SPRO1712--Special Regulatory and Control Measures To Be Taken on Yangtze River, China, from 0000hrs on 12.10.2017 to 2400hrs on 26.10.2017
Circular Ref No.: SPRO1712
 
Date: 28 Sep 2017
 
Dear Sir or Madam,
 
Subject: Special Regulatory and Control Measures To Be Taken on Yangtze River, China, from 0000hrs on 12.10.2017 to 2400hrs on 26.10.2017
 
We have recently received a lot of enquiries and concerns from ship owners and insurers regarding the reported closure measures on Yangtze River ports due to the forthcoming national congress meeting. We have made some investigation to verify the authenticity of this information and checked with relevant authorities. We were given to understand that the ports will not be closed as reported, but lately, on 26 Sep 2017, Jiangsu MSA issued a formal notice outlining the details of the special regulatory and control measures which will be taken between 0000hrs on 12.10.2017 to 2400hrs on 26.10.2017. We hereby summarize key points of the notice as below for your kind reference.
 
1.   The navigation visibility restriction in Jiangsu section of the Yangtze River is raised to 1,500meters for upriver ships and 2,000meters for downriver ships. The ocean-going ships with normal speed below 4 kts (or sailing at the speed lower than 6 kts in the separate channels downstream the low boundary buoy of the Taizhou Yangtze River-Highway Bridge area) are prohibited to enter the Jiangsu section of Yangtze River. Ocean-going ships with Gross Tonnage of 3,000Mt or above and the fleet with the drag-deadweight of 3000Mt or above are prohibited to enter the sections of the Fujiangsha south channel and the Yingongzhou water area during the night time (from 2000hrs to 0600hrs, the same below). 

2.   Ocean-going ships that have record of loss of control after 01 January 2016 in the Jiangsu section of the Yangtze River are prohibited to enter the Jiangsu section of the Yangtze River. For vessels that need to utilize virtual buoy for passing the areas between 90# bouy to 95# bouy and between 116# buoy to 120# bouy, they should keep enough underkeel clearance according to the latest standard of maintaining water depth published by the navigation authority (but the dangerous cargo vessel / chemical tanker should keep a further 10cm more than its minimal underkeel clearance when navigating). All ships shall follow the “Regulations on Traffic Separation Scheme of Jiangsu section of the Yangtze River” (2013 edition) when navigating in these area. 

3.   The berthing / un-berthing operation of all ships should be suspended during the night time. In case coal ships for power plant as well as container liners require berthing and un-berthing during night time, a reliable plan should be prepared. All the STS operation and bunkering operation shall be suspended during night time. For the river tanker and river chemical bulker, replacement of cargo and tank washing will be prohibited in Jiangsu section of the Yangtze River. 

4.   Large ships with draft above 9.7m and ships with power that exceeds the anti-collision ability of obstructive bridge are required to make practical safe navigation plan and implement safety precautions. The operator of obstructive bridges should make and implement the safety and anti-collision plan. When entering the water area around bridge, the ship should be under command of Master, and Chief Engineer should be on duty in the engine room. 

5.   Chemical tankers carrying class XY chemical cargo in bulk are prohibited to navigate, to enter into or depart from port in the Jiangsu section of Yangtze River during night time. Dangerous cargo carriers, if actual manned inconsistently with the minimum manning certificate, especially in case that the ability or skill of crew members at key positions fail to meet the requirement, will be prohibited to depart from port. 

6.   Operating and maintaining activities that should be performed by ship for wind facility already set up at sea shall be suspended. If such activities are indeed necessary, the operation management enterprise shall report to the local MSA in charge one day in advance, and carry out pre-voyage safety examination to ensure strict enforcement of the regulations about entry / exit report and pre-voyage examination. 

7.   Ferry operators are recommended to suspend service of carrying medium and large size of passenger buses. Local government and tourism supervision departments should remind the marine tourism companies / units to suspend sightseeing tourism by costal passenger ship. 

8.   Seafarers who should be responsible for accidents or violated the navigation rules more than 2 times in the past two years are subject to re-assessment of the qualification of navigation. Any seafarer who fails to pass the re-assessment should be deemed as not having valid certificate of navigating in inland waters (Qualification Certificate of Navigating in Inland Waters of Seafarers) and the vessel should arrange replacement of crew or apply for pilotage. 

9.   Sea-going vessels for domestic trade who enter into or depart from the Yangtze river (except for those who apply for pilotage) shall meet the following requirements: (1) the vessel has called or passed destination of this voyage in the past two months, and ship’s equipment and securities are in good condition; (2) the captain and the officer should hold valid certificate and accumulatively have entered into or departed from Yangtze River for no less than 10 round voyages. They are also required to have the experience of passing the destination of this voyage within two month before this voyage. 

10.  In principle, the penalty on ship’s illegal behavior, such as overloading, violation of traffic separation scheme regulation, insufficient manning, false reporting of ship’s entry/exit information and etc. shall not be mitigated. Ships that violate the law are subject to correction immediately. If the vessel sails without necessary correction of the misbehavior, notice would be circulated to other MSA for joint investigation and heavier punishment would be given. Ships with no name (call sign), no certificates, no registration that navigate or operate in the Jiangsu section of Yangtze River and do not take the dissuasion shall be detained compulsorily. Compulsory discharge shall be arranged if any vessel refuses to correct its overloading situation. 


Given above, owners/charterers are suggested to take note of the above requirement when sailing in Jiangsu section of Yangtze River from 0000hrs on 12 Oct 2017 to 2400hrs on 26 Oct 2017 to ensure satisfaction of relevant requirements and to avoid any delay or penalty to the ship.
 
In the meantime, we shall keep an eye on updated requirement if any and circulate the information in due course.
 
Hope the above is of assistance. Any query, please feel free to contact us.
 
 
Best regards,
 
 
 
 
Cui Jiyu
Vice President
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