BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report dated 14 January 2022

COVID 19  3 factors to help you stay safe


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 14 January  covers the World Health Organization (WHO), Brazil, Ghana, Libya, Philippines, Romania, Sweden, the UK P&I Club 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, WHO and International Labour Organization (ILO).

1. World Health Organization (WHO)


On 23 December, WHO issued an updated global technical brief and priority action required for Member states to enhance readiness for Omicron ( B.1.1.529), of which WHO has given an overview.  The overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high for a number of reasons (eg significant growth advantage over Delta leading to rapid spread in the community) and also due to the fact that the global risk of COVID-19 remains very high overall. A risk-based approach to adjust international travel measures in a timely manner is recommended and efforts to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination coverage as rapidly as possible should continue. See WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant for additional information.

Please see BIMCO-WHO for more information.

2. Government States



 According to a translation of ordinance 663/21 of 20th December 2021 on " COVID 19 travel restrictions" provided by the Brazilian general consulate in Los Angeles, all travellers must comply with the following : 
  • test negative for COVID 19 upon boarding, either with antigen test performed within 24 hours or PCR test within 72 hours prior to flight.
  • Proof of traveller's health declaration duly completed, either printed or electronically before boarding within a maximum of 24 hours prior to flight
  • Proof of vaccination, printed or electronically which can be dismissed under certain conditions e.g. if traveller is coming from countries with low vaccination coverage, according to list published by the Ministry of Health on its website and upon exemption of the proof required will need to undergo quarantine of 14 days upon entry. 

In addition, the authorization for travelling to Brazil is temporarily suspended for foreign travelers coming from or who have been to, in the last 14 days before boarding, the Republic of South Africa, Republic of Botswana, Kingdom of Essuatini, Kingdom of Lesotho , Republic of Namibia and Republic of Zimbabwe.  


In the wake of the new Omicron variant outbreak in the country, the government of Ghana has implemented mandatory COVID-19 measures for all entering the country which will also apply for all seafarers. However, some allowance has been given to arrange for crew to be fully vaccinated by 1 February 2022. With regard to the imposition of fine of USD 3,500 per unvaccinated crew member, this is currently  under governmental review. But presently, if there is refusal of crew member to mandatory vaccinate, free pratique will not be granted to the ship in question and transfer of unvaccinated crew member may be arranged. For full details, please refer to the UK P& I report dated 10 January 2022.   


The Libyan Ministry of Transport has provided further extensions to seafarers' certificates and seaman's books as well as endorsements to 31 March 2022 or up to 3 months commencing from the expiry date. Full details are available in an IMO circular letter no. 4380/Add.3.


Via an IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.26), the Philippines' Department of Transport (Marina Advisory no. 2021-76), has advised that for seafarers working onboard; their STCW certificates expiring between period 1 Jan 2022 to 30 June 2022 will be extended for one year from date of expiry of the certificate (s). Application for this extension is not required.

Resolution no.  157 and Resolution 157-B relating to revised protocols required for entry by travellers from the Green, Yellow and Red Lists and updated lists respectively were issued by the Philippines Inter-Agency Task force yesterday. Please be guided accordingly. The Red list of countries comprising the following countries will be effective from 16 January to 31 January 2022: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Canada
  • Curacao
  • French Guiana
  • Iceland
  • Malta
  • Mayotte
  • Mozambique
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Spain
  • U.S. Virgin Islands


The Romanian Navy Authority has informed the IMO via an IMO circular letter no. 4234/Add. 14 that for seafarers who are on board ships, their certificates including seaman's book and validity of endorsements shall be extended until repatriation but no later than 30 June 2022.   


An entry ban for travels to Sweden from all countries until 31 January 2022 has been put in place by the Swedish government. However, having a negative Covid-19 test is sufficient to be exempted and be allowed entry. Seafarers are exempted from the entry ban and Covid-19 test requirement (see "Exemptions regardless of departure country"). 


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


According to GISIS today, the list of countries (48) 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, Ecuador ( new) Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, IrelandIsrael, Italy, Jamaica, Libya , the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco ( new) Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden,Thailand , Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu. 


    4. Others

The UK P&I Club issued version 1.32 of their Global Crew Change Advice and this version covers update on Ghana. 


5. IMO


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

  • Addendum no. 35/rev. 8, issued on 13 October 2021, provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers to-date with the latest additions of Bulgaria and Pakistan. The full list is shown below:

  • Addendum no.42 to IMO circular no. 4204 "Coronavirus (COVID-19)" issued on 17 September 2021 relating to joint IMO/ILO statement on upholding medical assistance obligations to seafarers and accelerating seafarer vaccination programmes.
  • Addendum no. 43 to IMO circular no 4204 "Coronavirus (COVID-19)" issued on 1 November 2021 offering a list of global ports offering vaccinations for seafarers. 


    6. 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.


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