November 12th – Upriver Ports

November 12th 2020

Upriver Ports

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 Holiday: Next National Holiday will be Monday, November 23rd. National Sovereignty Day.

COFCO San Lorenzo: COFCO Argentina operate two berths in the Upriver area. COFCO PGSM and COFCO Timbúes. The company is getting very strict about allowing access to their facilities to personnel not directly employed by them given Argentine labor laws and the liability they are exposed to. Because of this they are now demanding that all mooring companies have their staff fully registered, with consistent proof that all work insurance, taxes and social contributions be in order. Agents, who in one way or another are involved in contracting the work to these companies have to provide evidence all is in order, to COFCO’s satisfaction. On this basis it is very important that all mooring companies contact agents and provide the required documents so they can be timely relayed to COFCO. In case of doubt please do not hesitate contacting us.

Necochea: The port authority has now lifted the imposition that all vessel’s comply with the 14 days quarantine prior departure from last-foreign port-of call. This is a temporary lifting and for exception to the 14 day quarantine a special permit needs to be applied. The first vessel that is to enter this new system has announced ETA for November 13th am. We will monitor the situation and keep you posted on developments and procedures. Nevertheless it is a very positive step forward.

River Parana draft: The River Parana draft is still giving us reason to report. The shortage of water due to the drought in SE Brazil is expected to last for the moment. The draft today was 9.42 meters, but mainly due to the prevailing North winds causing an emptying effect on the River Plate which affects the ports as far as Upriver. The experts who follow the River long-term trends still expect a gradual improvement. According to their reports by the time summer arrives in January the average draft will be in the order of 10.00 meters (0.5 meters more or less).

Grain Surveyors Strike: The grain surveyors have declared a strike calling for higher wages. The affected ports are Bahia Blanca, Necochea and Upriver ACA San Lorenzo and ADM San Lorenzo. The strike is open ended.

Flag waivers Argentina/Brazil trade: There has been an announcement by SEMARBRA, Buenos Aires (The Chamber that collects all Argentine Owners on the Argentina-Brazil trade) that as from November 01st all requirements for flag waivers on the Argentina/Brazil trade MUST now be presented for circulation amongst it’s members with 21 days pre-advise. Until now this pre-advise was not required. The terms required for flag waivers in Brazil, for the same trade, remain unchanged. These can still be obtained for closer dates. Nevertheless the follow up procedure, regarding freight payment is still strict and must be complied with in detail.

Pilotage fees: There will be an increase in pilotage fees as from early January 2021. This will mean a 5 to 10 per cent increment. The pilotage companies will be applying to the letter all regulations that allow them to charge for anchoring, and heaving anchor maneuvers up to the maximum of the Government fixed tariffs. We shall keep you posted as to the adjusted tariff once it is published.

Cargill Quebracho, San Lorenzo: Quebracho has the intention to close between November 30th and December 12th for annual maintenance and renewal work.

Crew changes Argentina: The borders remain closed and crew changes are not permitted. Despite earlier optimism plans to restart internal flights as from October 01st have been postponed until further notice. On this basis it is difficult to be optimistic regarding the opening of the border restrictions and regular international flights within the coming weeks.

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.

Necochea: Port open since October 05th at 0900 hours. The last closure was on October 02nd at 1045 hours due to 3.00 meter waves and high winds.

Bahia Blanca: The 14 day quarantine for incoming vessels will be waived for vessels whose last port of call is Brazil. Nevertheless the previous regulation for other last ports of call will remain in place. This quarantine can be excepted if the terminal where the vessel will load produces proof that an earlier berthing is required.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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