Hidrovia, New Concession 2021 Onwards
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.
Biodiesel: After a long interruption a cargo of 30,000 metric tons of biodiesel has been sold from Argentina to the European Union. Shipment 15-31 December.
Bahia Blanca: The 14 day quarantine for incoming vessels will be waived for vessels whose last port of call is Brazil, Uruguay or Chile provided there have NO crew changes. Nevertheless the previous regulation for other last ports of call will remain in place. This quarantine can be excepted if the terminal where the vessel will load produces proof that an earlier berthing is required.
Quebracho, San Lorenzo: Cargill Quebracho will be closing for maintenance as from completion of loading operations of the mv ALBERTITO, expected for tomorrow December 09th. The terminal is expected to be out of service for about 7 days.
River Parana draft/Upriver ports: The forecasts issued by the National Water Institute remain optimistic regarding the slow return of the volume of water in the river Parana. At this moment the rain is falling on the River Paraguay catchment area and for the first time in a long time the volume of water was been called “Normal”. The River Parana and Iguazu catchment areas are still considered to be in a drought situation.
LDC Gral Lagos: A new formula has been issued by the CoastGuard in order to calculate the maximum sailing draft from LDC Gral Lagos dry and liquid berths.
LDC Dry: 9.50 meters at zero datum, plus average of the river height measured at Rosario and Villa Constitucion, minus 0.60 meters safety margin.
LDC Liquid: 9.30 meters at zero datum, plus average of the river height measured at Rosario and Villa Constitucion, minus 0.60 meters safety margin.
Basis today’s (December 6th) river level the maximum sailing draft for the Dry berth is 9.36 meters and 9.16 meters for the Liquid berth.
Pilot boat strike: The crews of the pilot boats remain on strike as from December 1st night. Because the service is interrupted the CoastGuard will cover the service with their own vessels/cutters.
Flag Waivers Argentina/Brazil: The Government put aside the requirement that vessels needing a flag waiver for cargoes between Argentina and Brazil be nominated 21 days prior commencement of the laycan. This is a very unusual move because the Government has moved directly against the vested interests that were profiting from this requirement.
Hidrovia, new concession 2021 onwards: The Government has eventually called for the first stage of the tender to manage the dredging and buoying of the River Parana. The concession which is now managed by Hidrovia S.A. (Jan de Nul) is due for renewal during the first half of 2021. An announcement initially was that a new Government entity made up of National and Provincial Governments was to manage the tendering and staged concession, but that seems to have been put aside and the call for interests was made directly by the Ministry of Transport. This is what had been called for by exporters and Terminal operators along the River. There still remain essential details of what they wish to achieve in respect of improvements in draft and navigability, but hopefully this will appear at a later stage. An ensuing push with severe diplomatic pressure is expected with various Governments striving for their own national interests is expected. Mainly between Europeans and China.
Covid-19: Slowly the restrictions are being relaxed. Contagion cases are diminishing steadily as we move into summer. Local flights are being resumed and long distance passenger train services resumed on December 01st to limited destinations and since then new services are being opened on a practically daily basis. Many local restrictions are in place but nationwide we hope to enjoy a respite until either the second wave arrives or we get vaccinated.
Crew changes Argentina: The borders remain closed and crew changes are not permitted. Despite earlier optimism plans to restart internal flights as from October 01st have been postponed until further notice. On this basis it is difficult to be optimistic regarding the opening of the border restrictions and regular international flights within the coming weeks. The Immigration Department have reviewed the situation, but for the moment there will be no changes.
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 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 at the moment 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:
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.
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 does not require Chilean visa to come to Chile can apply to safe-conduct.
Once arrived to 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 tentative flight schedule (complete route), this is necessary to start formalities with authorities.
We estimate about 5-7 business days to complete formalities.
Necochea: Port open since October 05th at 0900 hours. The last closure was on October 02nd at 1045 hours due to 3.00 meter waves and high winds.
Will keep you posted.
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.
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