India – Novel Coronavirus Update

Vessels arriving from ports of infected countries identified for mandatory quarantine and travel ban by MoHFW, Govt. of India before 14 days of departure from the infected port, or having seafarers embarked on the vessel who have been in infected regions within 14 days of arrival at any Indian port shall need to comply with additional measures as given in the Annex 1.

The updated list of infected countries may be obtained from the website of MoHFW, Govt. of India. ( or at this link.

Vessels arriving from any port in China to have the necessary quarantine period of 14 days.

Stoppages of a vessel at any port of infected countries only for bunkering purposes shall not be counted for the calculation of 14 days from port of departure.

Vessels that have arrived at Indian port after 14 days of departure from an infected port need not comply with the additional requirements specified.

Ports which are not able not comply with the additional requirements specified in Annex 1 shall not allow the vessels to berth for vessels which have arrived within 14 days from the infected countries.

Annex 1 may be obtained from

The following ports have declared Force Majeure till now: Gangavaram, Dhamra, Mundra, Krishnapatnam, Karaikal, Gopalpur, Adani Hazira, Gujarat Maritime Board, Adani Petronet Dahej, Muldwarka, Jaigarh, Chettinad Coal Terminal New Mangalore, Chettinad International Coal Terminal (Ennore), Goa – South West Port Ltd., Dighi Port, Karwar, Kakinada Anchorage Port, Sanghi Port, Visakhapatnam (applicable to PPP projects only), Haldia, Kandla, Angre Port, Kolkata, Chennai Port.

The Government of India has extended the lock down till 31st July 2020. Port Operations has been notified as an “essential service.” Despite declaring Force Majeure, all ports are operational except Karwar Port and Dighi Port. However, ports are facing issues due to shortage of labour.

Crew accommodated in quarantine facility / hotel prior joining / after signing off from the vessel, should stay within the designated room as per protocol and strictly follow the quarantine guidelines. As per the authorities any violation will be seriously viewed, and they may impose huge penalties on the defaulting crew members.

Ports where we can undertake assignments for crew change of Indian Nationals are: Chennai, Tuticorin, Gangavaram, Vizag, Haldia, Kolkata, Kochi, Krishnapatnam, Kakinada, Pipavav, Mundra, Kandla, Tuna, Dahej, Hazira, Mumbai, Sikka and Vadinar.

Crew change can also be done at New Mangalore, Goa, Navlakhi and Muldwarka but takes longer to obtain the clearances. 

Crew change at Paradip and Dhamra has been temporarily suspended until further notice. SOP at other ports are still being finalized.

Ben Line Agencies’ global partner – WaterFront carves new territory with Houston move

18 July 2019 – Global port agency business, WaterFront Maritime Services (WaterFront) has today opened a local agency office in Houston, Texas. The company, which is one of the world’s largest port agency networks, says its Houston office has been established to help charterers, owners, and operators to manage their risk in this strategically important high-volume location.

WaterFront’s Houston office is managed by newly appointed Director for North America Lars Westerberg, a port agency industry veteran who was formerly Regional Director Americas for Seven Seas and Managing Director of Wallem Americas. Prior to these roles, Westerberg also served as Regional Managing Director of Inchcape Shipping Services in North and Central America.

The team in WaterFront’s Houston office will attend vessels directly from Corpus Christi to Lake Charles, including all terminals and all facilities. The Houston office will also serve as the regional hub for WaterFront in North, South and Central America including the Caribbean and is linked to WaterFront’s existing regional hubs in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur to provide 24-hour coverage to its global client base.

Terry Gidlow, Chief Executive Officer of WaterFront, commented:

“On a global basis we see how significant political developments, evolving trade policies and rapid shifts in the supply and demand of raw materials and bulk commodities are impacting traditional trade patterns. Meaning our clients are faced with a whole new range of opportunities and challenges in executing their day to day business. With the opening of our Houston office we are able to bolster the presence we have in other major oil & gas import/export and refining centres such as the Middle East and in Asia.”

The WaterFront global network currently handles more than 45,000 port calls per year through a network of 483 offices in 93 countries worldwide. Unlike other global agencies, Waterfront focuses on providing port and husbandry services for vessels transporting coal, grains, iron ore, minor bulks as well as crude oil, clean and dirty products, chemicals and gas. The company also handles the husbandry requirements of 3rd party and in-house ship managers.

WaterFront’s Director for North America, Lars Westerberg, commented:

“By focusing on specific commodities, we can work with customers operating in this region to add quantifiable value to their businesses. Our work is all about understanding our clients business and their  specific needs and then using our local knowledge and relationships to assist them to mitigate their risk, turn their vessels and cargoes around faster and save them money, while maintaining the highest levels of  safety and compliance.”

Terry Gidlow, chief executive officer of WaterFront, added:

“Lars and his team in Houston bring to the table decades of local experience and relationships in ports and terminals throughout Texas. The Regional Hub function of the Houston office also serves to give our clients in North and South America better access to our Global network.

WaterFront was established by leading regional ship agency businesses Sharaf Shipping Agencies and Ben Line Agencies in 2016. WaterFront is headquartered in Dubai with commercial offices in China, Singapore, Dubai, Norway and the USA. WaterFront has strategic partnerships in the rest of North and South America with renowned local partners such as ACGI on the west Coast of the US and Canada, UNIMAR in Brazil and the Ultramar group in Spanish-speaking South America. For more information about the organisation, visit

Ben Line Agencies Moved to New Office in Kolkata

Ben Line Agencies Kolkata office has moved to a new location on January 1, 2019. Our new office address is:




234/3A, A J C BOSE ROAD,

KOLKATA -700020. 

Our office number remains the same – +91 334 003 3003/3004/3005/3006

We look forward to seeing and serving you better at the new office.

India: 2018 Sea Cargo Manifest and Transshipment Regulations

As another step towards ease of doing business in India, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has made some changes in the regulation for filing Sea Cargo Manifest for Import, Export and Transshipment cargo. These changes are scheduled to come into force effective 01st August 2018.

As per the key highlights of the revised regulation, it is compulsory for ship owners, importers and exporters to adhere to the defined timelines for manifest filing of import cargo arriving in India, exports out of India and transhipments made via Indian ports.

Import Shipments to India (Arrival Manifest): Import Manifest is required to be submitted to customs prior to departure of vessel from the last port of calling. To adhere to these time lines, full details of Bills of Lading and all other manifest information needs to be made available for manifest filing, at least 24 hours PRIOR to departure of vessel from the last foreign port.

Exports Shipment from India (Departure Manifest): The Vessel Agent is required to submit the export manifest details to Indian Customs Prior Vessel Sailing from Indian Port of Loading. To be able to adhere to these timelines, the shipper must submit the original Shipping Bill with LEO (Let Export Order) to the Vessel Agent at least 48 hours prior to the Estimate Time of Arrival (ETA) of the export vessel.