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HOT PORT NEWS from GAC

Thursday, 12 September 2019 | 22:00

Toll structure modifications approved
Thursday, September 12, 2019, Panama Canal, Panama
On September 3, 2019, following the recommendation from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors, the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama officially approved modifications to the Canal Tolls structure.

The modifications to the toll structure will allow the Panama Canal to remain competitive, while continuing to provide a safe and reliable service to its customers. These modifications took into consideration the demand for Canal transit services, the use and efficiency of the Panamax and Neopanamax locks, the concerns addressed during meetings with customers and industry representatives, as well as the feedback received during the formal consultation period.

The new structure modifies the tolls charged to Neopanamax dry bulk vessels carrying iron ore, Neopanamax dry bulk vessels transiting in ballast, and the liquid bulk segment (including oil and product tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels). In addition, modifications include the TEU tariff applicable to non-container vessels carrying containers on deck, as well as a revised toll structure applicable to small vessels, those under 38.1 meters (125 feet) in length overall.

For the container segment, two new categories were incorporated to expand the Loyalty Program as an incentive for customers who increase cargo volumes and deploy additional services through the waterway. For this segment, the new tolls will be set at the levels originally included in the proposal, based on an in-depth analysis of the impact of the proposed modifications to the overall supply chain and the final user.

The new structure also modifies the tolls charged to vehicle carriers and revises the tonnage distribution ranges in order to clearly differentiate vessels within the current fleet.

Based on recommendations received, modifications to the tolls were adjusted for Neopanamax vessels.

After considering the concerns presented by clients from the intra-maritime cluster – local tourism segment, the modifications to the tolls as established in the original proposal were adjusted.

For the passenger vessel segment, a decision was made not to proceed with the proposed tolls modification and to continue charging this segment based on the current tariff structure.

Based on recommendations presented by participants during the formal consultation period, implementation of the modifications applicable to certain segments will be postponed until April and May 2020.

The approved toll modifications will be effective as follows:

January 1, 2020:
– Modifications to minimum tolls applicable to small vessels.
– Improvements to the Loyalty Program for container vessels.
– Consideration to charge only dry bulk vessels carrying timber deck cargo based on Timber Summer DWT or Summer Loaded DWT, whichever is higher.

April 1, 2020:
– Modifications to the toll structure for the liquid bulk segment (including oil and producttankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels).
– Modifications to the toll structure for Neopanamax dry bulk vessels carrying iron ore andNeopanamax dry bulk vessels transiting in ballast.
– Modifications to the toll structure for the vehicle carrier segment.
– Differentiation of the TEU tariff applicable to non-container vessels carrying containerson deck.

May 1, 2020:
– Modifications to the toll structure for the intra-maritime cluster – local tourism segment.

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal contact GAC Panama at [email protected])

Source: Extract from Panama Canal Authority Advisory To Shipping No.A-34-2019

Restrictions due to dredging
Thursday, September 12, 2019, Corpus Christi, United States

Dredge CAROLINA will be spudded down in the center of the Humble Basin to La Quinta Junction portion of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, in vicinity of the Ferry Crossing, approximate position 27 deg. 50’31.13″N, 097 deg. 04’11.28″W each day September 11, 2019 through September 17, 2019 between the hours of 2000 and 0800.

To facilitate safe dredging in this area, I have established a safety zone for 1000′ feet around Dredge CAROLINA from 2000 through 0800 each day September 11, 2019 through September 17, 2019.

During times of the safety zone, only Dredge CAROLINA, small vessels, TXDOT ferries, and inland barge traffic may transit this area; deep draft vessels, articulated tug and barges, ocean going barges, and other vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver shall not pass through this area without permission from the U.S. Coast Guard, and coordination with Aransas Corpus Christi Pilots and Port of Corpus Christi Harbormasters Offices.

Small vessels, TXDOT ferries, and inland barges should be aware that while the safety zone is in place, only 200′ of open channel will be available on the red side, and therefore vessels should ensure no meeting situations occur in vicinity of the dredge. Dredge CAROLINA will monitor VHF Channels 12 and 16.

Concerned parties with urgent concerns can contact the U.S. Coast Guard Sector/ Air Station Corpus Christi Command Center at 361-939-0450; or for non-urgent questions and concerns, email [email protected].

(For information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America, at [email protected])

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Corpus Christi, Marine Safety Information Bulletin 33-19 dated 10 September 2019

Amendment to rules for LNG tankers
Thursday, September 12, 2019, Suez Canal, Egypt

As an encouragement for LNG tankers operating between the “American Gulf” (starting from Miami port and its western ports within the “American Gulf”), ports South of the “American Gulf”, “Arabian Gulf” (ports within the Arabian Gulf starting from the port of Muscat), India and eastern ports to pass through Suez Canal, the Suez Canal Authority has decided the following:

1- Amending “para 2” & “para 3” of “Article One” to read as follows:
LNG tankers (laden/ ballast) operating between the “American Gulf” (starting from Miami port and its western ports within the “American Gulf”), ports South of the “American Gulf” and the below areas shall be granted the following percentages:
a) Eastern ports to the port of Kochi up to Singapore a rebate of 50% from Suez Canal normal tolls.
b) Singapore ports and its eastern ports a rebate of 75% from Suez Canal normal tolls.

2- Para (1) of “Article One”, “Article Two” and “Article Three” of the circular shall remain in force.
(The Arabian Gulf and west of India up to port of Kochi. A reduction of 30% of Suez Canal normal dues.)

This is applicable to LNG carriers transiting the Suez Canal starting from 1 October 2019 till the 30 June 2020.

For information about operations in the Suez Canal contact GAC Egypt at [email protected]

Channel closed due to protestors
Thursday, September 12, 2019, Houston, United States

The Houston Ship Channel was closed at 06.30 hours local time today (12 September), due to protesters on the Fred Hartman Bridge.

According to local news reports, 22 Greenpeace USA protesters formed a blockade over the bridge in Baytown ahead of the third 2020 Democratic debate, claiming they intend to remain in place for 24 hours, preventing the transport of all oil and gas through the channel.

At 11am local time, the channel was closed to all traffic passing the Fred Hartman bridge, but shifting in the upper channel and traffic below the bridge was open. The U.S. Coast Guard was on the scene trying to clear the area.

For information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at [email protected]
Source: GAC

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