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Sea freight in Europe

Coronavirus Measures at Ports and Their Impact on Sailings

European countries have implemented different measures and restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which to varying degrees have an impact on the logistics and transportation sector. Some of these measures specifically apply to ports and may be of interest to European logistics providers.



The French authorities ordered a sanitary watch for several ports, among which Le Havre and Rouen. In case that Masters of vessels notice any symptoms of infection among crew, they are required to submit a health maritime declaration form and notify their agent without undue delay. Masters submitting a maritime declaration of health provide information such as name of ship, flag of vessel, Master’s name, and registration. Additional information includes tonnage and gross tonnage, date and port of visit, number of passengers and crews, and valid sanitary control exemptions.

Masters are also asked whether sanitary measures have been implemented on board, including decontamination, disinfection, isolation, and quarantine. If there is no surgeon on board, Masters must watch for symptoms such as fever accompanied with paralysis, unusual bleeding, shortness of breath, cough, and jaundice. Other symptoms that are considered grounds for suspecting a health issue include glandular swelling, decreased consciousness, and prostration, again combined with fever.

Coronavirus Measures at Ports



No special measures have been implemented at other ports such as Port-Vendres, Brest, and Dunkirk. At the port of Lorient, all ships fill in a questionnaire on possible symptoms and crew movements over a period of 14 days. Agents also distribute travellers’ advice flyers to all vessels.


No limitations have been imposed on ships calling at Monfalcone and Trieste. Agents are required to wear protective suits and masks when boarding ships. Persons infected with coronavirus must be disembarked by boat.


All vessels calling at the Northern, Eastern, or Western anchorage are required to fill in the CORONAVIRUS DECLARATION FOR-000156. Masters are asked whether they or any of their crew members have lived with a person who visited China, have visited China themselves, or have transited through Chinese airports. If yes, such crew members are not allowed to disembark in Gibraltar. The declaration form must be completed, stamped, and signed.


Regarding sea freight in Europe and long-distance sailings, the Russian authorities announced that no additional restrictive measures are required. Quarantine and sanitary control teams will be visiting all ships without disrupting cargo handling. Officials will check crew members for any symptoms of disease, including high body temperature. All vessels, including ships with Chinese crew and sailing under Chinese flag are allowed to restock supplies and conduct ship repairs, cargo-related activities, and crew change.


Crew members on board all vessels are not allowed to disembark at the Malta Freeport Terminals. Crew that interacts with port staff is asked to follow general prevention and infection advice on wearing sanitary masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing.

A number of ports outside Europe have also implemented special measures and restrictions, including ports in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Peru, Mexico, and Iran.