February 18th – River Parana & River Plate Dredging

February 18th 2021

Crew changes 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.

ANTARES: We attach to this News a flyer with the full detail of all our staff for your ready reference. Both for our office in Buenos Aires and for San Lorenzo (Upriver).

Week end duty staff: (Friday noon, February 19th, until Monday, 0800 hrs, February 22nd)
* HQ Buenos Aires:

Horacio Vazquez +54 9 11 5578 4554

Gabriel Malagrino +54 9 11 5578 4556

* Upriver:

Sebastián Ferrara +54 9 11 3156 1679

Franco Ostojic +54 9 11 6656 1678

Walter Nestor Travaglini +54 9 11 3156 1680

We invite you all to visit our webpage which now includes a gallery of pictures and videos of the ports and berths Upriver which we trust will provide better guidance as where your vessel’s call. A PICTURE (AND A VIDEO) PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS.

National Holidays: Wednesday, March 24th. National Memorial Day.

San Lorenzo, Cargill Quebracho berth: The berth is closed for maintenance since Thursday, February 11th until Thursday, February 25th 2021 and from March 08th until March 14th 2021. During these periods the berth will not be loading vessels.

River Parana Draft: The River Parana is recovering it’s usual volume of water. Rain in the catchment area, SE Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay is returning to its usual volume. On this basis the effect of the tides in the River Plate will be reduced at the Upriver Ports and this means that the draft will become more stable and less susceptible to abrupt changes. The overall forecast for the coming three months (March, April and May) is that the River Parana draft will vary in the range of 10.36 meters (34 feet 00 inches)/10.52 meters (34 feet 06 inches) Fresh Water.

 Rain forecast for the coming 7 days
Rain forecast for the coming 7 days

Dredging River Plate Hidrovia and Magdalena Channel: There are now two Committees working on dredging for the River Parana and the River Plate. One Committee is working on renewal of the Hidrovia dredging and maintenance tender that is soon coming due for renewal. The Hidrovia is the dredged channel that runs the from Upriver through to Recalada and provides access for navigation to all Plate ports. The contract has been held since 1995 by a consortium whose main partner is Jan de Nul. The new contract is still being discussed on aspects as to new requirements for the channel, depth, width and buoying. There is still uncertainty as to the scope and the design to provide for the increased traffic that it has generated since 1995.
At the same time there is a further separate project to dredge a new Channel, the Magdalena Channel (Please see the map below) that will provide southerly access from the Atlantic Ocean, south of Recalada up to the mid-River Plate. There has been strong political pressure to undertake this move which is meant to favor Southern Argentine Ports (Mar del Plata, Necochea and Bahia Blanca). This project originates from the mid 1950s and has periodic revivals. The arguments that call for it state that it will require less dredging than the channel used that commences close to Montevideo. Being an old project, or claim, there are many out dated geo-political interests that have come to the surface again. A thorough technical study still remains to be undertaken to ensure that the arguments put forth now are real and valid and the process can take a long time to come to conclusion.

Dredging River Plate
There are now two Committees working on dredging for the River Parana and the River Plate.

Oil Spill Response at Zona Comun: Once again a group of people are pressuring Owners to take coverage for Oil Spill Response on vessels taking bunkers at Zona Comun. The bunker suppliers and the bunker barge Owners were able to prove to the local CoastGuard Station (PNA La Plata) that present arrangements in place were satisfactory. We draw your attention to this so that bunker suppliers absorb any related expense within the sales contract.

Crew changes Argentina: The borders remain closed and crew changes are not permitted. Internal flights are functioning again but the borders remain closed for crew changes. 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.

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.


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 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.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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