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Current news reports about the Corona Virus (COVID-19)


Ships sound their horns in the ports of Bremen on 1 May

29. April 2020

Ships Sound their horns in the ports of Bremen on 1 May
Press The Senator for Science and Ports

The ports of Bremen will support and take part in the worldwide action by shipping to mark Labour Day on 1 May with a concert of ships’ horns. At 12 noon local time, as many ships as possible will sound their horns and this will be heard far beyond the port areas.
The action was initiated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and is intended to draw attention to the important work performed by seafarers and the special challenges they face, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Claudia Schilling, Senator for Science and Ports, comments, “The ship crews are doing a fantastic job and global trade as we know it would not exist without them. Together with our employees at the ports of Bremen and in the transport industry, they uphold the supply chains and thus safeguard the supply of goods to industry and to the population in Bremen and throughout Germany. My enormous gratitude goes to all of them.”
Even in normal times, the crew members are frequently away from their homes, families and friends for months on end. Now, in addition to worrying about the situation back home, they are also confronted with difficulties in making scheduled crew changes and organising travel back to their home countries. Schilling adds, “As part of the repatriation scheme drawn up in close consultation with the national and Federal Land authorities over the last few weeks, we have been able to return not only passengers but also many crew members to their homes. Because of the current severe restrictions on international travel, however, crew changes are proving to be anything but easy.”
As the seafarers’ club “Welcome” in Bremerhaven has also had to close temporarily because of the regulations currently in force, the Mission to Seafarers team are going on board to provide urgently needed items, such as phone cards, so that the crew members can communicate with their home countries. There are also plans to help the seafarers contact their families at home during this difficult time by providing free mobile WiFi routers.
Schilling concludes, “I find it very touching that everyone is sticking together in these difficult times. That is why we can also proudly say that the ports of Bremen remain open, fully functioning and efficient even in these exceptional circumstances.”

Media contact:
Sebastian Rösener
Spokesperson for the Senator for Science and Ports
Tel.: +49 421 361- 83155
E-mail: sebastian.roesener@wissenschaft.bremen.de

Deferral of claims for port charges

14. April 2020

Deferral of claims for port charges pursuant to §§ 6 to 9 of the Schedule of Port Charges for the Ports of Bremen for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 owing to the coronavirus Crisis

As from now, applications can be submitted for deferral of the payment of claims for tonnage, offshore, berth charges, harbour charges and usage charges (pursuant to §§ 6 to 9 of the Schedule of Port Charges) incurred for the period as from 1 April 2020 up to and including 30 June 2020.

Applications can be submitted informally by post or e-mail to the port charges department of bremenports GmbH & Co.KG and must state the reasons for the requested deferral. It is sufficient if the applicant refers to payment difficulties owing to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

As a general principle, deferred payments and instalment payments are subject to interest in accordance with the provisions of the financial regulations of the Federal Land of Bremen. As stated in the motion for the Senate session on 31 March 2020, “Deferral of payments to alleviate the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis”, which waives the payment of interest on deferred payments, this waiver also applies to deferred payment of the port charges.

Shipping companies which call regularly at the ports of Bremen during the period stated above only have to submit one application for all port charges which would be payable for the period April to June. This should be indicated in the application.

Deferrals are granted subject to revocation at any time.

At the moment, payments can be deferred until 31 December 2020 at the latest.

The option of payment in instalments is also possible, subject to a corresponding written agreement with bremenports.

Senator Schilling offers deferred payment of port charges

09. April 2020

Senator Schilling offers deferred payment of port charges 
Press The Senator for Science and Ports

The financial impact of the coronavirus crisis is also affecting the ports of Bremen. In order to support users of the ports during these difficult times, they will now have the option of deferring payment of the port charges, in addition to the already resolved plans for the deferral of rental and lease payments as well as ground rents. This was announced by Dr Claudia Schilling, Senator for Science and Ports, at the second telephone conference of the “Ports of Bremen” Task Force, which is made up of representatives of the port and logistics business in the Federal Land of Bremen as well as representatives of regional and national associations.

Schilling stated, “We are currently examining very carefully how we can help the port business during this difficult phase. We plan to offer deferral of the port charges with immediate effect, initially for the months of April to June. However, this option of deferred payment could be extended for a further three months. During that time, we can continue to monitor the effects of the crisis.”

The Senator is also planning to waive the planned increase in ground rents which would have been due this year and to submit proposals for resolutions to that effect to the competent political bodies.

Schilling stated, “The ports of Bremen are the driving force behind Bremen’s economy and every fifth job is dependent on the ports. Even in this phase, our ports remain open and can be reached by the shipping companies. My thanks go to the employees who are making every conceivable effort to ensure that our ports remain fully functioning and efficient even at this difficult time.”

Media contact:
Sebastian Rösener
Spokesperson for the Senator for Science and Ports
Tel.: (0421) 361-83155
E-Mail: sebastian.roesener@wissenschaft.bremen.de

Ports of Bremen Task Force

27. March 2020

Ports of Bremen Task Force: Senator Schilling assures port and logistics businesses of her support
Press The Senator for Science and Ports

The “Ports of Bremen” Task Force set up by Dr Claudia Schilling, Senator for Science and Ports, convened for the first time via telephone conference yesterday (25 March.2020). The Senator promised every support for the port and logistics business during the coronavirus crisis.

Schilling stated, “The ports of Bremen are the driving force behind Bremen’s economy. Every fifth job is dependent on the ports. What’s more, the port and logistics business plays a central role in the supply chains and consequently for ensuring supplies to industry and to the population of Bremen and the whole of Germany. The current crisis has highlighted the national significance of our ports and the port business.”

In the course of the Task Force meeting, it was confirmed that the ports of Bremen will remain fully functioning and efficient even in this unique emergency situation. There are absolutely no restrictions with regard to the availability of infrastructure or of the public tasks and port services that are necessary for cargo handling or for carriage of the goods to and from the ports on road, rail and inland waterway. The ports of Bremen thus underline their systemic importance for the ability of the entire German and European national economies to function properly.

In the interests of alleviating the crisis, the Senator for Science and Ports plans to offer the option of suspending rental and lease payments and ground rents. Schilling added, “By offering the option of deferred payment, we hope to relieve the financial strain on our business enterprises. At the same time, the German federal and state governments are preparing aid programmes which will deliver highly individual solutions for the differing requirements of the businesses in these difficult times. We want to proactively help the companies in Bremen’s port and logistics sector to claim the available aids and we will ensure that we do so.”

Another measure to support this sector could be to adjust the port charges in order to generate more cargo throughput for the ports of Bremen. Schilling explained, “It is not just a question of alleviating the financial effects of the crises at the ports, but also of providing a basis for generating new growth after the crisis has passed. Our objective is to ensure that Bremen’s port and logistics business is up and running again as soon as possible and not permanently dependent on aid programmes. We want to communicate to the shipowners that Bremen’s ports are playing their part to promote the development of global trade.”

The Task Force, which includes representatives of the port and logistics business in the Federal Land of Bremen as well as representatives of regional and national associations, will continue to share information and ideas at regular intervals in future.

Media contact:
Sebastian Rösener
Spokesperson for the Senator for Science and Ports
Tel.: (0421) 361-83155
E-Mail: sebastian.roesener@wissenschaft.bremen.de

Ports of Bremen fully functioning

27. March 2020

Reliable and comprehensive services guaranteed

The ports of Bremen are fully functioning without any restrictions, according to the port management company bremenports. “Despite the restrictions in everyday life, we guarantee that regular operations are being carried out without any disruptions or restrictions. Even during this crisis, Bremen and Bremerhaven guarantee fast, reliable and comprehensive services for the ports’ customers,” promised bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe. “There are absolutely no restrictions with regard to the availability of infrastructure or of the public tasks and port services that are necessary for cargo handling or for carriage of the goods to and from the ports on road, rail and inland waterway. The ports of Bremen thus underline their systemic importance for the ability of the entire German and European national economies to function properly.”

Nor is there any evidence whatsoever of current or foreseeable problems regarding feeder traffic to the ports. Full access is available both by road, rail and inland waterway. “The ports play a central role for providing supplies to the population and fundamentally ensuring that the economy functions properly, especially now and in the coming months. In response to these demands, we have implemented organisational changes in particularly critical areas,” added Howe.

These changes will ensure the continuous accessibility of the ports in Bremen as well as Bremerhaven now and in future. This refers to the terminal railway and the locks as well as maintaining the necessary water depths.

At the onset of the pandemic, bremenports set up a task force which compiles and evaluates all the latest findings and then takes the necessary decisions.

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