Suez Canal Transit emco

Suez Canal Convoy Guidelines

Our Services

There is one North bound convoy daily at 0400 hrs from Suez to Port Said. For vessels to join this convoy they must cross the limit line before 2300 hrs on the previous day unless specific arrangements are in place

There is one South bound convoy daily at 0330 hrs from Port Said to Suez. For vessels to join this convoy they must cross the limit line before 2300 hrs on the previous day unless specific arrangements are in place


Suez Canal Authorities aim to encourage vessels and attract new customers to use Suez Canal as opposed to using the Cape of Good Hope route using flexible marketing policies and toll fees. In doing so, Suez Canal Authorities allows vessels with alternative options to using Suez Canal to apply for a rebate with the possibility of a reduced toll fee to be charged to the vessel.

  SCA circulars
  Rules of Navigation

Operational Procedure

EMCO takes over the day-to-day operations and boarding arrangements, on behalf of its principals, for vessels transiting the Canal from the initial ETA advice up to the vessel's exit and sailing from the Suez Canal. In this capacity, EMCO takes it on its responsibility to :

  • Ensure that vessels' transits are booked with the Suez Canal Authority and all operational arrangements are made in ample time prior to vessels' arrivals.
  • Monitor closely the ETAs of our principals' vessels and maintain contact with Masters advising them of transit prospects as well as any other necessary information such as arrival instructions and convoy times.
  • Arrange for representatives of the Suez Canal offices to closely liaise with Masters of the vessels upon arrival for transit, and to render any perceptible assistance to Masters.
  • Ensure that any specific instructions requested by the Principal will be carried out, whenever possible.
  • Advise principals on daily basis with vessels' positions in the Canal, i.e. arrival, entering, exiting times, together with figures for bunkers on board and any additional information that may be required.
  • Follow up in case of any crew changes or air freighted consignments arriving at Cairo airport destined for the vessels. EMCO dedicated employees – based at Cairo Airport - ensure prompt assistance to both crew personnel and air consignments.
  • Supply of provisions, stores, fresh water, bunkers etc., if needed through EMCO’s recognized local subcontractors / ship-chandlers.

Financial Procedures

The Financial Procedures placed by EMCO Egypt ensure smooth finances of the canal transits. Banking arrangements and transfer of transit funds are handled as per the following procedure:

  • Upon receipt of nomination from the principal or upon receipt of the ETAs of the vessel for either Port Said or Suez, EMCO sends the principal a breakdown of estimated transit funds required. The pro-forma funds are calculated using the prevailing SDR rate of the day, thus avoiding over-estimation.
  • The amount should be remitted to EMCO Egypt's bank account two working days prior to the arrival of the vessel at Suez Canal.
  • EMCO offices are electronically linked to the company's bank. Immediately after receipt of the funds, they are automatically utilized to make the necessary arrangements with the SCA, ensuring smooth transit.
  • EMCO collects and carefully checks all vouchers and invoices, before preparing the disbursement accounts for each vessel prior to dispatch to the principal via courier.
  • EMCO covers each disbursement account by a separate invoice in US dollars.
  • Depending on the number of transits, EMCO dispatches a monthly statement of account listing all invoices and advances drawn for completed transits and arrive at the monthly net balance due either way. Settlements are arranged through the agreed banks.

Crew Change Procedures

EMCO’s offices at Portsaid and Suez utilizes operations to allow for smoothest crew change based on vessel’s arrival time, bound (north or south), and crew flights. EMCO team finds the most suitable time and location during the vessel’s transit to undergo crew change operations while allowing for any specific instructions by principal to be carried out in parallel.

EMCO’s team monitors closely with principals of transiting vessels while advising and arranging matters of flights, airport transfers, hotel accommodation (if required) and any other requirements for smooth operation.


The following information is required prior to arrival:

  • Full Name
  • Rank
  • Nationality
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport number
  • Seaman's book number
  • Full flight details including any connecting flight(s).
  • Copy of passport & seaman's book prior to arrival to be e-mailed to EMCO

The following documents are required upon arrival:

  • Valid seaman's book & travel passport.
  • An introductory letter from the owners stating vessel's name, the port ship arrives and the Canal agent's name.
  • Contract of employment.
  • Officers should also carry their license of competency.

Entry Visa to Egypt

Entry Visa may be purchased upon arrival at Cairo Airport. However, for nationals of some countries, the Egyptian Authorities require securing a visa before arrival in Cairo. Nationals of the following countries are expected to send data and information, including a copy of their passport and visa, to EMCO 72 hours prior to arrival at Cairo Airport.

These countries are:

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkey

Off Signers

The following documents are required for off-signers:

  • Name
  • Rank
  • Nationality
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport number
  • Seaman's book number
  • Full flight details including any connecting flight(s).
  • PTA reference NOS.
  • Ticket collection place.

Parcels and Spare Parts

EMCO’s team strives to deliver parcels addressed to transiting vessels using the most convenient and efficient methods during the vessel’s transit in Suez Canal and ensures that all legal procedures, customs and clearances are taken care of prior to vessel’s arrival at Suez Canal outer roads on either North or South sides.
  Parcels and Spare Parts
Procedure to be followed for forwarding spare parts to Cairo airport for delivery to vessels transiting the Suez Canal:

Addressing Parcels to EMCO

All shipments must be consigned to:
Master of M/V (insert vessel name) Ship spare parts in transit. Final destination is (insert destination Egyptian port). C/O Egyptian Maritime Consultant Office (Egypt) (insert our office address in requested destination port)

  • The abbreviation (EMCO) is NOT accepted as consignee name. “Egyptian Maritime Consultant Office” must be used on all airfreight and/or courier AWBs as consignee.
  • All airfreight AWBs, courier AWBs, and commercial invoices must indicate clearly the wording "In transit. Final destination is Port Said/Suez or any other Egyptian port."
  • If this clause is missing for any reason, an urgent correction must be sent without any delay through the carrier
  • It is not sufficient for the commercial invoice only to bear the above wording. The AWB also must bear the same.
  • Shipments must be sent to EMCO at least 5 working days prior to the vessel's arrival, taking into consideration Fridays (a local holiday in Egypt) and official holidays.
  • Official working hours at the Airport are 9.00 am to 2.00 pm Cairo Local Time. Working beyond these hours requires special arrangement and involves extra charges for night shift clearance.
  • A pre-alert must be sent to EMCO by E-mail as soon as the spare is dispatched.
  • This pre-alert must include:
    • Flight details
    • Copy of the AWB
    • Copy of the commercial invoice
  • Arrival notices from airlines/courier services may be delayed for many days and they sometimes are not received at all. It is not recommended to rely on them to provide notification.

The Commercial Invoice

  • The original commercial invoice must be enclosed in the docs pouch.
  • The parcel should never include items that are not listed in the invoice, as to avoid any delays or Customs fines.
  • In case of any discrepancy between the invoice included in the docs pouch and the invoice attached to the parcel, a Customs fine will be imposed by Customs authorities.

  • Crew members are not allowed to hand-carry any spare parts.

  • Suppliers must settle all freight amounts at the airport of origin (i.e. AWBs must arrive on freight prepaid basis)

General Recommendations

  • It is highly recommended that all shipments are forwarded to Cairo International Airport to ensure smooth clearance due to more clearing facilities and less chargers than Alexandria Burg El Arab Airport
  • It is recommended to consign the master AWB directly to Egyptian Maritime Consultant Office directly (without the consolidator's agent).
  • Receiving documents through forwarding companies always takes more time than expected and may hinder clearing operations.
  • It is highly recommended not to use EMS courier service as difficulties are experienced in tracing/clearing such shipments.

Supply Chain

EMCO understands that transiting vessels may require ship supplies and provisions being delivered on board or garbage being disposed during, prior to, or after vessel’s transit. EMCO ensures the delivery of high quality supplies from Portsaid and/or Suez through its local suppliers and ship chandlers at best possible prices for provisions, stores, fresh water, consumables and any materials needed on board.

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