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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 | 20:00

Novel Coronavirus Q&A
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, China

GAC China has prepared a list of answers to questions related to the current novel coronavirus outbreak, as follows:

Is there any impact on Chinese port operations?
Except river ports in Hubei province, operations at other sea and river ports remain normal.

Is there any impact on vessel berthing and unberthing in Chinese ports?
Vessel berthing and unberthing in Chinese ports is not affected by the novel coronavirus. However, in most ports, vessels must conductself-inspection and declare non-infection on board before pilot and tugboat application.

How is the epidemic affecting ship declaration formalities?
At present, ship declaration formalities in most ports remain normal. Some port authorities require submission of body temperature monitoring forms and health declaration cards or online declaration and appointment as an alternative.

How is it impacting the efficiency of operations in Chinese ports?
Migrant workers returning home for family Lunar New Year reunions and delayed resumption of work has contributed to a labour shortage. A decline in work efficiency can be seen at all Chinese ports during the holiday.

What protection and control measures are being taken by Chinese ports?
Measures taken by ports mainly include the follows:
(1) Visitors need to make an appointment in advance.
(2) Temperature measurement is a must at port entrance.
(3) AII visitors should wear masks and make registration.
(4) Some port areas are restricted for non-business-related visitors.

Is there any impact on crew embarkation and disembarkation at Chinese ports?
According to the urgent notice from the Ministry of Transport on 30 January regarding requirements on epidemic prevention and control as well as water transportation assurance, crew members are not allowed to disembark. If crew disembarkation is necessary under special circumstances, written application shall be submitted for approval in advance and could be arranged upon approval.

Is the provision of ship supplies continuing as normal at Chinese ports?
For epidemic control purposes, boarding crew are not allowed to order provisions by themselves. Only qualified suppliers may provide such services and proper registration shall be made at local regulatory authority in advance.

Is customs clearance working as normal for spare parts deliveries?
So far, customs clearance for ship spare parts has not been affected by the epidemic, except at Laizhou port in Shandong province and Shulanghu port in Ningbo. We handle customs clearance and spare parts delivery in compliance with the existing regulations of local customs. However, in some ports, filing and registration in advance are required by the local customs and regulatory authority.

What is the impact on arrangements for boarding of ships by owner’s representative?
Up to now, at Yingkou, Panjin, Tianjin, Taizhou, Zhangzhou, Xiamen, Putian and Fangcheng port, ship boarding for owner’s representative remains unaffected. However, for epidemic control purposes, such an arrangement is not recommended/permitted for such at other ports.

Is Cash to Master(“CTM”) service affected by novel coronavirus?
Due to the impact of delayed resumption of work, CTM could be handled in Shanghai, Jiangyin, Taizhou, Zhenjiang, Putian, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, Fuzhou, Gulei, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Zhuhai from 3 February, with application made to bank in advance. For the other ports not listed, CTM will be back to normal from 10 February.

Is there any negative impact on ship’s bunkering with low sulfur fuel oil (“LSFO”) at Chinese ports?
Bunkering service has not been affected, but the LSFO supplier is running with low inventory. Therefore, confirmation with local fuel oil suppliers and application to local regulatory authorities in advance is highly recommended.

What shall we do when crew on board have a fever, cough or other suspected coronavirus symptoms?
The ship should inform ship agent, terminal, customs and MSAimmediately. Meanwhile, the affected crew on board should remain isolated and the case should be reported to local health commission for guidance.
Upon ship berthing, the boarding agent should wear protective outfit and carry out work procedures with Captain in an open area. If the crew member needs medical treatment, contact 120 (telephone number for local emergency health assistance) for ambulance pick-up to a designated hospital.

When will the Customs, MSA, immigration and port authority resume to work?
They will comply to the relevant regulations of local government. Meanwhile, there will be a person on duty and regular ship operation and formalities will not be affected.

Is manifest declaration affected in Chinese ports?
So far, all the manifests can be declared to Customs.

When will GAC office reopen?
The GAC Shanghai office will open on 10 February 2020.
For further details and updates, or information about operations in China, contact GAC China at [email protected]

Use of scrubber and fuel in Turkish waters
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, Turkey

The Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure General Directorate for Maritime Affairs requires information to be provided about types of fuel to be used by ships coming to the country’s territorial waters and ports, and ships transiting the Turkish Straits.

The sulfur content of the fuel used in ships worldwide has been limited to 0.5% as of 1 January 2020 within the scope of Annex VI of International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This limitation also applies to all ships sailing in Turkish waters.

In addition, the “Regulation on the Reduction of Sulfur Rate in Some Fuel Oil Types” is in force in Turkey, and the use of marine fuels of which sulfur amount exceeds 0.1% by mass is prohibited for ships bound or anchored for more than 2 hours in inland waters and in the administrative areas authorized by Port Authorities within the scope of Article 7 of the Regulation. The said article 7 is not applied in cases where the inland water vehicles with valid certificates are located at sea and when the machines of the ships at the dock are not working and powered by land.

Exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubber) will be considered as equivalent application within the scope of Rule 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, instead of using suitable fuel, in order to comply with the said sulfur limits. The exhaust gas cleaning systems in question are equipped on the ships according to the issues specified in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) decision numbered MEPC 259(68) and certified by the Administration or authorized class organizations.

In this context, there is certain criteria related to the standard of the washing water to be discharged to the sea, and these devices are approved by checking these criteria. In Turkey, there are not any restrictions or prohibitions regarding the discharge of scrubber washing waters into the sea and scrubber types and these issues are within the scope of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.

It is, however, forbidden to discharge wastes/sludge generated during the treatment of exhaust washing water and collected in the tank into the sea within the framework of IMO’s decision numbered MEPC 259(68) and burn them on board, and these wastes must be recorded in the exhaust gas cleaning system (EGC) registry by giving them to appropriate land facilities against receipt. Separate 1 cubic meter tanks (IBC Tank) are provided to the coastal facilities for the collection of washing water wastes/mud. When there is a notification of high amount of waste from ships, the issue is reported to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and to the Provincial Directorates of Environment and Urbanization, and waste receipt ship operators revise their ships so that they can receive these wastes as soon as possible. Waste generated in the scrubber system and the waste in the ship’s sludge tank are given separately without being mixed and specified in the waste transfer form. The fee is determined for the purchase of such wastes not covered by the “Communiqué on the Fees and Principles to be Applied in the Framework of Waste Collection and Control of Wastes from Ships” and ,in case of disagreement, determined by the relevant Governorship (Provincial Directorate of Environment and Urbanization).

For further details, and information about operations in Turkey, contact GAC Turkey at [email protected]

Handling of the Coronavirus
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden

Due to the Coronavirus, the Gothenburg Port Authority will, on its own initiative, request a Maritime Declaration of Health from all calling vessels at the Port of Gothenburg. This applies from Monday, February 3, until further notice.

If an approaching vessel states that it has an ill person on board who has been in a WHO-classified risk area, the port’s quarantine plan will be activated and infection control doctors will be contacted. These doctors then make a medical assessment.

According to infection control doctors in contact with the Gothenburg Port Authority, pilots and other port staff can board without risk to their own health if they do not meet the sick person. The Maritime Declaration of Health covers, among other things, if someone in the crew has been in an identified risk area for the past two weeks and if someone is sick on board the ship…

…The Gothenburg Port Authority is in continuous contact with infection control doctors in the Västra Götaland region. The request for a Declaration of Health to calling vessels is valid until further notice, with no set end date.

The Maritime Declaration of Health should be emailed to Port Control, at: [email protected]

Download the Port of Gothenburg Maritime Declaration of Health at

(For information about operations in Sweden, contact GAC Sweden at [email protected])

Source: Port of Gothenburg ( press release dated 3 February 2020

Source: GAC

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