August 17th 2021
National Holiday: Monday, August 16th, San Martin Day.
In view of the ongoing developing situation and different communications and instructions being issued by Sanitary Authorities of the Argentine Government we have chosen to send a consolidated daily report at the closing of working hours with an update of the day’s news.
River Parana (Upriver) draft: The outlook for rain in the River Paraná catchment remains pessimistic. In our draft report we are now publishing an extended forecast with an attachment which is also attached to this Circular. We strongly suggest you consult us prior to completing loading operations for inbound loaded vessels for the maximum recommended arrival drafts estimated for the vessels ETA.
River Plate (Zona Comun) bunker: As per tdy’s forecast Draft will likely be in the tabulated values and slightly higher in the area the next days, some delays to bunker delivery operations could be expected from the 21st to 24th due to winds.
Bunkers in Argentina: As from July 30th vessels proceeding from Upriver ports to completion at Bahia Blanca are allowed, again, to lift bunkers at Zona Comun on the outbound passage from Upriver ports. Nevertheless, bunker requirements at Bahia Blanca are intense and forward booking is required since the single supplier there is Trafigura.
LNG Carriers: With present winter weather LNG carriers are calling more frequently at Belen de Escobar in order to inject natural gas into the network. These vessels are given priority by Coastguard River Plate Traffic Control when both in and outbound. When these vessels navigate between Recalada and Escobar, on the Mitre Canal, traffic in the opposite direction is stopped for up to six hours. This may cause delays to vessels. It is expected that in some weeks this may occur up to three times a week.
River Parana Dredging and buoying. Hidrovia: The National Government will commence collecting the tolls on the River Plate and River Parana. The administrative changeover is yet to be implemented from Hidrovia to the AGP (Administration General de Puertos). In the meantime, tolls will continue to be paid to Hidrovia as during the last 25 years. The reported schedule is that there will soon be a call to tender for a “short” one year period to continue maintenance at present levels and then later a “long” tender when improvements to upgrade the river will be required. Other than that, there is no further news. Much speculation and rumor about tariff changes is around, but so far this is merely speculative.
Crew changes made at previous port/s 14 days prior arrival in 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 above (besides all usual documents) ship will not be allowed to take pilot until 14 days transpire since the last crew signed on board.
Crew changes Argentina: The borders remain closed and crew changes are not permitted. Crew Limited internal flights are functioning again. These restrictive practices are causing problems to vessels calling in Argentina and undue inconveniences to the crews. Local entities and associations are pressuring for resumption of this “normal” activity. For the same reason no Passengers are allowed to arrive on board. Crew Changes are carried out in Uruguay/Brazil and Chile.
Crew Changes in Neighbor countries:
Crew changes Uruguay:On and Off signing crew are allowed entry into the country under very strict restrictions. On-signers must have a prior negative Covid 19 test 72 hours prior to being allowed entry. Crew members boarding are not allowed to stop at any stage between landing at the airport (Montevideo) and boarding the vessel. Once onboard the vessel they must comply with a 14-day quarantine onboard before being allowed to work. Departing crew must proceed directly from the vessel to the airport. Considering that there are now few international flights these requirements make it very difficult for crew members to enter or leave the country. Additionally, to this before a boarding crew member is allowed permit of entry the agreement of Sanitary Authority, Immigration and Coastguard must be obtained. The best way of achieving a successful crew change at Uruguay is to have the vessel do this OUTBOUND at Recalada/Montevideo anchorage when the vessel’s schedule is not bound so much by weather and port congestions.
Crew changes Chile: Chilean colleagues have supplied us with the following detail to proceed for crew changes in Chile:
Kindly note a protocol has been issued to allow crew changes while our borders are still closed for non-Chilean citizens, here you will find requiring points to be complied with:
OFF SIGNERS Authorities are allowing for crew members to disembark and take their flights from Chile to their final destinations with following conditions:
• Providing all information about the intended disembarking to the Health, Maritime, Migration Authorities via Agency at least 72 hours in advance including names, citizenship, passport number, name of vessel, and full repatriation flight schedule (attached file with data requested).
• Completing a 14 days quarantine period on board in good health condition since the vessel sailed from the last foreign port prior to disembarking in Chile.
• Submitting the on-line affidavit for travelers to prevent Coronavirus diseases (attached).
• Not presenting any symptoms of COVID19 (Health Service may order a health check at any time)
• Moving directly from the disembarking port to the airport or designated sanitary residence (in case 14 days of quarantine not completed). Max. period permitted in the hotel is 5 days.
• Wearing personal health protection items such as face mask, face shield, gloves and hand sanitizer while in our country.
ON SIGNERS Before trip. We need to send to Ministry of Transport a few points (attached file with data requested).
Once received and double checked, they will send the approval to Consulate where joiner will come from.
The crew member must going personally to the respective Consulate, for taking a picture, fingerprint.
If all going well, the consulate will notify to Immigration, Health Service and sanitary borders, that crew member can travel and get in to Chilean territory. Along with this a safe-conduct document will be provided. This document will be mandatory and must be presented on arrival to Chile. IMPORTANT: Only crew members who do not require Chilean visa to come to Chile can apply to safe-conduct. Once arrived in Chile. At any time, must wear facial mask and carry own protective items for COVID-19 Immigration would check that all documents are in order, if so, will be provided the SHORE PASS (crew member immigration card). The Health Inspector will make an evaluation of crew health, if do not have any symptom of COVID 19, her entry will be granted. In case to have any symptom or to result positive in the preliminary Covid test, would be isolated and the entry would be denied. Transportation from International airport to the port must be exclusive. So, domestic flights are not permitted and either intercity buses service (commercial). Also important for both, on signers and off signers, is to have a tentative flight schedule (complete route), this is necessary to start formalities with authorities. We estimate about 5-7 business days to complete formalities.
Conflicts (Stevedores / Others)
Necochea‘s stevedores are still demanding a 14 day quarantine for vessels calling at these ports. The 14 days are counted as from the day of departure from the last foreign port of call. This period to count even if the vessel has been granted Free Practique and called at another Argentine port. Meetings with the unions have been held, no agreement has been reached. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU CHECK WITH US BEFORE FIXING VESSELS ORIGINATING FROM BRAZIL, CHILE AND URUGUAY.
Bahia Blanca’s Situation Normal. However, Independent truck owners (in cooperation with their drivers) are alongside port accesses threatening to resume blockades, so far, all operations are normal. Worthwhile recalling in these blockades is that they are carried out off port limits, and that claimants are small truck-owner’s demanding higher tariff on freight rates (NOT inside port nor drivers claiming for higher salary).
Will keep you posted.
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.
For more information