January 16th – River Parana Draft

January 16th 2022

River Parana Draft

National Holidays: Monday, February 28th and Tuesday March 01st, Carnival

Tugboat service: Tug boats are under a mandatory truce period imposed by the Ministry of Labor since December 21st. This period has been extended until Tuesday January 18th. It appears this will be the last extension. Negotiations remain ongoing. We will keep you posted.

Barley 2021/2022 Harvest: The barley harvest has been declare completed and the total yield is of 5 million tons, a record tonnage. Marker sources have indicated that the surplus tonnage will be shipped to China and used as malting barley.

River Parana Draft: The River Parana draft has taken a un-forecast drop over the last few days. The revised figures prepared by INA (National Water Institute) estimate that the drop will now last into February and that the recovery will be only during March. There remains a very substantial shortage of rain in the catchment areas. In order that a recovery of the water level at Upriver ports takes effect there must be strong rainfall over a significant period of time. The rainfall will first have to soak into the ground and then reservoirs of the dams will have to be replenished. The rains have not yet started and are not forecast for the immediate term. We strongly urge you to follow our DAILY DRAFT REPORT for updated news.

Heat wave: Most of Argentina remains covered by a heat wave during this week. Electricity consumption has soared and power cuts are frequent. In certain instances port operations may be affected.

Covid-19 in Argentina: Covid cases continue. Some sectors of business activity are now being hampered by the lack of staff. The Oil Crusher’s Union, which is very powerful in the Upriver area says that 25 per cent of their members are absent from work with Covid-19. Airlines are cancelling flights due to lack of crew, some port terminals have suspended shifts for the same reasons. Today’s reported contagion was 117,901 cases. Slightly down again from Thursday.

Flag waiver Arg-Brazil: As we have informed previously the requirement for flag waivers on cargoes carried on trade between Argentina and Brazil (and vice versa) should be lifted as from February 05th 2022. This was needed because of an agreement/treaty in place since the mid-80s. Middle of 2021 year the Brazilian Government denounced this treaty and as per the terms agreed it will be lifted as of February 05th 2022. In the meantime the “affected” parties have been placing pressure and looking for manners to keep their privileges. Due to this pressure it may result that there will be some and possible regulatory backlash prior to February 2022. We shall keep you posted on developments.

Crew changes in Argentina: Restrictions have placed on all persons travelling who originate or transit via Africa due to the detection of the “Omicron” variety of Covid-19.

This is still an ongoing and developing situation.

Incoming crew are now allowed to join vessels provided the proper Visa and Sanitary arrangements are made at origin principally as per below:

*Visas are issued prior entry at the corresponding Argentine Consulate for nationalities required.

The list of nationalities that require visas is available at: this link

*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.


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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