Chattogram Port, which accounts for 92% of the country's import and export trade, will remain fully operational (24/7) during the strict lockdown effective from 14 April across the country in order to keep uninterrupted the import and export activities.
As usual, the branches of Chittagong Customs House and Customs Bank will also remain open for duty collection.
To this end, a notification, signed by Chittagong Port Director (Administration) Md Mamunur Rashid, was issued on Monday (12 April). The notification contained 21 directives addressed to all departments of the port and associated institutions.
These instructions will be in force from 6am on 14 April to midnight on 21 April.
The Naval Division of Chattogram Port will continue piloting services for incoming ships.
However, besides providing berthing it has to be ensured that ships' sailors are in quarantine in line with the procedures announced by the International Maritime Organisation and the World Health Organisation.
The directives state that the port transport department will carry out all cargo loading activities on ships arriving at the port every day. It will arrange a speedy delivery of goods after clearance given by the customs department with minimum manpower.
Besides, service-related activities of the port hospital and equipment of the mechanical department will be running all the time. The power department, the fire service team of the port, the system analyst and the civil engineering department will also be 100% active.
The transport department, shipping agents, berth operators, terminal operators, ship handling operators and other port users will provide necessary assistance to the customs department to expedite delivery from Chattogram Port.
Arrangements should also be made to keep the booths of various banks set up within the port open with minimum manpower.
To keep the port operational in the Covid-19 situation, all law enforcement agencies concerned have been requested to provide necessary assistance to officials and employees of the organisations concerned, including private ICDs, shipping agents, freight forwarders and C&F agents to travel to their respective workplaces.
The head of the port has been instructed to perform emergency office work through e-filing, maintain communication through e-mail and telephone and keep a required number of employees present.
At the same time, employees whose samples have been tested with regard to Covid-19 have been instructed not to come to the office until negative reports for them are received.