International Transport Intermediaries Club issues global guidance on Ebola outbreak

Vessels that have called in affected countries are being told to contact their local agents prior to their next port of call to find out specific advice for that area
International Transport Intermediaries Club issues global guidance on Ebola outbreak

The International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has issued general advice related to the outbreak of Ebola.

Vessels that have recently called in an affected country are being asked to contact their local agents prior to arrival at the next ports of call for the latest country specific advice regarding measures taken to avoid the spread of Ebola. GAC have put together a list of the advice being given out in countries around the world.

ARGENTINA: Pilot companies rendering pilotage services in the River Plate have decided that their pilots will not board any vessel coming from the infected areas (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) until thirty days since the vessel sailed from last port of the infected areas.

BENIN (Port of Cotonou): Vessels must notify the harbour master of the 10 previous ports of call three days before ETA. Ships will also be subject to inspection by local health authorities and all crew members are expected to wear protective masks and gloves while the vessel is berthed in the port.

BRAZIL: The anvisa Health Authorities have issued guidelines for all Brazilian ports to follow for any ships arriving from Ebola-affected areas. Vessels entering port from Ebola-affected areas will likely be subject to additional health checks and any confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola on the vessel must be reported.

CAMEROON: It is reported that Cameroon have issued instruction to ban any vessel that has previously called at Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry and Liberia from entering any port within the country.

CAPE VERDE: No official notice of restrictions from local authorities, however Ebola patients will not be accepted and there are reports of vessels arriving from Sierra Leone being subject to quarantine.

CHINA: Vessels entering Chinese ports from an Ebola affected area are likely to be subject to quarantine and inspections. A formal quarantine requirement is in place in respect of the port of Qingdao and sources suggest that other ports will apply similar measures.

CONGO: Ebola patients will not be accepted on land however there have been no official notice of restrictions from local authorities.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: There have been reports of confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, however no official restrictions have been put in place.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: The government has issued instructions to ban vessels coming from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. There is currently no Ebola presence in the country.

FRANCE: Vessels calling in Marseille, France who have called at Ebola affected countries, must inform the local health authorities 48hr prior to arrival. French ports have also imposed stricter health checks for any vessels arriving from Ebola affected areas.

GABON: Vessels calling in Gabon must send a list of ports visited within the last 30 days to the Port Master's office. If any of these countries are countries affected by Ebola, then entry shall be forbidden unless persons with Gabonese citizenship are on board. Wearing gloves is compulsory for all persons in contact with vessels. Health inspectors will board the vessel with the pilot and no other persons shall board until a health inspection has been completed. Crew members are forbidden from leaving port limits and no crew changes are to be authorized.

GHANA: Any vessels arriving from an Ebola affected country will require three days clearance. Vessels may be subject to 21 days quarantine if Ebola is suspected to be on board.

GUINEA: There are confirmed cases of Ebola in the country and National State of Emergency has been declared. Health checks to be carried out on all persons and no disembarkation of non-Guinea stowaways.

GUINEA BISSAU: Any vessels entering from an Ebola affected country will be banned.

IVORY COAST: Vessels calling in Abidjan and San Pedro are likely to undergo reinforced health checks, and may be quarantined if any suspected Ebola cases are found.

KENYA: All flights banned from Ebola affected areas and three day clearance is required for any vessels arriving from Ebola affected countries.

LIBERIA: It is mandatory for persons entering port areas to wear protective masks and gloves and to carry hand sanitizer. All ports are functioning normally and the local authorities have not introduced any special clearances for ships entering the port. National State of Emergency declared and public areas in the country are closed with road blocks in/out of Monrovia. Curfew from 2100 to 0600 daily introduced.

MADAGASCAR: It is reported that the port of Toamasina will not accept vessels coming from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

MAURITANIA: Ships coming from Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia are not allowed to enter Mauritanian ports.

MEXICO: Any vessels entering from an Ebola affected area are likely to be subject to additional health checks.

NIGERIA: Ebola is confirmed in the country. No official ban on ships however delays and additional health checks can be expected for vessels arriving from an Ebola affected area.

PANAMA CANAL: Local authorities have introduced special measures for vessels arriving from affected countries.

SENEGAL: The Government haS imposed a ban on any vessel coming from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Conakry and Guinea from entering the port of Dakar.

SIERRA LEONE: The Government has lifted the nationwide lockdown that took place between 19th-21st September. Freetown port is functioning normally and the local authorities have not introduced any special clearances for ships entering the port. A travel ban outside the hours of 9am-5pm is currently in place and around 1.5m people have been quarantined in 14 districts in the country.

SINGAPORE: The local authorities have introduced restrictions on vessels entering from Ebola affected areas.

SOUTH AFRICA: Special clearance is required and ships must declare the last three ports called. On arrival, master must declare health position of all crew. Port Health clearance is also required for any crew changes in ports. Ships may be subject to stowaway searches before departure. No waste from ships may be taken ashore and the Master must report any ill persons to the authorities.

THE GAMBIA: All vessels arriving from Ebola affected areas are banned.

TOGO: No Ebola presence in the country and all ports are operating normally. However additional health checks may be imposed where necessary.

URUGUAY: Pilots Association are not agreeing to work with any ships arriving from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone within the last 21 days since departure. Any confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola on the vessel must be reported.

USA: Any illness/deaths must be reported to the CDC and USCG. Ships may be subject to delays/quarantine if there are any concerns.

VENEZUELA: All flights banned to and from Africa making repatriation of stowaways not possible at this time. No official bans or restrictions imposed for maritime traffic.

For further details about measures in place in specific countries or ports, contact the respective GAC office or regional Hub Agency Centre (contact details available at www.gac.com/worldwide)

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by Laura Stackhouse

readmt.com Editor

Laura Stackhouse is the Web Editor of readmt.com, an official publication of the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA). To discuss news, features or contributing to readmt.com please get in touch.

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