rollback of the current Port of Corpus Christi (PCCA) tariff rates to those in effect on December 31, 2019. The tariff rollback is effective April 1, 2020 and will remain in effect through June 30, 2020. The Corpus Christi stay-at-home order is extended through April 30, 2020.

 

Freeport

Open, except for intermittent fog-related closures.  No COVID-19 closures at this time. Shore leave no longer generally permitted.  CBP is currently minimizing boarding activities and using local agents as intermediaries to exchange scanned copies of documents, signatures, etc.   CBP may, on a case-by-case basis, permit shore leave for limited reasons (e.g., humanitarian, shoreside business critical to the safe operation of the vessel, legal, medical, etc.).  Crew sign-offs will continue to be reviewed and granted if the crewmember has direct and continuous travel out of the United States, the crewmember is not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the crewmember has valid travel documents, and there is no other restriction on the crewmember’s travel. Vessel must notify Coast Guard Boarding Teams of any crew illnesses prior to embarkation; vessel must notify Coast Guard Captain of the Port of any crewmember showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  Crewmembers can seek testing at medical facilities with testing kits.  Limited quantities of testing kits at this time. Any testing would likely be conducted onboard the vessel. Stay-at-home order was extended through April 30, 2020.

 

Galveston

Currently, all terminals are open and operating with the exception of the two cruise terminals.  Four of the five cruise ships that homeport in Galveston are docked at the two cruise terminals and sailing periodically with only crew members onboard while daily maintenance is being performed.  No COVID-19 closures at this time.  Shore leave no longer generally permitted.  CBP may, on a case-by-case basis, permit shore leave for limited reasons (e.g., humanitarian, shoreside business critical to the safe operation of the vessel, legal, medical, etc.). CBP is currently minimizing boarding activities and using local agents as intermediaries to exchange scanned copies of documents, signatures, etc. Crew sign-offs will continue to be reviewed and granted if the crewmember has direct and continuous travel out of the United States, the crewmember is not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the crewmember has valid travel documents, and there is no other restriction on the crewmember’s travel.  Vessel must notify Coast Guard Boarding Teams of any crew illnesses prior to embarkation; vessel must notify Coast Guard Captain of the Port of any crewmember showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  Crewmembers can seek testing at medical facilities with testing kits.  Limited quantities of testing kits at this time. Any testing would likely be conducted onboard the vessel.  Galveston County has had 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases.  Galveston County issued an Order to Stay at Home on March 23, 2020 and continues through April 30.  The definition of “essential businesses” under the Order is somewhat vague, and activities relevant to the maritime transportation industry are arguably excepted from the restrictions imposed by the Order.

 

Houston

Open, except for intermittent fog-related closures.  No COVID-19 closures at this time.  Shore leave no longer generally permitted.  CBP may, on a case-by-case basis, permit shore leave for limited reasons (e.g., humanitarian, shoreside business critical to the safe operation of the vessel, legal, medical, etc.).  CBP is currently minimizing boarding activities and using local agents as intermediaries to exchange scanned copies of documents, signatures, etc. Crew sign-offs will continue to be reviewed and granted if the crewmember has direct and continuous travel out of the United States, the crewmember is not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the crewmember has valid travel documents, and there is no other restriction on the crewmember’s travel.  Vessel must notify Coast Guard Boarding Teams of any crew illnesses prior to embarkation; vessel must notify Coast Guard Captain of the Port of any crewmember showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  Crewmembers can seek testing at medical facilities with testing kits.  Limited quantities of testing kits at this time.  Any testing would likely be conducted onboard the vessel.  As of this morning, the Houston area has 199 confirmed COVID-19 cases.  Harris County issued a Stay Home Work Safe Order on March 24, 2020.  The Order goes into effect on March 23 and continues through April 30.  Businesses servicing critical infrastructure sectors, such as the transportation systems sector, are exempted from the Order.

 

An order for all persons to wear masks/face coverings in public is expected to go into effect on April 27

 

Via notice issued on March 13, the Houston Pilots requested the following measures be taken prior to Pilot boarding:

  • Wipe down the bridge with a disinfectant (radars, pilot chair and piloting station, door handles, etc.);

  • Only essential members allowed on the Bridge at any time;

  • Personnel on bridge must sanitize hands;

  • No handshaking;

  • Crewmembers and Pilot should avoid touching their faces;

  • and Provide hand soap and/or hand sanitizer with paper towels.

 

Effective April 8, 2020, Port Houston will require non-contact temperature screenings of everyone entering Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals restricted areas.  Six (6) access points will be made available at each terminal.  All other access points will remain closed until further notice.

Canada

21 March:

Transport Canada have issued a Ship Safety Bulletin confirming that marine crew are deemed essential, and that foreign seafarers who have to travel to Canada to work on a ship are exempt from the prohibition of entry into Canada introduced as part of the measures taken in light of COVID-19.

 

When flying into Canada, such seafarers must have in their possession a seafarer identity document issued in accordance with the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 2003 (ILO Convention No 185) supplemented by a passport; or other seafarer documentation, including proof of employment by a vessel operating out of a Canadian port; and a visa, if required.

 

25 March:

Transport Canada has confirmed that Canadian ports will remain open for ships and cargo

 

Transport Canada has established several health and safety measures, including:

  • Limiting capacity on domestic and transborder ferries

  • Advising passengers to practice social distancing

  • Requiring seafarers showing COVID-19 symptoms to go into isolation

 

Canada Border Services Agency has added additional processes at every port for processing travellers and workers, which is leading to operational slowdowns.

 

31 March:

Transport Canada has created a website that provides updates on transportation-related measures it has taken in response to COVID-19 https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/initiatives/covid-19-measures-updates-guidance-tc.html

 

GAC have provided extracts from Transport Canada Special Marine Security Notification No: 2020-006:

  • As per the Quarantine Act, prior to arrival of a vessel at its destination in Canada, the vessel operator must inform a quarantine officer, or cause a quarantine officer to be informed if any person, cargo or other things on board the conveyance could cause the spreading of a communicable disease (such as COVID-19).

 

  • Foreign and Canadian flagged vessels are to pay particular attention to ensuring that all required components of the 96 Pre-Arrival Information Report (PAIR) and 24 Hour Report are completed in accordance with section 221 of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR).

 

  • Reporting of illnesses aboard a vessel to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) should be made through the existing PAIR reporting process to Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS).

 

  • Based on that information provided, PHAC will provide follow-on direction to the vessel.

 

  • In the event that PHAC determines a crew member or passenger onboard a vessel to be at risk, notification will be provided to other (this may include but is not limited to the CBSA, CCG, TC Marine Safety, and appropriate pilotage and port authorities).

 

  • Should a vessel have an ill or symptomatic crew member or passenger after having arrived in Canada, Masters should inform the appropriate local health authority and the ship’s agent for further direction.

 

  • Ships’ agents are asked to inform the applicable pilotage authority of the state of the ship’s health when requesting pilots for harbour movements or for the outbound passage.

 

  • Vessel Masters with crew members and passengers symptomatic of the Coronavirus are to advise Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security following transmission of the 96 hour PAIR.

 

  • Anyone who had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolate means that, for 14 days, they need to: – Stay at home (or aboard vessel) and monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild – Avoid contact with other people to help prevent transmission of the virus at the earliest stage of illness.

 

1 April:

AqualisBraemar advise that:

 

  • Canadian ports remain open. The Canadian government has confirmed the importance of the shipping industry as vital to the economy by keeping ports open and facilitating shipping activity. There are, however, precautions which must be taken.

 

  • Drydock and repair facilities are working on reduced manning / split shifts to enable social distancing. Most remain open, but delays in repair and construction work are expected.

 

7 April:

Transport Canada has issued a Ship Safety Bulletin giving guidance on the mobility of asymptomatic workers in the marine sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  • Exemption is granted allowing Marine Sector Workers who have to travel to Canada to perform their duties, to board an international flight destined to Canada.

 

  • No traveller can board a flight/enter Canada if they have a fever and cough or a fever and breathing difficulties.

 

  • Asymptomatic crew are also permitted to transit to the nearest airport for the purpose of crew change-over.

 

  • Anyone who has close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days. Operators should arrange local transport for crew members that avoids large groups, crowded areas, and public transit.

 

  • For shore leave for seafarers onboard foreign vessels, at Canadian ports, terminals and marine facilities, until 30 June 2020, symptomatic and asymptomatic foreign nationals (except those exempted) may not enter Canada if shore leave is considered discretionary.

 

  • Essential shore leave may be granted to an asymptomatic seafarer and is not to exceed four hours in duration.

 

  • Crew onboard Canadian domestic vessels should follow the advice of their employer and local health officials.

 

  • A complete ban on shore leave in the Canadian Arctic is in effect until December 31, 2020. Crews that are residents of Arctic and northern communities could be exempt.

 

14 April:

For Port State Control (PSC) Inspections:

 

  • Canada will continue to use a risk-based approach in selecting vessels for PSC inspections

 

  • On-site inspection will be maintained mostly for foreign vessels identified as High Priority (P1) under regional PSC MOUs; Time onboard and interactions with crew will be minimized as much as possible during these on-site inspections

 

  • For other selected vessels (including foreign tankers identified as Medium Priority (P2)), verification done through document review – with the possibility of on-site inspection, if document review not satisfactory

 

  • If a ship cannot fulfil convention/statutory requirement despite best efforts (e.g.: challenges to revalidate seafarer or ship certificates or delays in completing required audit, surveys, repairs, etc),  TC will take a pragmatic approach to compliance – in accordance with the Paris and Tokyo MOUs guidance on PSC inspections under COVID-19 situation – assessing situation on a case by case basis.

 

For Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) inspections, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are to conduct non-compliant inspections (at anchorage) and import inspections at a particular rate based on risk. Other measures may include requesting additional information prior to inspections to reduce the amount of time spent on a vessel and interacting with crew.

China

20 March: Shanghai authorities issued a notice regarding new requirements and procedures to be followed making it possible in certain circumstances for crew change to take place at Shanghai port. For ships not arriving from a “severe outbreak” country, crew changes can be arranged in the normal manner. However, if the ship is arriving from a “severe outbreak” country, crew changes should be minimized as much as possible, but are still possible subject to necessary quarantine measures. Currently, 24 countries are on the “severe outbreak” list which includes South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, France, Spain, Germany, USA, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherland, Austria, Australia, Malaysia, Greece, Czech Republic, Finland, Qatar, Canada, Saudi Arabia. This list is subject to update according to development globally.

 

31 March: AqualisBraemar advise that entry into China by foreigners is strictly prohibited including those with business visas, permanent residence status and green card holders (10 year visas) until further notice.  All Chinese Nationals returning to China have to undergo 14 days quarantine. All expats and Chinese nationals must register for a QR Code that indicates there status in real time (updated to the minute).  The QR Code categories are green (safe to travel and well / infectious free) orange (have travelled on same public transport or been in the vicinity of somebody who has been infected) or red (presently in 14 day quarantine but not yet showing symptoms, or have symptoms).

 

2 April: Oasis P&I advise on Chinese crew change requirements, setting out the procedures as follows:

 

Embarking crewmembers

 

  • The ship owner needs to declare the embarking crewmember’s health condition in the past 14 days to the local authorities where the crew change is going to take place and submit a Health Record Form together with the application.

  • If the application is approved, then the ship owner can proceed and arrange embarkation.

 

  • If the travel from the crewmember’s living place to the ship is all in low risk areas, they can embark the vessel directly; otherwise they may need to be quarantined at the port for observation.

 

Disembarking crewmembers

 

  • The ship owner also needs to submit a Health Record Form to the local authorities for any disembarking crewmembers together with the application.

 

  • If the crewmember is reported to be in good health condition and health authorities’ boarding inspection confirms so: in case 14 days have elapsed since the ship departed the last foreign port, they can disembark the vessel without restriction or isolation. in case it has been less than 14 days, the crewmember should be quarantined upon disembarkation until 14 days have elapsed since the ship departed the last foreign port, either at home or at a designated place for observation in line with requirement of the local authorities.

 

  • If the crewmember shows any suspected symptoms, then the crew change should be suspended immediately, and virus prevention and control protocols shall be followed.

 

  • If the crewmember is found to be asymptomatically infected, the prevailing protocol made by the relevant authorities shall be followed.

 

Apart from the above Chinese crew change procedures, promulgated in recent notices, MOT will:

 

  • continue to suspend crew changes of foreign national crew members on foreign flagged ships in Chinese ports.

 

  • strictly forbid internationally trading cargo ships which are carrying people onboard, other than its crew, from entering into Chinese ports. Before entering into Chinese waters, following departure from a foreign port of call, the master should submit a statement to local maritime authorities at the port of destination to confirm that the ship is not carrying any person other than its crew.

 

15 April:

China’s MSA have issued ‘Guidance on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 on board (V2.0)”. Version 1 can be read here: http://www.huataimarine.com/index.php?m=newscon&id=361&twoid=590. The main amendments for version 2.0 relate to conducting crew changes and measures to prevent the spread of viruses from overseas. These can be accessed here: http://www.huataimarine.com/index.php?m=newscon&id=361&twoid=596

 

21 April:

Huatai Marine provide an update on crew changes in China – see http://www.huataimarine.com/index.php?m=newscon&id=361&twoid=599. They warn that additional restrictions may be adopted by local authorities for crew change. For example, some ports may require that the crew change must be carried out in daytime, or the crew change could only be carried out at the first Chinese port of call. In Zhoushan, the local authority announced that only crew of Zhoushan citizenship could disembark at the port.

 

24 April:

Shanghai P&I advise that crew changes involving Chinese nationals are now a simple matter. The Chinese government still strictly control non-Chinese crews’ landing and repatriation. If not for emergency situation, non-Chinese crews’ landing and repatriation would be hard at present. In some Chinese ports, the surveyors’ attendance formalities are very strict and boarding pass shall be arranged in advance due to COVID regulation locally.

Italy

9 March:

Italy’s prime minister published a decree “laying down urgent measures to contain and manage the epidemiological emergency brought on by COVID-19” and extending the emergency measures introduced by the previous day’s decree to all of Italy. The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Service advise that the travel restrictions: (a) do not apply to the transport and transit of goods or to the entire supply chain to and from the affected areas; and (b) do not prevent individuals from travelling for work- or health-related reasons, or for other needs.

 

11 March:

Italian Ports Association announce Italian ports are fully operational and ensure safety of persons and goods. In full  respect  of  the  measures  adopted  by  the  Government  with  the  primary  objective  of  protecting public health as a result of the medical emergency, the Italian Ports Association (Assoporti) wishes to clarify that all Italian ports are fully operational with suitable measures to guarantee maximum safety of port operations and goods. Italian ports are fully operational with regular service to the national community and all their offices, including those devoted to controls, guaranteeing regularity of the sea activities.

 

The measures adopted by the Government in no way restrict the movement of goods in the country.

 

The  precautionary obligation of the “Free Sanitary Practice” issued by the  Local Office  of  Maritime Health remains in force, which authorizes ships to berth, and the Italian ports are ready to adopt any new measures that were to be issued by the Office of Civil Defense (so-called: Protezione Civile).

 

11 April:

All Italian ports are open for container ships and commercial vessel for the traffic of goods, whilst an international suspension of cruise ship traffic and a national suspension (or drastic reduction) of passenger traffic for Sardinia and Sicily Islands are operative.

 

Terminals, stevedores and logistic activities are operating under strict rules and safety conditions to safeguard all operators, stevedores and crew members from potential exposure.

South and Central America

Several governments in South and Central America have declared “state of emergency”, establishing, among other measures, the closure of borders. Others have enacted national quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus by forcing the closure of our locations, but they continue operating remotely. Despite the challenging environment, operations continue to function.

 

Europe

As the virus continues to spread across Europe, we are experiencing several impacts on logistics flows. Although all of European sites and offices continue to operate, there are expected delays with shipments due to increased health and safety measures at various borders. For the impact on the different transport modes please see below. Russia has extended public holidays until April 30. The imposed measures include closure of all borders for people movements. Flow of goods are not impacted.

 

Middle East and Africa

As the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, state and local authorities in the Middle East and Africa countries have called for more stringent steps to be taken for local governments and businesses.

Despite the challenging environment, all operations continue to function. Starting around 23rd of April, activities are also planned taking the celebration of Ramadan into account.

Ocean Freight

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) stated that implementing certain preventive measures to limit the impact of the coronavirus related to crew changes can cause disruptions in the supply chain.

 

North America

Operations are fully functional with minimal impact from having to work remotely. The main CFS gateways in US are operating normally but with reduced hours. Due to decreases in vessel operations some ports or terminals have reduced operating days or hours. All Port Terminals will prioritise essential products (medical goods) movements over non-essential goods.

 

Central South America

There are currently no major restrictions on operations. The ports are operational, but there are delays and congestion in the terminals due to reduced staff, reduced attention hours and local quarantine measures.

 

Argentina is in national quarantine and only allows essential cargo flows. Vessel operations and cargo-gate-process is normal with delays, giving priority to essential cargo (e.g. food, pharma, etc). The ports and CFS work with skeleton staff and can only handle essential shipments accepted by customs authorities.

 

Chile, mandatory quarantine in Santiago, operations are not affected and terminals and ports are working as normal. In Venezuela the ports are working with restricted operations.

 

China

Terminal operations in China are almost back to normal. The arrival of large bulk carriers in China has returned to normal. The availability of reefer plugs at terminals in Tianjin, Shanghai and Ningbo is improved.

 

South Asia

With the surge in the Coronavirus cases outside China, governments across the South East Asia region are stepping up their containment measures.

 

In the Philippines, Luzon (Manila), Visayas (Cebu) and Mindanao (Davao) had been placed under a state of "enhanced community quarantine". The Port of Manila is operational, but with limited capacity.

 

The Malaysian and the Indian governments extended the lock downs. Logistics is allowed to operate, but is restricted. All non-essential manufacturing, government and private business premises in the countries are not operating during this period. In Bangladesh, the government decided for lockdown/movement restrictions as well and all factories are closed except the ones producing protective supplies and medicine. Ports in India and Bangladesh are operational, but with reduced capacity and facing severe port congestion issues. In Chittagong, vessels wait outside the port to take birth. In India, most cargo is stored without movement, which is why CFS capacity is fully utilised. In Malaysia, all essential services, such as ports and transportation companies, continue to run, but with limited operations. The Terminals across India are facing severe labour shortage and high yard inventories affecting the productivity. Break bulk terminals have claimed Force Majeure. Berth schedules are disrupted in most of the terminals with no buffers. Carriers have announced blank sailings to EUR & MED, Asia, and USA.

 

In Myanmar customs release is allowed, but non-essential cargo cannot be delivered.

 

The Vietnam-Cambodia border is closed for container movement by road.

 

In South Korea, logistics and overall supply chain remain stable with all trucking, customs clearance and warehousing operating as usual. Port congestion at Busan has eased since vessels resumed direct calls to Chinese ports.

 

In New Zealand, ports are congested with non-essential shipments that cannot be delivered as non-essential production and shipping is restricted due to the lock-down. However, essential services continue to operate and with it the associated logistics chain. Ports continue to operate. In the port of Adelaide, Australia, there's a noticeable lack of equipment.

 

In Sri Lanka, only essential shipments can be loaded and moved with special curfew passes. In the ports, container gate-in is still possible, but within reduced working hours. In the other countries we see "business as usual" from a ports and carrier perspective, but with delays - due to shorter working hours in customs, CFS and ports - as well as equipment and space constraints due to blank sailings. Overall, ports are becoming congested and reefer plugs are hardly available.

 

Europe

With continued blank sailings and the dynamic situation at various borders, impacts any logistics business. The governments of Italy and Spain have decreed to close non-essential factories and commercial activities.

Cargo transportation is still allowed in order to sustain the supply of goods, the delivery might be hindered by closed manufacturing sites and warehouses. The ports are operational with slower gate in / gate out process and delays in customs clearance. Processes in Italian ports are slower due to reduced working hours.

 

Middle East and Africa

Ports and terminals are operational with delays due to carriers and customs shorter working hours, preventive measures and reduced capacity. Reefer plugs become short. Ports and cargo vessels are still operating, but with precautionary measures. There is a decrease of volumes visible at all port terminals.

 

Turkey is facing impacts on imports and exports. Vessel sailings, equipment availability and carrier operations are effected. 

 

Saudi Arabia, operations are affected by the current curfew, but ports and customs are working with limited opening hours. Food and medicine are prioritised. Major shippers and consignees start to shut down and all service providers have to work from home

 

South Africa. Essential cargo will be allowed at the 8 Sea Ports. The ports will prioritise the movement of essential goods, but export of containers is still possible. The East London port is closed for container movement.

Air Freight

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends aircraft operators to hand out the Passenger Locator Card form (PLC) to passengers in case of a suspicion of infection. See also WHO's guidance on operational considerations for managing COVID-19 cases or outbreak in aviation (pdf).

 

Europe:

- European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA): recommendations for aircraft operators & staff (pdf)

- European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell (EACCC): EAACC pandemics factsheet.

- European Commission: guidelines for EU Member States (pdf) and full list of country restrictions.

 

US Federal Aviation Administration: FAA COVID-19 information.

 

Civil Aviation Administration China (CAAC) for aircraft traveling to China: guidelines for airlines (pdf) and guidelines for airports (pdf)

 

World Customs Organization: governments border management measures


Government Measures Related to Coronavirus reported to IATA (link).

IATA's Airlines Cargo Operations Status, COVID-19

Road Freight

BCP "Green lanes" to ensure continuous flow of goods across EU
The Council of Ministers has defined the border points of Bulgaria, through which goods will be allowed to flow freely. The plan for providing "green lanes" along the European road network is in line with the guidelines of the European Commission of 16 March 2020.

At the border with Greece, the main border points are BCP Kulata, BCP Kapitan Petko Voevoda, and BCP Ilinden as a reserve. The main points with Romania are at Vidin and Rousse, while the reserve points are Oryahovo and Silistra. Crossing points have also been identified with the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey, for which the European Union has also taken a coordinated approach. BCP Kalotina was designated between Bulgaria and Serbia, BCP Kapitan Andreevo in Turkey and BCP Gyueshevo in North Macedonia.

Crossing these "green lane" border crossing points, including any checks and health screening on transport workers, should not take more than 15 minutes. "Green lanes" border crossings must be open to all goods vehicles carrying any type of goods.

Additional COVID-19 information

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