March 28th – Necochea and Bahia Blanca

March 28th 2021

>Necochea and Bahia Blanca

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: April 01st and 02nd, Easter Weekend.

Necochea and Bahia Blanca: A meeting will be held tomorrow, March 29th at Bahia Blanca with attendance by stevedores, Ministry of Labor and port authority to try to bring back the situation to the previous procedure for entering vessels coming from foreign ports. Up and until then all vessels arriving at Bahia Blanca from foreign ports must comply with a 14 days quarantine to be counted as day of departure from the last foreign port of call. This period to count even if the vessel has been granted Free Practique and called at another Argentine port. It is a local issue and must be solved locally. Same applies for Necochea.

San Lorenzo, Cargill Quebracho berth: The Cargill Quebracho Terminal is now back in operation.

San Lorenzo, tanker at ADM AGRO PGSM: On Wednesday 24th a tanker arrived at San Lorenzo Roads coming from Madre de Deus, Brazil. She was granted Free Practique as per usual procedures and berthed on Friday 26th at ADM AGRO PGSM to commence loading operations. During berthing maneuvers one of the crew collapsed on deck with breathing problems. The vessel’s Free Practique was withdrawn and all the crew were tested for Covid-19. Four of the crew proved positive and the vessel is under quarantine, at the berth, but is expected to be shifted to Roads. We will keep you posted on developments.

Covid-19 Quarantine Restrictions (Update): With the onset of cooler weather (Southern Hemisphere Autumn) and the arrival of the “2nd wave” the Government suspended as from Saturday 27th all flights originating from Chile, Brazil, UK and Mexico. This evening the National Government has announced that all Government employees will revert to “home office”.

River Parana Draft: The River Parana draft forecast is now revised downwards. The lack of rains that had been forecast over the catchment area in South Brazil, Paraguay and Eastern Bolivia has produced a revision of forecasts to an average river draft of 10.10 meters. This is adjusted daily by the port authority. Since our last report there has been a rebound. We shall keep you posted.

Situation at Vicentin berth and crushing plant:
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).

River Plate and Hidrovia: In what serves as a “ceremonial” the first buoy was laid for what will be the Magdalena Channel, a new southern canal into the River Plate along the Argentine coast south of Recalada. Funding for the dredging has not yet been allocated but there is political pressure from the southern Atlantic ports (Mar del Plata, Necochea and Bahia Blanca) for a shorter access into and out of Upriver.

Magdalena Channel
The Magdalena Channel, a new southern canal into the River Plate along the Argentine coast south of Recalada.

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.

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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