Japan – Coronavirus Disease Update

All ports

All vessels arriving Japan ports will be required to submit a health questionnaire. This report should be accomplished by the vessel captain and submitted to the relevant quarantine officer before arriving at any Japanese port.

This needs to be submitted to immigration during their working hours, prior ship arrival. To ensure prompt checking and feedback from the Authorities, Master needs to provide this at least 36 hours in advance. In case vessel is due to arrive during a weekend or Monday, the health questionnaire must be submitted latest by Friday AM JPLT.

Denial of permission to entry

For the time being, foreigners listed below are denied permission to enter Japan as ones who fall under the Article 5, paragraph (1), item (xiv) of Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, unless exceptional circumstances are found.

  1. Foreigners who have stayed in any of the following cities/provinces/regions within 14 days prior to the application for landing:
    Asia
    China: Hubei Province, Zhejiang Province
    Republic of Korea: Daegu-guangyeok-si, or Cheondo-gun, Gyeongsan-si, Andong-si, Yeongcheon-si, Chilgok-gun, Uiseong-gun, Seongju-gun, Gunwi-gun in Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Europe
    The whole country of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Andorra, Ireland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican

    Middle East
    The whole country of Iran
  2. Foreigners who have Chinese passports issued in Hubei Province or Zhejiang Province of China
  3. Foreigners who were on the cruise ship Westerdam, departed from Hong Kong

Quarantine measures

All nationals arriving from the following countries are called upon to wait 14 days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief and to refrain from using public transportation.

Asia – China, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia

Europe – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, the United Kingdom, and Vatican

Middle East – Iran, Israel, Qatar and Bahrain

Africa – Egypt and Democratic Republic of the Congo

North America – The United States of America

Suspension of visa validity

Validity of visas listed below are suspended.

  • Single and multiple-entry visas issued by March 8th, 2020 by Japanese Embassies or Consulates General in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) and Republic of Korea
  • Single and multiple-entry visas issued by March 20th, 2020 by Japanese Embassies and Consulates General in the following countries

    Europe – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, the United Kingdom, and Vatican
    Middle East – Iran
    Africa – Egypt
  • Single and multiple-entry visas issued by March 27th, 2020 by Japanese Embassies and Consulates General in the following countries:

    Asia – Indonesia (note), Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia. Note: including seal of “visa wavier registration certificate”
    Middle East – Israel, Qatar and Bahrain
    Africa – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Suspension of visa exemption measures

As visa exemption measures listed below are now suspended, those who fall under the measures are required to obtain visas before visiting Japan.

Visa exemption measures agreed with Japan and the following countries and regions:
Asia – Hong Kong, Macau, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia
Europe – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, the United Kingdom, and Vatican
Middle East – Israel, Iran and Qatar

The effect of Pre-Clearances (i.e. visa exemptions) granted by the Japanese Government to APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) issued by the following countries and regions
Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam 

People arriving in Japan from below countries starting midnight on March 21, 2020, returning residents in Japan will be required to use private cars, not to use public transportation to go home in addition to China and republic of Korea. (They need to take our taxi for moving to anywhere.) Iceland, Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Iran, UK, Egypt, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, San Marino, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Romania

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 www.waterfront-ms.com

Ben Line Agencies Japan assists in rescue operation of Chinese Fisherman in the Pacific Ocean

On Friday 18th May, an emergency request call came in to the Ben Line Agencies Japan (BLAJ) Operations team through Japan Fisheries Association asking for all necessary assistances to rescue an injured crew from a Chinese fishing boat which was operating 220 miles SSE of Kushiro, Hokkaido. The 29-year old crew member was hit by a jumped anchor rope and was in a coma.

The BLAJ Operations team immediately contacted the 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters of Japan Coast Guard to rescue the injured crew by Japan Coast Guard (JCG) helicopter.

A helicopter was scrambled to rescue the crew from the fishing boat and successfully lifted him at 15:30LT in the Pacific Ocean. After a quick replenishment of fuel on board a JCG patrol ship, the helicopter landed at Kushiro at 18:00LT and the injured crew arrived at a hospital at 18:30LT. All C.I.Q. formalities have been arranged in Kushiro.

After medical treatment, the fisherman was discharged from hospital on Thursday 24th May together with 2 BLAJ staff members, including a native Chinese speaker, who had flown from Tokyo to Hokkaido to escort him up until his repatriation to Shanghai on 25th May.

This was the 6th emergency rescue operation since the beginning of 2017 where BLAJ has successfully executed agency tasks of this kind.

BLAJ and the Ben Line Agencies group considers the wellbeing and safety of all fishermen and its duty as agents to provide all the necessary assistance where personnel and vessels encounter challenging and hazardous conditions whilst at sea.

Meanwhile, BLAJ received a special appreciation letter from the Chinese principal on Monday 4th June.