Client Announcement : A further update on the impact of the COVID-19 in China

RELEASE : February 17, 2020. As the COVID-19 continues to have a major impact on the lives of our customers and impact our business in Mainland China, we would like to provide you an update of the latest news from Santa Fe China. With our protection actions well prepared and effectively implemented, we are delighted to announce that we have received the formal written approval from various local government for our business operations to recommence work across most of our Mainland China branch network. Full details are below.

MOVING
Beijing and Dalian
We resumed normal operations on February 10.

Chengdu
We resumed normal operations on February 13.

Shanghai
As the market leading relocation company, we received local Government approval on February 14 and recommenced operations in Shanghai on February 15.

Guangzhou
We received formal written approval from the local government to provide local transportation trucking services starting from February 17. Based upon local Guangzhou policies for personal quarantine, we have commenced providing limited import & export moving services and estimate to return to full capacity by February 24.

Shenzhen
We have not yet received formal written approval from the local government but expect to be able to provide moving services by the week of February 24.

Special attention:
Delays are expected for the export & import of goods into and out of China. The backlog of shipments that typically follows the Lunar New Year will be made worse by the current COVID-19 situation, possibly increasing freight rates and potentially causing delays to clear customs. As a result of lower demand, shipping and air cargo companies are reducing the number of seaborne vessels/flights.

The shutdowns due to COVID-19 mean that some vessels may not be able to enter or choose not to enter Chinese ports, as the loading and discharging of goods slows.

Local travel restrictions are also hampering the transport of goods and workforce movements. Restrictions vary across Provinces, cities and local governments with various controls designed to limit the spread of the virus impacting the ability to pack/unpack & clear customs.

Please kindly note the following and we appreciate your kind understanding:

  • Delays in packing/delivery; may result in charges related to storage of the goods.
  • Delays in shipment customs clearance – customer’s passports may be required for longer periods of time to clear customs. Please expect additional bounded warehouse/customs clearance charges.
  • Export customs clearance – clients may need to pick up their passports from Santa Fe office’s directly due to lack of workforce.
  • Delays in providing services such as handyman, maid services, etc.
  • Possible increase in Santa Fe charges due to increase in Santa Fe own costs.
  • Possible access delays, challenges with residential access due to local compound regulations preventing access to outside parties. Please ensure that you confirm with the landlord & compound management that Santa Fe can access for packing/unpacking.
  • We recommend clients to use face masks while our packing crews are at residence. All Santa Fe staff will be wearing face masks as per China Government policy.

The situation is changing every day and we recommend that you contact us for daily updates. Please always double check with Santa Fe China.

Santa Fe has outstanding storage facilities across Mainland China in order to store goods whenever there is a need. Please let us know should you need a quote.

IMMIGRATION

During the period of epidemic prevention and control, to limit in-person physical hard copy verification, companies can provide a commitment letter to verify all application documents are authentic. This exemption applies to the work permit notification letter application, work permit renewal, and work permit cancellation. New work permit applications will still require the physical hard copy verification.

Exit-entry administration authorities will be in full service for extension and issuance of visa and residence permits. For residence permit applications, physical presence at the local bureaus will still be required.

Foreigner Nationals may exit and enter China as usual by carrying valid international travel documents. Due to entry restrictions adopted by some countries/regions, foreigner nationals who need to exit from China should ensure they review the latest entry policy of destination countries in advance.

DESTINATION SERVICES

Update on Schools
China has postponed the start of new school semester and encouraged students to study at home over safety concerns as the country fights the COVID-19 outbreak that has infected over 70,000 people. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has required the postponement of school semesters across the country. Given this official communication, both international and local schools in China do not anticipate re-opening before Monday, March 2.

Once government expectations are further updated and when schools can ensure the health and safety of the school community, the schools will communicate an anticipated start date when their campuses will re-open. Santa Fe will provide you with further updates as soon as the MOE and the schools can confirm the campuses re-open date.

According to the MOE, a “cloud platform” will also be launched on February 17 to provide students in elementary and secondary schools with education resources covering all major school subjects.

Many international schools in China have already been providing a virtual learning program to their students targeting the same standards that students would have received in the classroom. International schools have also created webpages to share answers to frequently asked questions by parents and students and sharing any additional documents or required notices provided to schools from governmental authorities. You may visit school’s website for more details.

Conducting Home-Search/check-in/check-out Programs

A number of measures have been implemented at community level to control the spread of the virus including temperature checking, monitoring people entering and leaving residential compounds & offices. Including the blocking of some exits of the compound by keeping only one entrance/exit for residents. In many compounds, passes are distributed to residents of the compounds and people entering/exiting the compound without passes are not allowed and visitors are usually not permitted to enter the compound.

Therefore, if you need any service from Santa Fe, please kindly inform us as early as possible, so that we can check with your residence to make adequate prior preparation work including entry/exit pass application etc.

For further information or management escalations please contact,

James Gooding
Managing Director, North Asia
james.gooding@santaferelo.com

 

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