[Huatai Info] - Recent Cases Relating to Coronavirus

Recently, Huatai handled some cases relating to Coronavirus.  Here are the experiences and comments for your kind reference.

Crew illness causing delay in discharge

Two cases from Xiamen and Shanghai office suggest that crew on board with cough or fever will cause several hours delay of discharging operation until the crew were excluded from NCP infection by medical examination.


On January 23, customs officials made a routine inspection on M.V. ‘Q’ berthing at Shantou port, and found out a Wuhan-registered crew member with a slight cough. Although his temperature was normal, the officials asked the crew member to receive physical examination ashore and the rest of crew were prohibited from disembarking. The vessel was ordered to wait at the berth and not allowed to commence discharging operation until the result came out. The crew member was ruled out the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) infection in the evening of January 24, and the discharging operation commenced The vessel completed discharging on January 25 and sailed on the same day.

Upon receipt of instructions from the ship owner and their P&I Club, our Xiamen office cooperated with the local agent to assist in responding to the request of the competent authority and to push forward the matter. We also provided the ship owner and the Club with the relevant announcement issued by the government department so that the ship owner can keep abreast of the situation and explained to the charterers the reason for the delay.


On January 23, bulk carrier F took her berth at Zhoushan port for cargo discharge. The crew member Mr. Wang from Hubei and Mr. Fang from Tianjin were found to have fever. According to preliminary information, Mr. Wang set out from Hubei province on January 12, arrived in Xiamen via Wuhan on January 13. Then he took the flight to Singapore and boarded the ship in Singapore on January 14. Mr. Fang arrived in Xiamen on January 13, and took the flight to Singapore together with Mr. Wang. They proceeded to the ship by a taxi on January 14.
The port side immediately took emergency precautions, closed the carrier’s access to the shore and prohibited the crew from getting on and off the ship. At the same time, the terminal isolated two stevedores who had boarded the ship, and centralized the management of on-duty staff. At 1700hrs on January 24, the test result from the quarantine department of Zhoushan Customs was negative, ruling out the possibility of NCP among the crew. The discharge operation resumed and was completed on January 28. The vessel sailed from Zhongshan on the same day.
En route Taizhou, which is the vessel’s next port of call, another OS was found to have a cough. In the morning of February 1, after taking her berth at Taizhou port, the vessel was quarantined by Taizhou inspection and quarantine bureau, forbidding anyone to board the ship and anyone on board from leaving the ship. Around 8 a.m., special personnel took samples (body fluids) from that crew member and sent same to the shore for laboratory tests. At 15 p.m., it was announced that the test results were negative, ruling out the NCP infection and boarding permission was then granted. The discharge operation commenced at 1504lt on February 1 and was completed on 2130lt of February 4. The vessel sailed after draft survey conducted in the morning of February 5.

Another case noted from the port authority

At about 11:30 on January 23, Penavico Ningbo reported that a Wuhan-registered crew member had a fever on a chemical ship S/S. The crew member left Wuhan on January 14, passed through Shanghai on January 15, and boarded the ship from Lianyungang on January 18. On January 24, in order to meet the requirement for sampling and quarantine, the ship arrived at the anchorage in the morning. The personnel of the quarantine department of Ningbo customs boarded the ship at 11:40 and finished the test at 12:58. At 17:30, the test result from the quarantine department was negative, ruling out the possibility of NCP infection. Subsequently, the port promptly lifted the restrictions and the cargo operation was promptly resumed.

People on board from Hubei causing delay to the vessel

One case reported by our Ningbo office shows that a vessel was delayed 10 days due to an engineer from Hubei Province on board.


On January 23, M.V. ‘S’ set off for sea trial outside the emission control area of the Yangtze estuary after refitting the scrubber in a shipyard in Jiangyin with eight Chinese engineers on board. The vessel had been scheduled to sail for Singapore after the trial voyage and having the Chinese engineers disembarked at Zhoushan. But it was found out that one of the engineers was from a city of Hubei province, who had been in Wuhan from January 15 to 18 and in Huanggang ( a city of Hubei province) from January 18 to 20 before he boarded the ship in Jiangyin on January 20. A notice was sent to the agent by the epidemic prevention headquarter and immigration bureau: “To prevent the influx of epidemic situation, for ships with Hubei Province crew who have flowed in from the epidemic area and have not been quarantined for 14 days are suspended the provision of agency and supply services.” Due to such circumstances, the pilot station refused to arrange pilotage for the vessel and thus, the vessel could neither take her berth nor anchor at the inner anchorage.
The ship owners asked for our assistance in the early morning of January 30. Upon receipt of the instruction, our Ningbo office actively communicated with the agent and local MSA, collected relevant documents and reported the feedback of relevant departments to the ship owner as well as their P&I Club. We had also tried to persuade the MSA to arrange for Chinese engineers to disembark the ship and quarantine them ashore so that the ship can sail as soon as possible. Although our efforts were not successful, we have ensured that the vessel did not miss any better alternatives.
The ship anchored at the outer anchorage until February 5 when it was allowed to have the Chinese engineers disembarked. Then the ship sailed from Zhoushan, bounding for Singapore.


1. Strict protective measures have been implemented by Chinese port authorities so as to prevent coronavirus’s spread in the port area, especially people from the epidemic area are strictly forbidden to enter the port. 

2. When crew members on board are coughing or having a fever, the vessel will be ordered to suspend any ship-shore activities until the crew members are excluded the infection with NCP by necessary medical examinations.

3. The medical examinations will take only a few hours the soonest and one day at most. The vessel will resume her cargo operation immediately after ruling out the possibility of NCP infection without substantial delays.

Hope the above would be of any help. 

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to render our assistance 7/24 as usual. 

Best Regards,

Huatai Marine Team



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