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Booking rules for Panamax Plus vessels
Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Panama Canal, Panama

Panamax Plus vessels are currently not allowed to book their transits. Nevertheless, effective April 15, 2021, they will be allowed to participate in the special auction for the additional slot in the Neopanamax locks. As mentioned in Advisory to Shipping A-09-2021 this special auction slot, which has an initial bidding amount of $100,000, will be subject to an In-Transit-Time (ITT) of 36 hours and will be announced with at least 2 days advance notice.

The reserved slots regularly offered throughout the prescribed booking periods, as well as the slots offered due to cancellations, changes in date, or other reasons, remain available only to Neopanamax vessels.

(For information about operations in Panama, contact GAC Panama at [email protected] )

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory to Shipping No. A-12-2021 dated 1 March 2021

Terminal reopened as weather improves
Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Buckeye Bahamas Hub, Bahamas

Due to an improvement in weather conditions, Buckeye Bahamas Hub changed its Port Status to Port Open at 1818 hours local time yesterday evening (1 March).

(For information about operations in the Bahamas, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at [email protected])

Source: Elnet Maritime – GAC network agent

Ports prepare for gale force winds
Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Far North Queensland, Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast gale force winds for coastal waters of Townsville including Abbot Point for today (2 March).

The ports of Cape Flattery, Cairns, Mourilyan and Lucinda are now in Phase 2, Preparedness, in anticipation of the extreme weather.

This phase is critical for masters and owners to complete all preparations in an orderly manner prior to the event occurring. When deemed necessary the Regional Harbour Master (Cairns) will direct the evacuation of the port with the assistance and cooperation of personnel from Ports North, Police, Volunteer Marine Rescue and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol to regulate and control the safe movements of vessels. Vessels must proceed as far as possible upstream into the designated shelter areas so as not to impede the progress of others.

The port of Townsville remains at Phase 1, Prevention.

For further updates, as well as information about operations in Australia, contact GAC Australia at [email protected]

COVID-19 crew change procedure
Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Muscat, Oman

Crew changes at Muscat, Port Sultan Qaboos anchorage/port are permitted on a case-to-case basis. When planning for a crew change at Muscat, the following documents/information must be provided to request the necessary permission from the authorities

For Royal Oman Police & Ministry of Health permit
– ETA of vessel to Muscat
– Vessel Particulars
– Joining and leaving crew (2 separate crew lists only with joiners/ leavers)
– Copies of e-tickets for both joiners and leavers
– Last port & next port of call details
The permit can take 3-4 working days, excluding Friday/Saturday weekend.

Sea Crew Visa (for ships’ crew)
– Passport copy – Proper scan with minimum 6 months validity (for both joiners and leavers)
For Indian nationals, the passport family details page is required.
For Sri Lankan nationals, passport pages 4 & 5 (alterations and observation) are required
– Seamans book copy – Proper scan and must state the designation/rank (for both joiners and leavers)
– Photograph – Recent and in colour. Must not be the same photo as in the passport and must be in civilian clothing.
Visa issuance process can take 3-4 working days (excluding Friday/Saturday weekend)

Due to the fluidity of the situation, new restrictions can come into force overnight.

Crew must enter hotel quarantine upon arrival in the country, and to remain there until the PCR results are available (usually within 24 hours). Once a negative PCR test result is received, the crew member can join their vessel.

For off-signers, authorities prefer the crew to be transferred directly from the vessel to the airport. Alternatively, hotel can be arranged after obtaining necessary approvals.

For information about operations in Oman, contact GAC Oman at [email protected]

Source: GAC

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