The Association has recently been advised of a few cases when unauthorised individuals have gained access on board under the pretext of performing “health checks”.
These individuals go on board vessels at Port Said Anchorage area, claiming that they are acting on behalf of the Suez Canal Authority and requesting to perform “health checks” (including blood tests) on the crew on board. Once these checks are completed, they would ask the Master to pay for their services.
The Suez Canal Authority has confirmed that they have not requested these tests and that the company in question is unlawfully operating without any instructions from a government body.
All the ships at the Suez Canal Authority anchorage area are thus advised that no person(s) should be allowed on board without making sure that they have legitimate reasons to be there. The vessels’ Masters should consult their official agents, as well as the local authorities, in case of any suspicious activity.
The Suez Canal Authority has advised that all required checks are first communicated to the Chamber of Shipping and the relevant agencies, so that all vessels transiting the canal are aware of the procedures in place.
Source of Information
Middle East Survey & Control Office (MESCO)