In response to recent developments in relation to the spread of the Corona Virus we would like to update you as follows:
- The number of infections in Europe is continuing to increase and a number of authorities have now taken far reaching measures in order to prevent and limit the spread of the virus.
- A number of countries (including Australia, Romania and Algeria) are applying “floating quarantine zone” in one or more ports. Any vessel which has recently been in a high-risk area may be quarantined outside port limits for a period of time to ensure that none of the crew have been infected.
- Cargo operations in many Chinese ports have slowed down considerably due to a lack of stevedores and there are considerable logistical challenges in the inland transport of goods. As a result, the number of shipments to and from China has been reduced considerably.
- In Europe a number of measures have been taken to check the health status of crewmembers and vessels are required to submit a list of previous ports and the medical status of crewmembers prior to arrival in a number of countries.
- We recommend checking the position with the local agent well in advance and ensuring that you are familiar with the requirements and potential risks of each individual port. This will hopefully assist in preventing delays as much as possible.
- Finally, we recommend including the “BIMCO Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clause for Time Charter Parties 2015” or the “BIMCO Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clause for Voyage Charter Parties 2015” in future contracts as appropriate.
We understand from our members and correspondents that to date the direct operational issues have been limited, but we will continue to keep a close eye on developments going forward. In conclusion, we also recommend following the circulars of the IMO available on their website.