BIMCO COVID-19 Weekly Report


The BIMCO Maritime Information department informs members on a weekly basis, updates about the COVID-19 in relation to implementation measures imposed by governments for sea transport including for crew change as well as from the United Nation bodies like the International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).

BIMCO provides the following update for this week ending Friday, 4 December 2020

1. United Nations 

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on 1st December, calling all nations and relevant stakeholders, to co-operate and help designate seafarers as key workers and to implement the IMO-recognized protocols so that safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic can be carried out smoothly taking into account the essential preventive measures taken by port states against COVID-19. 

The full text can be downloaded here:

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

  • As of today, the countries that have informed the IMO of the above are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cook Islands, Cyprus, France, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.

Reference: MSC.7/circ.1/Rev.14

3. Government States  

Crew change is allowed as reported on 30th November by Wilhemsen but subject to complying with certain procedures.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) issued circular no. 43 advising of the procedures required for lifting of "Not-to-land" (NTL) status and granting of shore leave for crew working onboard visiting ships in shipyards and crafts. Only ships that have been in port for at least 14 days are eligible to apply.  

Crew changes for foreign nationals are not permitted, including those holding Qatar Residence visa, on-arrival visa, seaman visa etc. For crew change, only sign-off permitted if the crew has already seaman visa and on emergency cases, on case- by- case basis, by submitting an undertaking by the agent along with onward confirmed flight ticket. No Sign-On permitted. Emergency medical is permitted, in such crew will be taken to hospital by ambulance. All medical emergency, Master should report to Port Tower by calling on VHF and inform the agent simultaneously. No shore leave permittedSee COVID-19 Daily Port Update for further details. 

Source: Milaha

Crew changes are permitted and no longer requires permission of Maritime Health Authority. At Leixoes/Aveiro /Viana do Castello crew changes are allowed for now but with restrictions . Disembarks must have confirmed flight details /Embarks must arrive with Covid tests results.  However, a prohibition on crew changes remains in place for cruise vessels. In exceptional cases, namely humanitarian, health reasons or immediate repatriation, disembarkations may be performed if authorized by Health Authority and with direct disembark from vessel to international airport. 

Source: North P&I Club 

Crew changes are permitted. The following restrictions are in force for personnel arriving in Bonaire:

  • Must complete the Health Declaration Form online at Travellers may be asked to show this to a representative of the Public Health Department of Bonaire.
  • Not show any COVID-19 related symptoms upon departure.
  • Have not been in direct contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient for the last 14 days.
  • In addition to the above requirements, passengers 13 years of age and older are required  to travel with a valid COVID-19 PCR test result. The result of the test cannot be older than 72 hours prior to departure to Bonaire. The test result needs to be negative in order to be able to travel to Bonaire.
  • Should the Public Health Department deem it necessary for you to test at arrival, they will decide where the test will be executed.

Source: North P&I Club

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.

Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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

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