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Coronavirus Outbreak – Impact on Shipping

By February 4, 2020Industry News


03 Feb 2020




In response to the 2019-nCoV novel Coronavirus outbreak, a number of countries, ports and organisations are publishing details of the measures being put in place.

The below is a brief summary of information we have received so far that has the potential to impact ship operations.

Latest Updates: 04 Feb 2020

  • TANGGUH FOJA (carrying Indonesian cargo) diverted away from China towards Thailand
  • AL KHARSAAH (carrying Qatari cargo) diverted within China from Zheijiang to Tianjin
  • SYMPHONIC BREEZE and GALLINA waiting laden outside Bintulu in Malaysia. Reporting indicates that that LNG carriers returning from China can only enter Malaysian ports after a 14-day quarantine period.
  • Chinese LNG buyers appear to be considering force majeure options, but only as last resort. So far people still see room to optimise cargo movements rather than cancel deliveries

Country: Singapore

Informing Party: SSA – Singapore Shipping Association Press Release

Date: 28 Jan 20

Summary of advice:

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has implemented temperature screening at all sea checkpoints, including ferry and cruise terminals, PSA Terminals and Jurong Port, for inbound travelers since 24 January 2020, 12pm.Travellers and ship crew arriving at sea checkpoints will undergo temperature screening conducted by on-site healthcare assistants. Suspect cases will be referred to the hospitals for further assessment.

MPA has put up health advisories at the sea checkpoints to advise travelers and ship crew on the precautionary measures to take when travelling, as well as to remain vigilant and adopt good hygiene practices at all times.

Port Marine Circular No.03 of 2020

Since 24 January 2020, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has implemented temperature screening at all sea checkpoints, including ferry and cruise terminals, PSA terminals and Jurong Port, for inbound travelers.MPA has also put up health advisories at the sea checkpoints to inform travelers and ship crew on the precautionary measures to take when travelling, as well as to remain vigilant and adopt good hygiene practices.

In line with Singapore Ministry of Health’s (MOH) press release dated 31 January 2020, MPA will extend the precautionary measures to include passengers and crew members with recent travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days, as well as ships whose previous port of calls in the last 14 days included mainland China. This will take effect from 1 February 2020, 2359h.

Port Marine Circular No.02 of 2020

Provides health advisory for operators, owners, masters, persons-in-charge and crew members of harbor and pleasure craft shore personnel visiting ships alongside the wharves and at the anchorages ship-owners, ship managers, agents and masters of Singapore Registered Ships

Port Marine Circular No.03 of 2020 as attached provides the National Environment Agency’s (Port Health Office) requirements to submit the Maritime Declaration of Health to the Port Health Office.

Country: France               

Informing Party: Budd Group Bulletin

Date: 28 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:

On 27 January, ship agents received a memorandum from the Port of Marseille-Fos confirming that the sea links between Wuhan and Dourges have been suspended and advising that the flyer should be distributed to all vessels which have called in China.

The flyer advises that anyone suffering from the symptoms of a respiratory illness should:

  • Wear a surgical mask when others are present;
  • Use disposable tissues and wash hands regularly;
  • Contact the French medical emergency services (SAMU – call “15”) and tell them of any journey to Wuhan (or China).
  • To reduce the risk transmission, people with novel coronavirus-type symptoms are requested not to go to a hospital or general practitioner.

Country: China

Informing Party: Huatai Insurance Agency and Consultant Service Ltd Bulletin

Date: 03 Feb 20

Summary of Advice:

Huatai summarises the protection and control measures implemented by the port Authorities of each major Chinese port: Health declarations

Health declaration before berthing:

  • Tianjin and Xiamen Health Declaration Form is required before vessel’s berthing.
  • Dalian the Customs officers will attend on board the vessel and take temperature of each crew.
  • Vessels with crew from Wuhan or Hubei Province on board would be monitored especially.
  • Putian and Quanzhou of Fujian Province: may not be allowed to take berth.
  • Ningbo the vessel probably has to be isolated for 14 days before taking berth. Substitution of crew is limited.
  • Shanghai, Xiamen, Ningbo, Tianjin, Dalian forbidden by the port Authorities.
  • Qingdao and Guangzhou forbidden in principle, unless under some special circumstances.

Crew disembarkation is strictly restricted by all ports

During berth in the port, the crew should take preventive measures:

  • Dalian, Xiamen, Guangzhou: The crew must wear a facial mask when they have contact with others in the port.
  • Tianjin: The crew must wear a facial mask and temperature test should be taken every day. When any crew has fever, the Customs should be informed immediately.
  • The loading/discharging operation slow down due to lack of stevedores
    • The land transportation of cargo into the port or from the port is insufficient since trucks without local license are restricted to enter into the port area.

As vessels are restricted to call at Wuhan port, transshipment of cargo by inland river feeder vessels in and out the ports in the Yangtze River is affected.

Ports affected:

  • Shanghai
  • Tianjin
  • Huanghua
  • Lianyungang
  • Jingtang
  • Caofeidian

Ports not affected:

  • Zhangjiagang Port and the ports nearby in Yangtze River were congested due to heavy fog from time to time in the past week instead of the outbreak of coronavirus.

Supply of Provisions:

Generally speaking, supply of provisions to foreign vessels is not restricted.

  • Tianjin: Demand of Supply of Provisions be declared 24 hours in advance.
  • Qingdao and ports nearby: Has limit to some of the provisions. Please check with local agents.
  • Dalian: The provisions should be quarantined by Customs as usual.

Ship Repair:

Due to lack of workers, the schedule of ship repair might be affected.

  • Zhoushan as the local Government restricted the entrance of vehicles with license of other places and people from other places, the efficiency of the shipyards in Zhoushan decreased substantially.

Cargo Preparing:

Some exported cargo could not be delivered to the loading ports in time due to transportation restriction in and out of Hubei Province. It is reported that China Council for the Promotion of International Trade would offer force majeure certificates to local companies, if they are unable to fulfil their international contractual obligations due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We suggest Members whose vessels are scheduled to call at Chinese ports in the near future, to keep close contact with their local agent so as to get the latest port information, and to remind their crewmembers to take necessary protection measures.

Country: USA

Informing Party: New Orleans Patriot Maritime Compliance, LLC Bulletin

Date: 28 Jan 20

Summary of  Advice:

According to MSIB XX-20, the USCG / COTP of New Orleans require:

Vessels calling within COTP sector will receive an email if the submitted ‘Notice of Arrival’ declares that the vessel has called to China within last five ports of call.

If any of the crew are exhibiting symptoms it must be reported as a ‘hazardous condition’ as defined in 33 CFR 160.216.

Failure to report the above can lead to a civil penalty of up to $94,219.

Country: Kuwait

Informing Party: Inchcape Shipping Services

Date: 29 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:

Kuwaiti port authorities have advised:

“Due to the current Epidemic spread of the Corona Virus, we are taking extra precautionary measures. All ship Masters coming directly or transiting China ports, are kindly requested to ensure to provide us a statement that no symptoms was observed such as high temperature, sore throat, coughing or breathing difficulties. Therefore, we appreciate to inform port authority immediately if such case take place onboard.”

Country: United Arab Emirates

Informing Party: Mutual Marine Services – al Mushtaraka LLC Circular

Date: 30 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:

Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime Circular (2) 2020

All UAE ports must ensure that any vessel that has visited a Chinese port in previous 30 days must provide a Master’s statement that crew are free from symptoms. This must be provided at least 3 days prior to arrival.

Country: USA

Informing Party: Delaware Bay Hudson Tactix Bulletin

Date: 31 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:

MSIB 04-20 reminds of the following requirements:

The master of a ship destined for the Delaware Bay Captain of the Port zone shall report to the CDC, th occurrence, on board, of any death or any ill person among passengers or crew (including those who have disembarked or have been removed) during the 15-day period preceding the date of expected arrival in accordance with 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CPR)§ 71.21. The CDC Philadelphia Station can be reached 24 hours a day at (215) 365-6401.

Also, under 33 CPR. § 160.216, the owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge of a vessel is required to immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard Sector whenever there is a hazardous condition aboard the vessel.

While the presence of a person with Coronavirus like symptoms does not by itself constitute a hazardous condition, vessel operators should report suspected cases or other unusual circumstances whenever they are in doubt.

Vessel masters should inform Coast Guard and Customs boarding teams of any ill crewmembers onboard.

Country: USA

Informing Party: Federal (All States)Hudson Tactix Bulletin

Date:  31 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:

The USCG has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin MSIB 01-20 stating:

Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew/passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC under 42 CFR 71.21. Regional CDC quarantine station points of contact can be found here.

The Coast Guard will continue to review all “Notice of Arrivals” in accordance with current policies and will communicate any concerns stemming from sick or deceased crew or passengers to their Coast Guard chain of command and the CDC quarantine station who will coordinate with local health authorities.

Vessel masters shall inform Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crewmembers on board their vessel prior to the Coast Guard embarking and Boarding Teams should verify vessel illnesses with CDC if concerns arise.

Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with section 5310 Procedures for Vessel Quarantine and Isolation, and Section 5320 – Procedures for Security Segregation of Vessels in their Area Maritime Security Plan.

Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.

For situational updates, please check with the CDC.

Country: Australia

Informing Party: Aus Ship P&IBulletin

Date: 31 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:

Aus Ship P&I have issued a bulletin advising of the Australian Government’s response: In light of the 2019-2020 outbreak of Novel Coronavirus [2019-nCoV] in China, the Australian Government has responded by releasing the following advice/information to help combat the spread of the virus.

Further to the above, Aus Ship P&I has come to understand that additional measures are now being introduced in some Ports across the State of NSW to combat the risk of the virus spreading from vessels which have recently called into mainland China. Ports in other states across Australia are expected to follow suit in due course.

When completing pre-arrival reporting to the Australian Biosecurity Department, (usually undertaken via the MARS system) vessels will now be issued with the attached fact sheet concerning the virus.

The Biosecurity Department is also requesting ships agents clarify the following information, should their vessels have recently called into a port in mainland China:

  • The Date the vessel departed China
  • Ports called into between departing China and arriving in Australia
  • Declarations as to whether any sick personnel are on board
  • Declaration of the previous 5 ports of call

Further to the above, where vessels affected berth in Australian ports, vessels may expect heightened bio-security/quarantine measures being implemented; including:

  • Australian Biosecurity Department personnel attending the vessel wearing full body protection /HAZMAT style gear
  • Stevedores wearing masks and other protective gear, and being instructed to keep distance and avoid contact with crew where possible
  • Ships agents may carry out procedures from the wharf instead of boarding the affected vessels, so as to minimise potential contamination risk
  • Seafarers aboard affected vessels may be barred from leaving the vessel.

Country: Brazil

Informing Party: Brazmar Technical note

Date: 31 Jan 20

Summary of  Advice:

Brazmar have kindly provided a translation of the National Sanitary Authority (ANVISA) technical note No 4/2020/SEI/GIMTV/GGPAF/DIRE5/ANVISA:    “Specific guidelines for ports and vessels:

First, it should be noted that a vessel journey between China and Brazil takes much longer than 14 days, the incubation period required in this case. The average time for a vessel to travel between China and Brazil is 45 days. Thus, based on the risk assessment carried out so far, the following stands out:

With the intensification of surveillance to detect possible suspected cases of 2019-nCoV and response, it is essential that the Maritime Health Declaration is filled out correctly and in a complete form for evaluation regarding the issue of Free Pratique. It is worth mentioning that requests for Free Pratique must occur between 48 or 72 hours in advance, which allows for a prior assessment by Anvisa, before the authorisation for berthing (Free Pratique issuance).

Any change in the health status of the crew or passengers must be reported immediately to the Health Authority.

In the case of a 2019-nCoV suspect on the vessel, the Free Pratique will be issued on board, with the triggering of the local Contingency Plan and the removal of the designated crew member to hospital will be considered if necessary.

According to the epidemiological bulletin (Vol. 51, no 04) of the Ministry of Health, suspected cases should be isolated and use surgical masks.

Any other crew member who comes into contact with the suspected case must wear PPE (surgical mask; eye shield or face shield; gloves; cloak / apron).”


Country: Argentina

Informing Party: Pandi Liquidadores

Date: 31 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:


Health Authorities have informed that Argentina is a low-risk country.

However, it has implemented, effective as from 31 Jan, the obligation to include copies of the last 48 hours of ship’s medical logbook when requesting “free pratique” prior to ship’s arrival.

The Health Authority has also recommended to anyone to notify to National Boarded Authorities immediately if there is any suspicion that any crewmember or passenger on international voyages may have an infectious disease or any similar symptoms of the Coronavirus 2019-nCoV.

In those cases, the sanitary officers will provide the corresponding instructions however the people suspected must be isolated (on a cabin on board or a hotel at shore) and wait for instructions.

So far there are no restrictions for travelling or to trade.

Country: Gibraltar

Informing Party: A. Mateos & SonsDeclaration

Date: 31 Jan 20

Summary of Advice:

  • Gibraltar Port Authority requires that the CORONAVIRUS DECLARATION FOR-000156 be completed by every vessel that will call Gibraltar at either the  Western Anchorage, East anchorage, North Anchorage, any alongside berth, Quick turnarounds, medical disembarkations, OPLA and OPLB.
  • The form is to be filled in, signed and stamped. No exemptions will be given. Agents are to stress to the captain to fill in this form carefully and to answer all questions.
  • Please note that the following special conditions will apply to vessels who have answered yes to any of the questions in the declaration:
    • Remote pilotage requirements will be applied to the vessel.
    • No crew members will be allowed to disembark the vessel during its call at Gibraltar.
    • With respect to ongoing operations shore personnel embarking / attending the vessel will not be allowed then to disembark.
    • Shore personnel are to minimise all interaction with the crew as much as practically possible.
    • The GPA reserves the right to further scrutinise any incoming vessel if it deems necessary in the interest of public health.
    • Agents will receive via email from the Vessel Traffic Service Supervisor (VTSS) a special condition clause. This clause is to be forwarded to the master and to service boat operators.
    • Service boat operators are to limit contact with crew members from the vessels that have been issued the “special condition cause”
    • If any vessel declares that crew members are suffering from any sickness in relation to this protocol/declaration, the vessel will be refused clearance at first instance and will be referred to other agencies on a case by case basis

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