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River Parana - Speed Limitations and Seasonal Changes to Water Levels - Risk Alert 97

SSM Roundel

Steamship Mutual

Published: April 06, 2023

Some of the most important shipping routes in Argentina involve the River Plate, the Parana River and their branches. There are some 60 ports along the length of the Rivers and the long passage, with its sharp bends, strong currents, shifting sediments, seasonal depths, and limited navigational width, in addition to heavy traffic, make it challenging for safe navigation. 

This Risk Alert is intended to raise general awareness of the need for a detailed Master Pilot Information Exchange (MPX) to include the River passage navigation plan, for the bridge team to remain vigilant throughout the mandatory pilotage and for the bridge team to discuss any concerns with the Pilot, particularly with respect to the speed regulations in the River Plate and the Parana River.  Speed is a contributory factor to “wash damage incidents”, which could lead to disputes with terminals and other vessels whilst also triggering Coast Guard administrative enquiries, inspections, security and other issues with the potential to cause delays for the ship involved.


Attached is the latest revision of CIRCULAR 036/2020 - LOSS PREVENTION: WASH DAMAGE AND SPEED REGULATION RIVER PLATE AND PARANA DE LAS PALMAS  as revised on 21st March 2023 and published by our correspondents Pandi Liquidadores S.R.L.

Pandi Liquidadores S.R.L. has also published CIRCULAR 047/2023 - PARANA RIVER LOW WATERS - (UPDATE) 24th March 2023  in relation to the seasonal changes to the water levels.

Members are encouraged to bring this Risk Alert to the attention of their masters and other staff, to remind them of the hazards of navigating in such restricted waters and of the need to undertake a thorough Master Pilot Information Exchange (MPX) discussing in particular safe speeds and speed limitations, and to not be over reliant on the local Pilots. A reminder that the Master is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the vessel’s safety and navigation, ensuring compliance with the local speed regulations and familiarising themselves with the prevalent river levels both of which would have an effect on the ship’s squat, risks of grounding, wash damage to the terminals and ships alongside and could result in fines being imposed by the Local Authorities.


For further information please contact the Loss Prevention DepartmentSteamship Insurance Management Services Ltd.  Tel: +44 20 7247 5490

Related Resources


River Parana Speed Limitations and Seasonal Changes to the Water Levels - Risk Alert 97

CIRCULAR 36-2020 - Speed Regulation - Wash damage (revised 21-3-2023)

Circular 47-2023 - Parana River Low Waters (Update)

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