BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report dated 17 September 2021

WHO_COVID 19 Poster


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 17 September covers Azerbaijan, Iran, Philippines, Russia  and the latest from the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

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, World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).


1. IMO

The below circulars represent the latest information to-date from the IMO.  

  • Addendum no.4/Rev.3 to IMO circular no. 4204, issued on 16 July 2021, providing a further update to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)'s guidance for ship operators relating to the protection of the health of seafarers.
  • Addendum no. 35/rev. 7, issued on 20 May 2021, provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers. The list is shown below:

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  (45) 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, Belgium Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, IrelandIsrael, Italy, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore (new), Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , 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 State Maritime Agency via an IMO circular letter no. 4223/Add.6 , advised that an extension till 31 December 2021 is granted for the following: 

  • Validity of certificates 
  • Endorsements of certificates issued by other governments
  • Seafarer's Identity Document 


The Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization advised, via an IMO circular letter no. 4216/Add.6, that extension is further granted until 20 March 2022 for seafarers' certificates including endorsements, COCs, COPs and medical certificates.


Further extension is granted to all seafarers' STCW certificates up to 31 December 2021. Only exception is that it does not apply to seafarers who are ashore and the certificates are expiring between the period 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021 ( both dates inclusive).  Please read Marina Advisory No.2021-29 issued via an IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.23 dated 9 September 2021 for full details.


According to the North P&I club, the following COVID-19 measures apply to the port of Novorossiysk which is compulsory for ships and personnel :

All ships must furnish the following information at least 2 days before arriving at the port:

• Medical Declaration of health
• Crew List
• List of the ports of call in the last 30 days, with arrival/departure dates for each port
• Body temperature list for crew
• The Master must immediately report of any persons with high temperature, fever or any other symptoms of infection disease on board.

Agent must arrange delivery of sanitary specialists on board before inward clearance formalities. They will make a full disinfection of the main ship’s accommodations: office, cargo control room, crew/officers saloons, navigation bridge, public toilets, mess rooms, other areas where might be crowding, etc.

After inward clearance formalities the vessel may perform any bunkering and cargo operations.

There is no impact on port operations. Shore leave, is not allowed for all foreign crew (non-Russian). The special permission can be granted in some circumstances

No impacts at all on legal proceedings, no extended time bars or delays, no remote hearings are allowed as well unless special circumstances appear (only under the judge’s permission).

Medical Assistance
Crewmembers with non-covid illnesses are able to access hospitalisation, however difficulties are possible when arranging repatriation due to lack of flights. And liaising with local authorities for receipt of their permission for disembarkation also requires time. A medical examination on board can be arranged with much less difficulties and faster.

As regards covid-infected seafarers, they are hospitalised in special state institutions which do not provide any medical information to correspondents and it is possible to monitor the situation only through sick seafarers. The ship where covid patient was discovered may be put on 14-day quarantine and regular covid tests and medical supervision of the crew will have to be arranged at shipowners’ expense, in accordance with instructions of Rospotrebnadzor ( federal agency for surveillance on consumer rights protection and human wellbeing in Russia)

COVID-19 Vaccination requirements
No information is known on seafarers COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Please also find some general guidance from Axis Maritime for ships operating in the Black Sea ports of Russia. 

4. Others

There is no news issued under this section for this week.    


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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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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