Newflash - Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak7/2/2020
Newflash - Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak
Dear Valued Customers,
In light of the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Fracht Australia would like to offer an update as to the impact to our operations in Greater China as well as in Australia.
Extended Holiday Period
The Chinese New Year Public Holidays have been extended by specific provinces per the below:
Shanghai, Chongqing, Zhe Jiang Province, Jiang Su Province, Guang Dong province, Fu jian Province: Public holiday extended to Feb.9th, 24:00;
Hu Bei Province: Public holiday extended to Feb.13th, 24:00;
Our Fracht offices in China are all operational, with staff working from home voluntarily during the above time, being accessible via email, mobile phone or Wechat. All Fracht China staff members/families are safe and healthy.
Despite an edict from the Ministry of Transport urging port operators to keep ships moving, a lack of stevedores and truck drivers is slowing down vessel turnaround times, and storage yards are also beginning to clog up.
We have received the below from industry bodies in discussion with Australian ports:
In speaking with Ports Australia we understand the scenario that if crew have been at sea for 14 days before arriving on our shores, then the coronavirus is deemed to be no longer a threat.
For example, if a vessel heads from mainland China to Sydney and the voyage takes 12 days, then the vessel will have to sit offshore for 2 days before a pilot will meet them.
We understand that Ports Australia have been working with government officials (Health, ABF and Agriculture) and that a formal advice will soon be released.
We are also advised that the Port Authority of New South Wales has issued a communication to NSW Port stakeholders which in part advises as follows;
Port Authority of New South Wales (Port Authority) is taking the potential exposure to its employees to the novel coronavirus seriously and would like to share you the current steps being taken to mitigate exposure.
The Port Authority will delay pilotage services to ships that have transited directly from China which have been as sea for less than the 14 day quarantine period
Some cancellation of flights to and from China have begun taking place. Notably, Qantas have suspended flights to mainland china beginning February 9th until March 29th. The Qantas freighter network, which transits through China, will continue operating as scheduled, with some cancellations previously in place due to Chinese New Year
At this stage the bulk of airlines with services out of mainland china have significantly reduced or cancelled passenger flights, driven by the fall in passenger demand from the DEFAT notice, which will have a large effect on freight capacity at the conclusion of the Chinese New Year period.
US airlines (United and American) have just announced they will suspend all flights to and from Hong Kong, meaning no US carriers will be flying passenger flights to/from Hong Kong after this week until February 20th.
Full Cargo flights seem not yet to be affected. It remains to be seen if European, Middle Eastern and other Airlines will follow similar total cancellations of their passenger flights to/from Hong Kong.
Import Customs Clearance
In regards to import clearance of cargo ex China, both Border Force and the Department of Agriculture have advised there are no special exemptions where there are delays/amendments required to paperwork required for import from China.
Border Force have advised where ChAFTA Certificates of Origin are delayed, importers must pay normal rates of duty and claim a refund when Certificates of Origin can be obtained. The Department of Agriculture has advised that documentation will need to be assessed as per all normal procedures, where this means the cargo will be held pending documentation, movement of goods to an appropriate class of Approved Arrangement site can be requested.
Please contact the Fracht Team to discuss further if you require information or assistance with any of your shipments.