December 07th 2021
Tug Boat Service in Argentina
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.
National Holiday: Wednesday, December 08th, 2021; Saturday, December 25th, 2021 (Christmas Day). It is customary that December 24th (Christmas Eve) is also declared a holiday shortly before the date.
Crew changes in Argentina: Despite earlier optimism about crew changes the Sanitary Authority has now placed strong restrictions on all persons who travel originating from Africa by air or by vessel. Vessels arriving from Africa will be subject to close scrutiny due to the detection of the “Omicron” variety of the ever-present Covid-19.
This is still an ongoing and developing situation.
Nevertheless, incoming crew are now allowed to join vessels provided the proper Visa and Sanitary arrangements are made at origin principally as per below:
*Full vaccination performed at least 14 days prior entry to Argentina
*Negative PCR test performed 72 hours prior first boarding
*Antigen test performed upon arrival at “safe entry corridor” point (for example Buenos Aires Airport Ezeiza)
If, in case the boarding crew member does not have full vaccination (minimum 2 doses) before boarding then the person must be kept in quarantine for 7 days and may only leave this quarantine once a negative PCR test is performed.
Crew are allowed to leave vessels on Sanitary grounds. This is understood to be with a medical certificate, issued in Argentina, that certifies the crew member is “unfit for duty onboard”. One reason considered to be “unfit for duty onboard” is in case that due to “severe distress” the crew member cannot perform his duties. Another reason is in case the crew member has an expired work contract and can prove to Sanitary Authority that he cannot wait for the vessel’s next port of call.
River Paraná draft: The National Water Institute (INA) is not expecting a significant change to the draft available from Upriver ports. Small variations may occur during until end January ’22 although the forecast is for a small reduction during that period.
A return to the 10.36 meters sailing draft (34 feet 00 inches) will be, IN A HIGHLY HYPOTHETICAL CASE, only as from May/June 2022 in case there is substantial rainfall over SE Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia.
TPR General cargo + Container berth Rosario: There has been unrest at TPR (the general cargo and container berth) at Rosario. A rumor indicated that there would be lay offs. It was later clarified this would not be the case and the situation was solved.
Tug Boat Service in Argentina: Due to a dispute between Owners and Unions Tug boat services are limited to 12 hours per day, every day of the week. Service is being provided between 0700 and 1900 or 0600 and 1800 hours depending on the port. This is at ALL ports except for Buenos Aires where the action has other characteristics. Negotiations are underway between the parties.
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.
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.
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