CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - NSW OCEAN PORTS IMPLEMENT QUARANTINE MEASURES - AIR LINES SUSPEND FLIGHTS5 February 2020
Further to our communication regarding the extension of the Lunar holiday period in China, TCF has received communication from various industry and government sources relating to disruptions and delays that may occur due to the current situation.
Australian Border Force (ABF) have confirmed a formal advice from them will be issued shortly however information has been received that relates to quarantine period being in force for shipping vessels arriving into NSW ports that has been circulated by the Port Authority of New South Wales.
Below is a summary of these new quarantine processes that are now being enforced:
- Port Authority will delay pilotage services to ships that have transited directly from China, which have been at sea for less than the 14 day quarantine period;
- Masters of all ships due to arrive at our ports are required to declare their last 5 ports of call and confirm that they have no crew members showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus on-board;
- Where novel coronavirus is evident our employees will not be required to board the vessel;
- If a crew member has joined a vessel or been ashore in mainland China and returned to the vessel from 1 February, they will not be permitted to come ashore in Australia until the 14 day quarantine period has expired;
- If any individual member of a crew meets these requirements then the whole crew will subject to the 14 day quarantine measures.
As an example, if a vessel departs a mainland China port and the transit time into Sydney is 12 days, the vessel will be subject to an additional 2 days where the vessel will be required to remain at sea.
With regards to other ports within Australia we are yet to receive confirmation or details confirming processes and whether they will follow NSW Ports quarantine measures.
Currently the ocean carriers haven’t announced any changes to their schedules out of mainland china ports but many of the carriers and the ports themselves have adopted strict quarantine regulations relating to crew and port workers movements whilst the vessels are in port.
Additionally, air cargo movements have now been significantly hampered as airline carriers have begun ceasing their import and export operations with China. Most have set the date March 1st as the date that they may resume flights however this date is subject to change, depending on the events over the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Obviously, these developments may have flow on effects regarding port congestion and the ability to meet standard delivery times. Delays should be expected, however TCF will do everything we can to mitigate any impacted containers in an effort to reduce the delays where possible.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide further updates as they unfold.
Should you have specific requirements or questions that relate to this notice, please contact your local TCF International office.