The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has announced a significant change to their mooring service procedures starting May 1st, 2024. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  • Shore-Based Mooring: Mooring services will transition from onboard staff to a shore-based system with dedicated mooring boats stationed along the canal.
  • Selection Process: Only 30% of ships in a convoy will receive onboard mooring service. The SCA will prioritize vessels with:
    • Largest wind resistance (wind-age area)
    • Highest Gross Tonnage (GT)
    • Deepest draft
    • Ships traveling within two ship lengths of each other
    • Other vessels at SCA’s discretion
  • Opting Out Fee: If a chosen vessel declines or cannot accommodate onboard mooring, they will face an additional $5,000 USD fee instead of the previously mandated tugboat assistance.
  • Exemptions:
    • U.S. warships will maintain their current protocol with mandatory tug escorts for mooring.
    • Other warships can refuse onboard service but will be assigned mandatory tug escorts.
    • Towed units, excavators, rigs, integrated units, and special-purpose vessels will either have onboard mooring or be assigned tugs as per existing December 2020 navigation rules.
  • New Tariff: A flat fee of $3,500 USD will cover both mooring and lighting services under the new system. This fee will be reviewed annually for potential adjustments.
  • Additional Lighting Charge: Ships requiring lighting or whose searchlights don’t comply with SCA regulations will face an additional $1,000 USD fee, bringing the total cost to $4,500 USD for both mooring and lighting.
  • Electrical Compliance Fine: Vessels with electrical connections that violate SCA regulations will be charged an additional $5,000 USD starting from their second transit, as outlined in the December 2020 SCA Rules of Navigation.

The SCA advises all ship operators to familiarize themselves with these changes before their next Suez Canal transit.

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