March 09th – Situation at Vicentin berth & Upriver Draft

March 09th 2021

Situation at Vicentin berth & Upriver Draft

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: Wednesday, March 24th. National Memorial Day.

San Lorenzo, Cargill Quebracho berth: The dates during which the berth will be closed for maintenance are now March 12th until March 18th 2021. During this period the berth will not be loading vessels.

Stevedore strike: Tomorrow, Wednesday 10th March, the stevedore union has called for a nationwide strike that will last 24 hours (0000 to 2400 hrs). The dispute arises at the ports of Concepcion del Uruguay and Ibicuy, where logs are loaded, and has been ongoing for a few weeks. The ports of Bahia Blanca and Necochea will join the action, but we will only know for sure during the morning if the Upriver ports will work or not.

Covid-19 Quarantine Restrictions: An update on the quarantine restrictions.
Bahia Blanca: Authorities at Bahia Blanca demand that all vessels proceeding from a foreign port perform a 14 day quarantine before being granted Free Practique and allowed to berth. The 14 days are counted as from the departure date from last port of call. Vessels proceeding from Brazil, Uruguay and Chile can be excepted from this 14 day requirement provided a permit is requested from Port Administration, and upon berthing a fumigation of the living quarters must be performed.

Necochea: At Necochea a 14 day quarantine period for vessels coming from foreign ports is required. Exemption is granted for vessels proceeding from Brazil and Uruguay after a formal request is made to the Port Administration.

River Parana Draft: The River Parana draft forecast for the coming three months, March, April and May, is maintained at the present River level. Allowing an average draft of 10.36 mts.
Hereunder the water level forecast issued by the National Water Institute. As per below the level at Rosario remains mostly over the 2 meter mark which is when the River is considered to be at a “critical” level.

 Rain forecast for the coming 7 days
The River Parana draft forecast for the coming three months.

Situation at Vicentin berth: The berth in San Lorenzo, and the crushing plant owned by Vicentin are today administrated by the Court processing the bankruptcy. It has been contracted to provide oilseed crushing and loading to third parties. At first the only contractor was Diaz & Forti SA until they declared bankruptcy on Feb 11th. Since then the installation is used by ACA (a large local Coop) and by Union Agricola de Avellaneda (a smaller Coop from North Santa Fe). The vessels that are in the line up are then ordered to berth as soon as the cargo is available for each shipper. Some vessels that are in the line up to load for Diaz & Forti have been sent to other berths as the purchasers of the original parcels found other FOB shippers. On this basis the line up for the berth is reported on an arrival basis but the berth becomes available to those that have cargo to load.

Asian Gypsy Moth Inspections in Argentina: Same as is happening in many other countries Argentina will also start implementing inspections on all vessels coming from Far East Pacific ports on account of Asian Gypsy Moth. The inspections will be performed by SENASA (National Animal and Vegetable Health Service) as from April 12th, 2021. All vessels that have called at ports in China, Koreas, Japan and Far East Russia within the last 24 months (2 years) will have to be reported by Agents to SENASA. If the vessel has called at these ports between April and October she will be inspected. If, during the inspection the vessel is found to be affected by AGM she will need to be fumigated by a certified company. Until this procedure is performed the vessel will not be allowed to sail by the CoastGuard. Details of the procedures are yet to be disclosed.

Grain markets: Saudi Arabia has purchased 660,000 tons of feed barley. Origins are estimated to be EU, Australia, NAmerica, SAmerica and Black Sea. China is reported to be considering further barley purchases from Argentina in order to reduce the Australian market share. This increased demand may well decrease Argentine farmer’s wheat sowing intention since barley and wheat are sown in the same areas.

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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