BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report dated 21 January 2022

COVID19 Poster_WHO advice_26Aug2021


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 21 January  covers the World Health Organization (WHO), Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, 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



Updated guidelines respecting the mobility of asymptomatic, presumed non-Covid-19-carrying* seafarers in the marine sector during the COVID-19 pandemic (Ship Safety Bulletin (SSB) No.02/2022) issued on 15 January 2022 incorporating the requirements requiring all, including seafarers, to be fully vaccinated when departing from Canada. However, if unvaccinated, a pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test will need to be provided:

  • If the test result is negative, it must be dated within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure time from Canada.
  • If the test result is positive, it must be dated at least 10 days before but not more than 180 days prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure time from Canada (e.g., the traveller would be eligible to travel on day 11 after their test was administered, since 10 days have passed). This accounts for those that had contracted COVID-19, have recovered, but may still be testing positive due to lingering amounts of the virus in their system.

SSB No. 17/2021 in respect of measures for persons ( other than passengers) to mitigate COVID-19 spread on Canadian and foreign passenger ships operating in Canadian waters issued on 1 November has been modified on 15 January 2022. The requirements are as follows: 

  • Starting November 15, 2021: All persons, aside from passengers, who wish to board a vessel will be required to have evidence demonstrating that they received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Starting January 24, 2022: All persons, aside from passengers, who wish to board a vessel will be required to have evidence demonstrating that they received the recommended number of doses, or the acceptable combination of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, at least 14 days prior to boarding.

If not fully vaccinated or unable to due to a medical reason, a negative COVID-19 test will be required no more than 72 hours prior to boarding or a positive test result that was performed at least 10 days but no more than 180 days prior to boarding. 

Please read both SSBs to be guided accordingly. 


The UK P&I Club has updated the situation on Ghana and their mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers and the USD ,3500 fines for non-compliance : suspended until further notice. 


Extensions to 30 June 2022 granted by the Indonesian maritime authorities for expiring certificate of competency, certificate of proficiency and certificate of endorsement of seafarers working on board. Medical certificate for seafarers working on board will be extended automatically for another 3 months upon expiry. Expired sea working agreement may be extended on board the ship, approved by the master up to repatriation at the next port or renewed as approved by the Indonesian harbour master. Exemption of standard minimum safe manning document subject to risk assessment conducted. Full details are available in an IMO circular letter no. 4268/Add.5.


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 1.33 of their Global Crew Change Advice and this version covers update on Turkey and their vaccination protocol for seafarers. 


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.


Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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