April 12th – River Parana Draft

April 12th 2022

River Parana Draft

National Holidays: Easter week-end, Thursday April 14th, Friday April 15th. Easter Saturday April 16th is normal working Saturday morning shift.

Trucker’s Protest:

Yesterday, April 11th 00:00 hours, truck owners have commenced a nationwide, open-ended protest.

For the moment, the protest is limited to halting road freight. No picket lines or blockages have been reported.

Port elevators and terminals, nationwide, have reported little or no truck arrivals since.

Deliveries by rail continue.

Vessels are being loaded normally using existing stocks.

Truck owners are protesting lack of gas oil fuel and are asking for an increase of regulated road freight tariffs.

River Parana Draft:

The new surge is making itself felt and will continue into the third week of April. Because of increased water level at San Lorenzo and Rosario the determining draft will be further down river. San Nicolás will have less draft than San Lorenzo and Rosario which are Upriver. The maximum permissible sailing draft from ports further Upriver will be the same as San Nicolas. Once this surge has passed the forecast is that the river level will settle around 9.7/9.8 meters draft, always basis San Lorenzo.

DRAFT FORECAST (Calculated as per Current Shallowest Points Apr 12 2022)

Profertil Bahia Blanca:

In view of the strongly increased demand for fertilizers brought on by commercial embargoes and hostilities in the Black Sea area, Profertil is accelerating the duplication of its urea production capacity.

Profertil have an annual urea production of about 1,300,000 metric tons plus 800,000 metric tons of ammonia. They have long been planning to double output and now the moment is considered to be optimum. Profertil is owned in equal parts by YPF the national oil company and Agrium of Canada.

River Paraná/River Plate dredging and buoying:

The contract for dredging and buoying of the River Parana is now being managed by a Government entity called AGP S.E. This is the former Government Port Administration Company. They collect tolls and sub-contract the maintenance of the dredging and buoying of the River Parana and the River Plate. Since the contract with “Hidrovia S.A.” expired the dredging is being done by Jan de Nul and a local company performs maintenance of the buoying. In the meantime AGP are organizing a shorter term tender (approximately one year) for maintenance. They are also preparing the longer term (twenty year) tender, with new and improved specifications for the navigable waterway. A first call for offers for the short term (one year period) was cancelled due to contractual fails in the offers. At the present time there is increased political pressure from parties interested in the new contract. This dredging and maintenance contract is one the biggest dredging contracts on a worldwide basis. Most of the larger dredging companies are interested in offering and some of these are owned or run by foreign states. Added to this the local seamen’s union is very keen on keeping their members employed under favorable terms.

This short term infighting before the issuance of the terms for a new long term project does not allow the interested parties to see or propose on the improvements needed for the new contract.

We shall keep you informed regarding developments.

Bahia Blanca stevedores:

Stevedores are stopping work for one to two hours during each six-hour shift in protest claiming a Covid-19 bonus. This action has now been ongoing for a few weeks.

ACA Berth, San Lorenzo:

The ACA berth in San Lorenzo is limited to maximum 180 meters LOA due to a navigation accident during late February. Although work is underway to repair the damage it is not yet known when this expected to conclude.

Argentina-Brazil Flag Waiver:

As from Saturday February 05th the requirement for flag-waivers on traffic between Argentina and Brazil has been lifted. Previously all traffic between the two countries had required either Argentine or Brazilian flag vessels. In case a third flagged vessel was used a waiver had to be obtained. The agreement or treaty that regulated this was not renewed by the Brazilian Government, and has expired so traffic is free for any other flagged vessel.

ARGENTINA – Crew changes:

Regulations for Crew Changes are being relaxed in almost all major Ports (except Necochea), but for Nationals(*) needing VISA the process is still quite long.

Process for Crew Change:

1.Prior boarding authorization must be obtained from the Sanitary Authority and afterwards from Immigration.
2.Joining and departing crew must have full vaccination scheme completed (two doses) 48 hours prior joining or departing vessel.
3.A sworn statement must be signed.
4.Joining and departing crew that do NOT have the full vaccination scheme must have an antigen test performed not more than 48 hours prior or a PCR test not more than 72 hours prior joining or departing the vessel.
5.Joiner/s must enter Argentina via a “designated safe corridor” (Buenos Aires International Airport).
6.Requests for visas to be issued at Consulates must be presented to Immigration offices, via Agents on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
7.Immigration will issue the requested visas three days after they were requested and deliver on Tuesday and Thursdays for forwarding to Consulates.
Estimated Time for On Signers without needing VISA: 5/7 (five/seven) days

Estimated Time for On Signers needing VISA: 10 (ten) days

Estimated Time for Off Signers: 5 (five) days


(*) Passport Required VISA Full List: https://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesible/indexdnm.php?visas

Crew changes made at foreign port/s 14 days prior arrival at Argentine ports:

Besides many other documents and certificates, these below are of special concern:

-Owner’s Crew changes protocol at foreign countries.

-Owner’s note (with signature and stamp of the Captain and Owners company) clarifying that the crew change was carried out taking all due precautions, etc.

-Medical certificate issued by certified professional in the country where the crew joined, not the country of origin.

-Covid test, PCR, for on-signers at port of boarding (not country of origin).

Lacking any of above (besides all usual documents) pilots will not be allowed to board until a 14-day period is counted starting from the moment the last crew-member has boarded.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,

Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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