April 19th – FEMPINRA Strike

April 19th 2022


National Holidays: Sunday May 01st, May Day

A Federation of Unions (FEMPINRA) related to maritime activity has called a 24 hour strike on Thursday April 21st.According to all reports received activities for vessels transiting and loading will not be affected.This federation is related to the Argentine Merchant Navy, and they are protesting the lack of definitions regarding the renewal of the contracts for dredging and buoying of the navigable waters, especially River Parana, River Uruguay and River Plate.

River Parana Draft Forecast as per INA Report:

DRAFT FORECAST (Calculated as per Current Shallowest Points Apr 18 2022)

Under certain conditions, when Rosario and San Lorenzo are under a surge that does not reach San Nicolas, then the bar located near to San Nicolas will act as the bottleneck to all upriver ports (Rosario and San Lorenzo).

Soya Harvest 2022:

The harvest of the heavy grains is well underway. Soya harvesting is progressing further south than maize. Photograph included was taken over Easter weekend west of Cordoba City. The initial estimate is for 40 million tons this year. Compared to 45 million tons 2021 season. There has been a reduction of the area that was sowed, from 16.9 million hectares in 2021 to 16.1 in 2022. The reduced area was mainly due to heavy export taxes placed by the Government on this particular grain. Farmers opted to sow maize which is less heavily taxed.

Bahia Blanca:

Bahia Blanca broke a record for exports during the first quarter of 2022. The total grains shipped were 3.491.000 tons. This is a 3 per cent increase over the same period of 2021. Based on accumulated statistics Bahia Blanca is now ranked as the seventh grain port world wide. Other than increased grain production in the area the port performed well as completion port for larger vessels which had limited intakes at the Upriver ports caused by the limited sailing draft.

Crew changes and lifting of Covid restrictions:

Necochea and Bahia Blanca have now lifted restrictions on crew changes. Crew changes (embarking and departing) are now allowed on the same basis as all other ports in Argentina. Additionally crew are now allowed to leave vessels and come ashore. Some additional documentation may be required from vessels, but overall the situation has now practically returned to “normal”.

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 – 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

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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