January 19th 2021
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 Holidays: February 15th and 16th, Carnival Holiday.
San Lorenzo, Cargill Quebracho berth: The maintenance at this berth has been re-scheduled for the following periods: As from February 09th until February 23rd 2021 and from March 08th until March 14th 2021. During these periods the berth will not be loading vessels.
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.
Wood Exports: 33 vessels called at Argentine ports during 2020 to load wood logs, adding up to a total of 1.2 million tons during the mentioned period. The main destination was China. The ports where the wood is loaded are principally Concepcion del Uruguay on the River Uruguay and Ibicuy on the River Parana Guazu. This was a frequent trade during the 1990s and is now being revived by a stronger demand coming from the cellulose industry.
Wheat Exports to Brazil: A certain amount of concern exists regarding the Brazilian Government’s decision to allow duty free imports of wheat from non-Mercosur origins. The “opening” is for 750 million tons of wheat over a one year period. The concern is high enough that the Argentine Embassy in Brasilia activated contacts with the local Foreign Office to show their concern for what is 15 per cent of the value of trade between the two countries, measured on a USD basis.
Truckers Strike: There is a certain amount of concern regarding blockages and pickets on the roads and some of the main access points for San Lorenzo and Necochea caused by a group of independent truck owners protesting some regulations imposed by the Government that they claim are limiting their income. The blockages commenced during the day on Saturday 16th January and although ongoing they have not yet caused shortages of stocks in the ports and loading berths.
Biodiesel: The Government are eventually looking into the renewal of the law that provides support and tax concessions for Biodiesel Refineries. It is expected that the main terms of the previous law will be repeated and that this allow the industry to re-start the refineries within a very short period of time. Also provided that restrictions are lifted by importing countries.
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.
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.
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.
For more information