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Updated in Dec. 2017 by Capt. Wolf Lampe, Consultant seconded by BLG LOGISTICS, Bremen/Germany.

The access to Umm Qasr is maintained at a depth allowing max. vessel’s draught of 11 m.

Pilots are stationed off the coast. Tidal range is 3,0 to 3,4m.

Umm Qasr Port is Iraq's only deep-water port. Umm Qasr port consists of three separate ports, known as Umm Qasr South Port, Umm Qasr North Port and Umm Qasr Mid. The ports are independent and have separate port directors/managers, but fall under the administrative and financial umbrella of the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI). Within the port boundaries, a number of operators and container terminals handle loading, discharging and warehousing operations.
GCPI is a state company under the Ministry of Transport in Iraq. Founded in October 9, 1919, GCPI manages all of the Iraqi ports and navigation in the territorial waters and administrates maintenance and dredging in the navigational channels www.scp.gov.iq/.

1) Umm Qasr South Port:

The southern port is the older of the two, constructed during the 1940s. The port offers bonded storage for containers only. The Iraqi Port Authorities (IPA) are 2017 in the process of removing all covered warehouses in the port; for private cargo, all services and equipment are provided by private terminal operators. The IPA has created a new “electronic gate” control system for calling, stevedoring and invoicing vessels.  This system is operated and monitored from a control room that tracks vessel movements and can review the paperwork converted to the electronic system.

Currently this port comprises of nine berths operated by different operators as listed below:

  • Berth No. 1: Government (Military berth)
  • Berth No. 2: Break Bulk/General Cargo IPA
  • Berth No. 3: Break Bulk IPA
  • Berth No. 4: Manarat Umm Qasr
  • Berth No. 5: CMA CGM and APL
  • Berth No. 6: Belongs to IPA, general cargo
  • Berth No. 7: IPA
  • Berth No. 8: GulfTainer (used for containers, bonded corridor to Umm Qasr Logistics Centre) 
  • Berth No. 9: IPA

Layout of Umm Qasr South Port, Main Discharging Activities during Port Rehabilitation

2) Umm Qasr North Port:

The northern port was constructed during the 1970s and can receive all types of cargo - Containerized, Bulk Break and Ro-Ro. Most of the port berths are operated by a number of private terminal operators who have the required resources to handle and store all types of cargo.

Umm Qasr North Port is presently (2017/18) Iraq’s busiest port. Currently this port comprises of 14 berths operated by different operators as listed below. Berths no. 23 to 26 were under construction at the time of the assessments.  The port is heavily congested by trucks waiting to be admitted to the port and trucks waiting for import cargo clearance. Traffic flow and operations are hindered by waiting trucks as well as by trucks and cars moving along the berths to enter or exit the port. The overall aspect of North Port can be described as well-organized container yards (Gulftainer Terminal (ICT), Basrah Multipurpose Terminal (BMT), Basrah Gateway Terminal (BGT/ICTSI) and Umm Qasr Logistics Centre (UQLC)) embedded in a multi-purpose port area.

The rail connection between the port and the capital was recently re-activated. Containers can be moved to a bonded rail terminal in Baghdad at roughly half the cost of using trucks for the same distance. Currently trains are scheduled once a week. The rail terminal might has the potential to qualify as a dry port.

  • Berth No. 10: Ministry of Trade – Silo for grains
  • Berth No. 11: GulfTainer - linked to the Umm Qasr Logistics Centre - Dry Port (which offers cold storage also) through a bonded corridor.
  • Berth No. 12: BMT – Basra Multi-Purpose Terminal
  • Berth No. 13: BMT – Basra Multi-Purpose Terminal
  • Berth No. 14: BMT – Basra Multi-Purpose Terminal
  • Berth No. 15: BMT – Basra Multi-Purpose Terminal
  • Berth No. 16: IPA – Iraqi Port Authorities
  • Berth No. 17: IPA – Iraqi Port Authorities
  • Berth No. 18: IPA – Iraqi Port Authorities
  • Berth No. 20: BGT – Basra Gateway Terminal
  • Berth No. 21: Ro/Ro BGT – Basra Gateway Terminal
  • Berth No. 22: Ro/Ro IPA 
  • Berth No. 27: BGT – Basra Gateway Terminal

Layout of Umm Qasr North Port

3) Umm Qasr Mid Port

This port is used for multipurpose cargo. No more information available.

Terminal Operators:

The following are focal points from the active terminals operating/cargo handling companies:

  • Basra Gateway Terminal BGT (an ICTSI Group Company): Mr. Munther Al-Saiegh - Commercial Manager - Email: mtsaiegh@ictsi.com; Mobile phone: +964 783 050 3520
  • Basra Gateway Terminal BGT (an ICTSI Group Company): Mr. Marko Miskovic – Oil and Gas Project Development Executive - Email: mmiskovic@ictsi.com; Mobile phone: +964 783 508 0588
  • Basra Multipurpose Terminal (BMT) - Aloreen Company: Captain Abdulkarim H. Mozan – General Manager of Aloreen Basra Branch - Email: karim.mozan@bmtiq.com; Mobile phone: +964 780 929 9814
  • Gulftainer: Captain Ahmed A. Mustafa – Assistant Country Manager of Gulftainer Company Limited-Iraq Branch – Umm Qasr Logistics Centre - Dry Port - P.O. Box 1221; Email:amustafa.iraq@gulftainer.com; Mobile phone: +964 780 140 4764

Port website:  Iraq Ports Website

Port Location and Contacts

Port Location and Contact

COUNTRY

IRAQ

Province or District

BASRA

Name of the Port

Umm Qasr North Port / Umm Qasr South Port

Nearest Town or City with Distance from Port

Name: Basra City 

km: 76 KM

Latitude

Latitude: 30° 03′ N / 30° 01,5’ N

Longitude

Longitude: 047°56′ E / 047° 57’ E

Managing Authority / Agency

Iraq Port Authority (IPA)

General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) – Ministry of Transport

Contact Person

  1. 1.       Dr. Safaa A. J. Alfayyadh, safaaalfayaydh@yahoo.com (for Umm Qasr North Port)
  2. Captain Ihab (for Umm Qasr South Port)

Berth 21 (BGT)- Umm Qasr North

Berth 19 (BGT)-Umm Qasr North

Bonded Warehouse (BMT)-Umm Qasr North

Gulftainer/Dry Port Cold Storage Warehouse - Umm Qasr North

Gulftainer/Dry Port Yard – Cold Storage Containers

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) is a governmental company under the Ministry of Transport in Iraq. It was founded in October 9, 1919. It manages all of the Iraqi ports and navigation in the territorial waters and administrates maintenance and dredging of the navigational channels.

For further information, visit the Ministry of Transportation

4.4 Iraq Port and Waterways Company Contact List

Port Performance (Information as of March 2015)

The maximum size of container vessels calling Umm Qasr is about 5,000 TEU.

Handling Figures

Year 2017

Vessel Calls

ca. 90 vessels / month

Container Traffic (TEUs)

ca. 45.000 TEU/month

Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk

Year ….

Bulk (MT)

n/a

Break bulk (MT)

n/a


Umm Qasr South Port, General Cargo Discharge onto Truck at IPA-Terminal

Bagged cargo is discharged directly onto trucks.

Equipment

Available

(Yes / No)

Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane

Yes

n/a

Decommissioned, not yet removed from pier

Container Gantries

Yes

8

Operational

Mobile Cranes

Yes

8

up to 100 ton capacity available at the port

Reachstacker

Yes

Average of 5 to 10 in each berth

Operational

RoRo Tugmaster (w/ Trailer)

Yes

Around 12

Operational

Grain Elevator w/ Bagging Machines

Yes

n/a

meets the demand

All operational

Transtrainer

Yes

2

Operational

Forklifts

Yes

n/a meets the demand

All operational

 

RoRo berth facilities

North  Port, Ro-Ro & Container Berths

Container Facilities

Gulftainer Terminal (ICT)

Located at berth 11, container operations by ship to shore gantries (STS) and mobile cranes. Main shipping line Maersk. Yard equipped with reefer points.

Iraqi state company for ports manages the port equipment: it has subcontracted with some other international companies for this purpose.

Equipment

Available

(Yes / No)

Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane

Yes

n/a

Range between poor to good

Container Gantries

Yes

4

Operational

Mobile Cranes

Yes

1

45 ton capacity available at the port

Reachstacker

Yes

Average of 5 to 10 in each berth

Operational

RoRo Tugmaster (w/ Trailer)

Yes

Around 12

Operational

Grain Elevator w/ Bagging Machines

Yes

n/a

meet s the demand

All operational

Transtrainer

Yes

n/a

Operational

Forklifts

Yes

n/a meets the demand

All operational

Umm Qasr Logistics Centre (UQLC)

30° 04’ N, 047° 55’ E

UQLC is a dry port within the port perimeter offering container storage and stripping (thus avoiding container demurrage) before clearing customs. Services offered: Storage incl. yard and warehouse storage, cold/refrigerated storage, clearing agency, customs on site, accommodation and office space.
UQLC is owned/operated by the Gulftainer group and uses the ICT Gulftainer terminal on berth 11 for loading/discharging.

Umm Qasr North Port, Warehouse at UQLC

Umm Qasr North Port, UQLC Yard

Basrah Multipurpose Terminal

BMT operates containers and general cargo on berth 12 to 15 with five mobile cranes. The container yard is equipped with reefer points. Main shipping line currently MSC.

Umm Qasr North Port, BMT Operations

At the time of the assessment (Dec. 2017) the container BMT-yard was working well below its capacity limit.

Umm Qasr North Port, BMT Yard

General Cargo can be stored in 8 warehouses measuring 6.500 m² each. The warehouses are in good condition.

Basrah Gateway Terminal (BGT)

Berth 19 to 21, container operations by ship to shore gantries and mobile cranes, RoRo-vessels are handled at berth 21.

Umm Qasr North Port, BGT, Berth 19-21

BGT handles general cargo as well as containers, warehouses are currently sub-utilized.

Umm Qasr North Port, BGT Warehouse at Berth 19

Basrah Gateway Terminal (BGT/ICTSI)

Opened in 2016 on newly constructed Berth 27, container operations by ship to shore gantry cranes (STS), yard movements by rubber-tyred transtainers (RTG). Shipping lines using this terminal include Evergreen, Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd (HLC) and CMA CGM.

Umm Qasr North Port, BGT Container Terminal at Berth 27

Umm Qasr South Port

At Umm Qasr South Port terminal operators Gulftainer and CMA CGM are handling containers, Iraqi Port Authority (IPA) is handling bulk and general cargo.

Umm Qasr South Port, Gulftainer Jetty with Mobile Ship-To-Shore Crane

Umm Qasr South Port, Gantry Cranes of CMA CGM Container Terminal

Facilities

20’/40’

Container Facilities Available

Yes

Container Freight Station (CFS)

Yes

Refrigerated Container Stations

No

Other Capacity Details

 

Daily Take Off Capacity (Containers per day)

n/a

Number of Reefer Stations (connection points)

n/a

Emergency Take-off Capacity (Give an indication)

Peak capacity very likely not depending on gantry and mobile port crane productivity, but on traffic flow within the port and – once yards are fully occupied - clearance procedures

Off take capacity of gang shift (in Containers per shift)

n/a

Customs Guidance

X-ray scanners are used to scan entire containers. Inspections are carried out by customs, representatives of the Ministry of Health and the secret service once a container is loaded onto the truck and ready to leave the port. Custom officers are supposed to work 7 days a week from 08:00 to 17:00 hrs. Samples of imported food are analysed at Basrah or Baghdad. The clearance of food items is facilitated if the producer is certified by Bureau Veritas.

Strict adherence to customs and health regulations is mandatory to avoid delays when clearing the cargo. The regulatory framework of Iraqi authorities is likely to adapt to current economic developments and changes of rules and regulations are likely. Constant updating the WFP custom information guide (CIG) for all relevant commodities should be a priority – including the option of shipments to Baghdad under Through Bill of Lading (TBL).

If the importing organisation is exempted from customs and tax fees, it must submit an exemption/facilitation request through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). An exemption/facilitation letter must be received and registered at the Customs Directorate of Umm Qasr Port through the official channels before the arrival of the shipment to the port.

 The required original shipping documents are:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Legalized Invoice (must be certified by the Iraqi embassy in the country from which the items will be sent).
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of Origin
  • For food items only - a Health Certificate from the country of origin attested by Iraqi Embassy in the country of origin. Food test results are to be translated into Arabic for each shipment. The expiry date is not to be less than the minimum allowed period.  [MA1] [GF2] This needs to be checked with the Ministry of Trade (MoT) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Baghdad. In view of this, the importing organisation should take into consideration the possible delays at any stage of the import/clearance process.

Process

Before the customs clearance process starts, the cargo is to be discharged from the vessel within 1 - 3 days after arrival and transferred to a bonded storage facility waiting for customs clearance (usually the process of discharge and transfer to storage is done by the private terminal operators who will pay all official fees and submit the receipts to the customer).

The allowed period to keep cargo in the bonded storage yards/warehouses before it is charged for storage is 10 days in the Iraqi Ports Authorities (IPA) bonded storage, or 20 days if it is stored in private terminal operators’ bonded storage.

If all the required documents, mentioned above in the above section (Documentation) are available, the customs procedure will be handled by the clearance agent.

Although the process is always subject to changes, usually without notice, the steps of the clearing process are as follows:

  • Submit a request with all required documents to the port Customs Directorate for cargo inspection by a customs inspection committee. Inspection fees of 11,000 IQD are to be paid (according to the new instructions applied recently, inspection fees are to be paid for each container).
  • If the cargo is exempted and the Customs Directorate at the port has received the exemption letter (process outlined below), no taxes and customs duties are to be paid. Otherwise all taxes and customs duties are charged.
  • After customs inspection, a Delivery Order with all details of the cargo is to be obtained from the Marine Agency (this is under the State Company of Marine Transport), at the concerned berth.
  • Security/intelligence authorities must also conduct, inspect and give their approval.
  • If applicable/required, samples will be taken from the cargo by the MoT or MoH representatives for laboratory analysis.
  • After completing all steps, the Customs Declaration form will be issued with all approvals on it, including security approval.

The customs duties tariff can be found on the website of General Directorate of Customs at www.customs.mof.gov.iq. This contains a list, in Arabic, of various types of materials and the customs duties percentage. The customs duties are calculated as a percentage, depending on the type of item; the item’s value is in turn estimated by a customs committee at the entry point.

Exemption/Facilitation Letter

To acquire the exemption/facilitation letter, the following steps need to be followed (although the procedure may be subject to changes):

  • For UN agencies and humanitarian organisations that have diplomatic status, an official Exemption/Facilitation request letter must be submitted to the MoFA – Protocol Office, with the details of the items to be imported (quantities, weight, volume, etc.) filled in the standard MoFA form (in Arabic and English), along with the Invoice and Certificate of Origin.
  • The MoFA is to receive and approve the request letter and send the approved copies to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for approval.
  • The MoF will send the approved copies to the General Directorate of Customs and General Directorate of Taxes.
  • The General Directorate of Customs will send the approved copies to the border crossing customs office to exempt the shipment from customs duties.
  • General Directorate of Taxes will send the approved copies to the border crossing taxes office to facilitate the procedure.
  • The Exemption/Facilitation letter must be received and registered at the customs office of Umm Qasr Port through the official channels, before the arrival of the shipment to the port.

Note: A general exemption/facilitation letter for all humanitarian shipments, instead of issuing a request for each shipment, is under negotiation with Iraqi authorities.

1.3 Iraq Customs Information 

Main Storage Terminal

  • It is feasible to secure bonded warehouse space within any of the terminal operators’ facilities, as bonded warehouses with large capacities and good conditions are available.

  • For non-bonded storage, it is feasible to set up a warehouse within Basra city, either private or state-owned (MoT) warehouses/compounds. 

  • Trucking services with different capacities are available at port. During the assessment period, three potential warehouse suppliers were visited and the details can be requested from WFP/Logistics Cluster.

Stevedoring

  • Vessel agents are coordinating delivery from the cargo ship to the truck, ensuring that the proper cargo is delivered to the correct trucker.

  • The Terminal Operator companies listed (listed on page 2) have the capacity to perform stevedoring and bagging.

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) - Umm Qasr

Hinterland Information

While the ports in Iraq have been safe for several years, there are still areas of the Iraq hinterland where security remains a real and high-profile concern. The stevedoring companies working at the Port recognize this fact.

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) Microsites - Umm Qasr

Port Security

Reinforced and gated security procedures are in place.

Security

ISPS Compliant

(Yes / No)

No

 

Current ISPS Level

n/a

Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional