BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report dated 22 April 2022

COVID 19  3 factors to help you stay safe


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 22 April covers the International Maritime Organization (IMO) including crew change national contact point, China, Germany, Singapore, USA,  UK P&I Club's Global Crew Change Advice, and the latest from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Every week, BIMCO summarises measures imposed by governments for sea transport, including for crew change, as well as updates from United Nations bodies such as the IMO, WHO, ILO and the Port State Control MoU regimes. 

1. IMO

The below represent the latest information from the IMO.  

    • Addendum no. 35/rev.11 issued on 22 March 2022 provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers. The latest list of 65 notifications is shown below with the addition of Morocco :

  • The IMO Secretary General, in addition to IMO circular letter no. 4524, which appeared in our weekly COVID-report dated 11 March, has expressed his deep concern via IMO circular letter no. 4524/Add.1, regarding the spillover effects of the military action in Ukraine on global shipping, logistics and supply chains. The security threats to merchant shipping can be found on this NATO link.
  • The IMO held an Extraordinary General Meeting of its Council on 10 and 11 March to discuss the impact of the present conflict situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov ( the "high risk areas")  on shipping and seafarers. Several decisions were made, in particular, an agreement to establish as provisional and urgent measure, a blue safe maritime corridor for the safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from the high risk areas allowing ships to commercially navigate and mobilise as necessary, thus avoiding the military attacks, whilst protecting and securing the maritime domain. As COVID-19 is still ongoing, these decisions would also overlap with measures taken for the pandemic.  In addition, the same measures applicable to protect seafarers during COVID-19 are also applicable here as addressed by the Council to support the seafarers, in particular, as key workers, they are given unrestricted movement with ships allowing to sail from the ports of Ukraine at the earliest opportunity given,  and due to the conflict, it was proposed that government states exempt their seafarers from mandatory military service. 
  • Addendum no. 44  to IMO circular letter No. 4204, issued on 28 February, publishing a joint IMO/ILO/UNCTAD /WHO statement urging continued collaboration to address crew change crisis, safeguard seafarer health and safety, and avoid supply chain disruptions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Addendum no. 4/Rev. 4 to IMO circular letter No. 4204,  issued on 28 February, providing an updated version of the ICS guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers.  


2. Government States



The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration has created a special section with overview of local restrictions and requirements for crew change. Each subsection follows the same template with the following headings:

  • Governing authority
  • Application materials
  • Process in brief
  • Time limit for approval
  • Reasons for not changing
  • Contact information


Due to the spillover effect of the war in Ukraine, the German Maritime Directorate will issue endorsements of recognition for the following certificates issued by the Ukrainian shipping administration that had expired on or after 1 January 2022: 

  • Certificates of competency
  • maritime radio operator's certificates 
  • Certificates of proficiency for service on tankers

The endorsement will be valid for a maximum period of one year from the said date of endorsement. Note also that this will also apply to holders of above certificates issued by the German Maritime Directorate whose period had expired between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. Full details are available via an IMO circular letter no. 4552.   


The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued port marine circular (PMC) no. 07/22 advising that shore leave for crew working onboard vessels will be granted effective 1st April. But this is only allowed for crew that is fully vaccinated. To apply, please see details in PMC no. 07/2022. 


The US Coast Guard (USCG) issued on 19 April 2022,  "Change-5" to the MSIB 02-21 on COVID-19 Safety Requirements in the Maritime Transportation System  to advise that the mandate for mask wear in airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs as well as on airplanes, buses, trains, and most other public conveyances in the United States, including vessels, is no longer in effect as decided on 18 April 2022 by the US District Court, Middle District of Florida; and which the USCG will follow suit. Note that indoors public transportation mask wear is still recommended. Vessel and sea port operators are encouraged to monitor the CDC website at for the most up to date guidance. See also the USCG FAQ section on face mask order for latest information.


3. World Health Organization (WHO)


On 30 March, WHO updated their Strategic, Preparedness, Readiness and Response Plan ( SPRP) for COVID-19 in 2022 , setting out a number of key strategic adjustments for implementation at national, regional and global levels which will enable the world to end the acute phase of the pandemic, if these adjustments are implemented rapidly and consistently. 

On 13 April, the International Health Regulatons Emergency Committee held their 11th meeting  issuing 11 temporary recommendations to governments, which also involved the SPRP plan, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please see BIMCO-WHO for more information.


4. IMO Crew Change - National Focal Point for Crew Change and Repatriation of Seafarers

According to GISIS today, the list of countries (56) informing the IMO of their national focal point of contact for crew change and repatriation of seafarers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands)  the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium Brazil, Canada, Chile Cook Islands, Costa Rica Cyprus, Dominica, Ecuador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea-BissauGreece, India, Indonesia, IrelandIsrael, Italy, Jamaica, Libya , the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco ,  Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore , Sint Maarten ( Kingdom of the Netherlands) ,  Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , Tunisia, Ministry of Transport ( new), Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu. 


5. Port State Control - MOU 

Due to the situation in Ukraine, collective guidance harmonising the Port State Control activities ( PSC) has now been issued by the Indian Ocean, Paris, and Tokyo MoU on PSC and Vina del Mar Agreement relating to the repatriation of seafarers. Full information can be found in an IMO circular letter no. 4524/Add.2 dated 31 March 2022. 

See also BIMCO Port State Control Regimes- MOU 


6. ILO


The International Labour Organization  (ILO) issued the following on maritime labour issues and COVID-19:


7. Others 

The UK P&I Club's version 1.37 on Global Crew Change Advice covers update on Singapore.  


    8. BIMCO

    BIMCO General COVID-19 Links

BIMCO is continuously monitoring COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on the shipping industry in particular on crew changes. Below are some of the type of information  currently being provided by BIMCO :

You can also view all information on our COVID-19 landing page.

TheUK P&I Club's version 1.37 covers update on Singapore.
Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.

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VPS Bunker Alerts

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.


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