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Saturday, April 4, 2020

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COVID-19: UPDATED INFORMATION AFFECTING SHIPS

Updated: 2 APR 2020 at 10:00 (lt)

 

Current status:

Mandatory quarentine imposed in all Argentina territory. Extended until 13 April. Urgent services concerning international trade exempted. 

Port/ships operations: opened

Restrictions: apply depending on ship’s previous ports, pre-arrival health information, transit time, etcetera… Despite of the National Protocol which does not provide for quarentine of those vessels calling from any port with less than 14 days with no symptoms on board (and medical/port/crew records to the satisfaction of Health Authorities) various parties in different ports are takin a different appraoch, as far as we know as follows:

  • Necochea & Bahia Blanca ports: Health Authorities request ships calling from "afected areas" a 14-day transit form last port of call. Stevedores,  however, refuse to provide services to any ship calling with less than 14 days transit time.
  • San Nicolas port (public berths): port authorities request ships calling a 14-day transit time from any previous port.
  • San Lorenzo, Rosario, Zarate, Campana and nearby ports: unions are not providing towing, berthing and unberthing services to any ship arriving with less than 14 days transit time 

Surveyors attendance: Still attending but every day becoming more restricted the availability of surveyors to go on board.

“Affected areas”: EU members, Schengen members, UK and North Ireland, United States of America, Korea, Japan, China, Iran, Chile and Brazil.

 

As a consequence of the outbreak of the COVID-19, declared as pandemic by WHO, Argentina  - where up to date reported 1,133 COVID-19 cases, including 34 deaths and 256 recovered –  has been taking every-day more drastic measures in order to prevent a steep spread of the virus. These are summarized below insofar as the port, ships and correspondents ‘operations are concerned.

Under Decrees of Need and Urgency 260/2020 (12 MAR 2020) and 297/2020 (19 MAR 2020) President Alberto Fernandez declared the “sanitary emergency” in Argentina and various extraordinary measures taken thereupon, most importantly, the so-called “precautionary and mandatory social isolation” applicable effective to all Argentinean territory. On 29 March 2020 the President announced the decision to extend the measure until 13 of April 2020. 

- On 16 MAR 2020 Pandi Liquidadores SRL closed the office and all administrative and claims handlers staff moved to a remote-working scheme. Within our continuity plan we expect to provide services on the usual manner insofar as the ports continue operating and our surveyors are allowed to provide services on board:

  • Remote office te.: +54 11 7078 0186 (Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00)
  • On duty 24/7: +54 911 4446 0662 (as usual, emergencies and A.O.H.)
  • Mobiles phones and other contact details as published in the Clubs’books
- On 12 MAR 2020 all flights from/to “affected areas” have been suspended for one month. However, on 15 MAR 2020 the Executive decided to close all boarders for 15 days (until 31 MAR 2020), which was enhanced as from 27 MAR 2020 and no foreigners not even Argentinean citizens or residents are allowed for the time being. No flights are available and crew changes are now impossible. 

- Within the exceptions to the mandatory isolation, the Executive exempted various activities including “Urgent activities related to foreign trade”.

- The Ministry of Health  together with the Ministry of Security have increased the Health controls on board any ship calling Argentina. Now every ship that called an "affected area", or has on board any crew/passenger who was in any "affected area", with a transit time less than 14 dyas, the Coast Guards will board the vessel at Recalada Pilot Station (outer River Plate) and will control body temperature. The Health Authority will decide thereafter if the vessel is authorized to proceed to port and if the pilot can board the vessel >>> If any symptom is detected, the ship will be quarantined. However, the ill crew/passenger could be disembarked, diagnosed and treated according to COVID-19 protocls. Please note that the shipowners may face  the costs of disembarking, moving to health care center and other costs associated with the case, depending on each case and the conditions imposed by the Ministry of Health. 

- Previous guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Transport established upon which conditions the crew of a ship calling any port could disembark. This however seems to be changed an no crew are allowed to disembark at any port. Humanitarian reasons shall be considered by the Authorities. 

- Due to Unions or local authorities approach, any ship calling San Nicolas, Necochea or Bahia Blanca may not be allowed on berth until 14 days transit times is complied with from previous port of call. This would affect particularly ships calling from Chile and Brasil due to short transit time. 

- The Ministry of Transport, through Resolution 60/20 dated 13 MAR 2020 created “Crisis Committee to Prevent COVID-19 in River, Maritime and Lacustrine Transport”. In turn, on 20 MAR 2020 the Committee issued the “COVID-19 Protocol” applicable to  the Country, according to which:

  • Any suspected case must be reported to Health Authorities o whom acts on their behalf;
  • 72 hours prior to ship’s arrival, the Master must submit before the Health Authorities pre-arrival information:
    1. Maritime declaration of  health (annex 8, IHR 2005)
    2. Ship sanitation control exemption / ship sanitation control certificates (annex 3, IHR 2005)
    3. Crew list (including date and place of embarkment and nationality)
    4. Passenger list
    5. Last 10 ports of call
    6. Passenger’s Health Declaration
    7. Daily body temperature report
    8. Ship’s medical logbook
    9. Prior crew changes
    10. Additional non-mandatory information (ship’s particulars, ballast water log, garbage disposal log)
    11. Free pratique
  • “essential personnel” are those involved in shipping and ports who provide operational and safety services , such as: pilots, Master/Crew, stevedores, quantity and quality control companies, tugs, holds/tanks inspectors, Customs brokers, ISPS offiers, ship agents, motor boats providers (amongst others described);
  • Various general measures are implemented related to increase hygiene conditions both in ports and ships, operational and precautional measures for crew, pilot, shore personnel; as sestrictions to board, to enter the port and to provide services to the vessels; measures in case of isolation in ports; and guidelines for quarentine ships
  • This and other details must be consulted with the ship agents at the appropriate time

 

Yours Faithfully,

PANDI LIQUIADORES SRL/BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Notice: the content of this circular is for information only. Even though it has been issued carefully, and to the best of our knowledge, it has a general purpose and we can accept no liability whatsoever for any particular action taken upon it. © Pandi Liquidadores SRL 2020. All rights reserved.