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Dear valued customer:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern now.
More than 7700 cases have been confirmed in China. There have cases been reported now also in 18 other countries.
We would like to share the latest update on the spread of the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, and our operational plans and guidelines in response to this crisis. We are monitoring the situation very closely to ensure the safety of our employees whilst working towards minimizing any possible impacts on our operations and our customers’ shipments.
Acknowledging the potential threats to the health and safety of our employees, we are taking all necessary precautions and preventive measures by accepting all governmental regulations and guidelines The safety of our employees is our top priority. We therefore ask for your kind understanding on our limited in-office operations under this emergency situation.
Holiday Extension of China Branch Offices
In accordance to the announcements of China State Council and Provincial Governments, as of the latest update on 31st January, JAS China and HKG offices will resume operation on the following dates:
Branch - Date of Office Operation Commencement
SHA - Monday, 10 February 2020
NGB - Monday, 10 February 2020
SZX - Monday, 10 February 2020
CAN - Monday, 10 February 2020
XMN - Monday, 10 February 2020
DLC - Monday, 10 February 2020
BJS - Monday, 10 February 2020
TSN - Monday, 10 February 2020
TAO - Monday, 10 February 2020
HKG - Monday, 3 February 2020
Flexible Working Arrangement of China and Hong Kong on 3rd to 7th February
To scale down the number of staffs in office and reduce the spread of novel coronavirus in the community, we have planned work-from-home flexible arrangement for all offices during 3rd to 7th February.
During 3rd to 7th February, all China branches (including those which will commence operation on 10th February) will arrange skeleton staff team to work in office to support business operation, while the rest of the staff will work from home. In Hong Kong Branch, operation teams will be split into two teams and work on rotation basis, while Logistics team will remain full support on site.
Following the flexible working arrangement, Sales team members in China and Hong Kong will work from home with 100% connectivity to business mails and can be reached via mobile shall there be any urgent business enquiries from customers. All staffs have the connectivity to business mail, we will try our best endeavors to maintain our business service to make sure clients’ needs will be fulfilled in due course..
China Market Updates on Air and Ocean Operation
We are carefully monitoring the situation in regard to all carriers, terminals, customs, warehouse, trucking service and booking agents of cities where JAS offices are presented.
In Greater China (except Hubei province ports, including Wuhan), the majority of container operations, including those at the terminals, depots, and other facilities, continue to operate as usual over the Lunar New Year holiday period. For ports other than Hubei province ports, vessels are still maintaining their normal port calls and operations. New bookings to/from all ports in Hubei province are temporarily suspended, and our staff will continue to liaise with customers who have shipments already in progress to discuss the most appropriate course of action for these.
At time of writing, the majority of passenger airlines have suspended flights to and from China (mainland without Hong Kong) during February and March with further updates to follow during the weeks to come. The freighter carriers have cancelled several flights but will be operating on a special flight schedule after the extended Lunar New Year period. Until further notice, live animals (AVI) will no longer be accepted for carriage on routes to and from China (mainland).
Air and Ocean Carriers:
Both Air and Ocean Carriers continue to monitor the situation and assess the need for potential network capacity adjustments to cater for any short-term changes in demand out of China. We will update you as soon as information becomes available
Business Support for Clients
JAS China Sales team have closely communicated with clients during CNY holidays to identify their business needs during week of 3rd February, especially for clients with manufacturing sites in China. The team will continue to work both internally and externally to ensure clients’ requirement will be fulfilled.
For additional information, we ask you to please contact your local JAS Office.
JAS Worldwide Management
As you may be aware, amendments to the International Convention for the Safety Of Life At Sea (“SOLAS”), will go into effect globally on July 1, 2016.
The recent amendment, which was adopted by International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member States, requires that a shipper verify the gross mass (Verified Gross Mass or VGM) of a container’s cargo/contents to the underlying carrier and terminal operator. While carriers, terminals and shippers alike will be affected by the new rules, the burden will primarily rest with shippers to provide the VGM.
Without a VGM, the amendments prohibit the vessel operator from loading a packed container.
As stated, from July 1st, the weight of the container and the cargo contained therein must be documented. Estimated weights are not allowed.
There are two options permissible in determining the weight or Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of the cargo and container.
They are as follows:
Method 1: Weighing
After it has been completely packed and sealed, the container can be weighed. The weighing can be performed by the shipper or by a third party contracted by the shipper (please refer to Chapter 5.11 of the SOLAS guideline).
Any scale, weighbridge, lifting equipment or other devices used to verify the gross mass of the container must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is being used (please refer to Chapter 2.1 of the SOLAS guideline).
Method 2: Calculating
All packages and cargo items may be weighed individually (including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material) and must be added to the tare of the container visible on the exterior of the container (please refer to Chapter 5.1.2 of the SOLAS guideline).
The method used for weighing the container’s content is subject to the certification an approval as determined by the competent authority of the state in which the packing and sealing of the container were completed (please refer to Chapter 18.104.22.168 of the SOLAS guideline).
Any weighing equipment used to weigh the contents of the container must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is being used (please refer to Chapter 2.1 of the SOLAS guideline).
There is currently no single document uniformly determined to be acceptable to verify the weight. Rather, the information can come via a weight certificate, separate documentation, or part of the shipping instructions.The amendment states that “irrespective of its form,” the document declaring the VGM should be signed by a person duly authorized by the shipper.
For shipper loaded FCL containers, JAS Forwarding requires a VGM from the shipper. Upon request, JAS Forwarding can have the container and content weighed at an outside weigh station.
Unless JAS Forwarding arranged the weighing of the container or has a weight certificate from an independent authority, JAS Forwarding will require a VGM certification from the shipper, prior to the carrier VGM cut off. The VGM cut off will be provided by the carrier at the time of booking.
JAS unless otherwise notified in writing, will ensure that the VGM is communicated to the carrier by one of the following methods:
The carrier itself is not obliged to cross-check the VGM received. Independent of the party verifying and sending the VGM, it remains the responsibility of the shipper that the carrier and terminal operator receive the information in time.
Once the Ocean Carrier receives the VGM, the Shipper’s responsibilities are complete.
It is unclear yet what stance of the various Ports and Terminals will take globally. Some have announced that they will not accept containers into the terminal unless a VGM has already been submitted. Some have announced that they will accept containers but will be unable to weigh them, and others have confirmed that upon request, they will be able to weigh the container.
However, it is clear that if the VGM is not received by the VGM cut off, the container cannot be loaded on to the vessel.
As we get closer to the deadline, and industry groups coalesce into creating common forms, we will provide the documentation for the shipper’s certification.
Relevant Documents can be found below