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, 23 April 2021.

1. IMO

The IMO has not issued for this week, any circular relevant to the current COVID-19 situation.

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

As per our BIMCO news of 12th April, the IMO has discontinued the issue of the IMO circular in series: MSC.7/circ. 1 relating to government states informing the IMO of their national focal point for crew change and repatriation of seafarers. Instead, the IMO's online Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) will be used to contain such information. 

According to GISIS today, the list of countries informing the IMO of their national focal point of contact for crew change and repatriation of seafarers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Slovenia,Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.

Earlier reference of the MSC.7/circ.1 : our implementation page.

3. Government States


The Irish Department of Transport issued an update on 21 April to Marine Notice No. 16 of 2020 (Marine Transport Supply Chain), where amongst others, details of travel restrictions on international crew and exemptions for ship crew can be found in Marine Notice 16 of 2021. While generally the maritime crew, as key workers, are exempted from these travel restriction requirements like mandatory hotel quarantine but it does not extend to pleasure craft. 


The Government of Montenegro informed the IMO via IMO circular letter no. 4244/Add.3, that seafarers holding Montenegro's issued and valid certificates and documents and are currently embarked or will be embarking on ships will have their certificates and documents remain validated until disembarkation or repatriation.  


Portugal has now designated seafarers as key workers in their efforts to ensure that crew change in Portugal is facilitated smoothly, given the important role they play in the world supply chain (ref: IMO circular letter no. 4400).  


  • The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has kindly reminded ship owners, agents and all parties to comply strictly with their port marine circular (PMC) no. 10/2021 on crew change for cargo ships in the Port of Singapore and this reminder has been issued in view of the current surge of COVID-19 cases. 
  • Due to the current COVID-19 situation in India where cases are sky-rocketing, the MPA has announced via their PMC circular no. 12/2021 that NO crew change will be allowed in Singapore with crew that has recent travel history to India within the last 14 days preceding arrival in Singapore. This will also affect sign-on crew transiting India on their connecting flights to Singapore.  

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Maritime Administration of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has issued on 18 April 2021 ( via IMO circular letter no. 4248/Add.11), updated COVID-19 measures relating to survey and certification of their flagged ships and seafarers' employment agreements and medical certificates. 


4. Others 

There is no news issued under this section.


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


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