Argentinian authorities clarify coronavirus measures to avert stoppage by grain port workersMar, 18, 2020 Posted by Sylvia Schandert
On March 17, the Argentine Ministry of Transport announced measures to make rules clearer for grain exporting ports. This aims to normalize activities, which were impacted by delays after the country closed its borders due to the coronavirus. URGARA, the grain off-loaders union, had threatened to interrupt activities on the 18th if clearer protocols were not announced since it felt measures to prevent coronavirus contagion in port areas were not being complied with.
On March 15, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced the closure of borders tor non-residents for 15 days as precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus, after the country recorded 65 cases and two deaths. The measure had an impact on ports due to uncertainties about the reach and scale of the measures. In a statement, the Transport Minister clarified that the entry of vessels with commercial goods should not be prohibited and that foreign crews could disembark if necessary if they have no symptoms and have been sailing for 14 days without stopping anywhere. “If leaving the vessel is not necessary for operations, then crew will not be allowed to disembark for 15 days,” added the minister.
Argentine ports are currently experiencing relatively low activity, as farmers are beginning to harvest corn, while the soybean harvest begins in the coming weeks. The country is the largest global exporter of soybean meal and oil, and also the third largest exporter of corn and soybeans.
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