BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report dated 11 March 2022

COVID 19  3 factors to help you stay safe


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 11 March covers the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the latest from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

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 the ILO. 

1. IMO

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

  • Addendum no. 44  to IMO circular letter No. 4204, issued on 28 February, publishing a joint IMO/ILO/UNCTAD /WHO statement urging continued collaboration to address crew change crisis, safeguard seafarer health and safety, and avoid supply chain disruptions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Addendum no. 4/Rev. 4 to IMO circular letter No. 4204,  issued on 28 February, providing an updated version of the ICS guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers.  
  • Addendum no. 35/rev. 9  and rev.10 issued  on 1 and 10 February 2022 respectively provide consolidated lists of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers. The latest list is shown below with the addition of Maldives and Peru:

  • 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. 


2. Government States



The following has been reported** :

  • Russian ports on Black Sea continue operations without restrictions, at MARSEC Level No.2.
  • Sea of Azov is still closed for shipping. Waiting areas are remain unchanged:
    45°40,0 N 036°21,0 Е; 45°40.0 N 036°30.0 E; 45°34.0 N 036°30.0 Е; 45°34.0 N 036°21.0 Е
    47°00,0 N 038°22,0 Е; 47°00.0 N 038°29.0 E; 46°58.5 N 038°29.0 Е; 46°58.0 N 038°22.0 Е
  • Some vessels have been permitted to proceed to port of Temryuk and Port Kavkaz (land port). However, such activities are occasional, and it is strictly prohibited for such vessels to proceed further to North part of Sea of Azov.
  • Due to restrictions in Sea of Azov, and consequent termination of cargo supply (coal, grain, fertilizer), cargo operations at Port Kavkaz Road (anchorage areas) are suspended.
  • Transportation service is restricted at Kerch Strait waters, therefore it is not possible to attend any vessel at Kavkaz anchorage and OPL area.
  • All international flights, both commercial and private, are suspended by Russian-registered Companies
  • Flights in South Russia remain restricted until 14 March 2022.

** Source: North P&I Club 


 Via an IMO circular letter no. 4525, the Ukrainian government has informed that the following measures are in force: 

1. the navigation in the territorial sea of Ukraine and access to seapoгts of Ukraine is prohiblted to: 

  •  vessels flying the flag of the Russian Federation;
  • vessels, whose owner, ог ship-owner ог paгticipants (shareholders, members) ог ultimate beneficiaries of the owners ог ship-owners аге citizens of the Russian Federation, legal entities registered in the territory of the Russian Federation, natural and legal persons, subject to special economic and other restrictions measures (sanctions) in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "Оп Sanctions";

2. the entry of ships flying the flag of Ukraine into the poгts of the Russian Federation is prohiblted.

The UN Refugee Agency ( UNHCR) has issued a " Non-return Advisory" calling upon government states to suspend forcible return of nationals and former habitual residents of Ukraine until the situation in Ukraine has significantly improved to a state where no international protection is required for their nationals. The IMO government has advised via their IMO circular letter no. 4524 to apply the UNHCR advisory as appropriate to the movement of Ukrainian seafarers.

United Kingdom 

*The UK government has shut down its borders to Russian ships with the Secretary of State for Transport issuing a statement to all UK ports that Russian vessels would not be allowed entry. UK ports have also been asked not to provide access to any ship which they have reason to believe is: 

  • Owned, controlled, chartered or operated by any person connected with Russia
  • Owned, controlled, chartered or operated by Designated Persons
  • Flying the Russian Flag
  • Registered in Russia

Supply of ships' crew and crew changes would be impacted by the above as well as due to the closure of all commercial flights to Ukraine.  

*Source: Maritime Professionals

    3. Others

Due to the current situation with Ukraine crisis impacting the Ukrainian seafarers, the International Group of P&I clubs has produced an addendum to contract for Ukrainian Seafarers Repatriation


4. ILO


The International Labour Organization  (ILO) issued the following on maritime labour issues and COVID-19:


5. World Health Organization (WHO)

On 21 January 2022,  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 continuing to result in significant increases in hospitalisation as well as posing overwhelming demands on health care systems in most countries. The rise is also due to evidence indicating immune evasion causing the quick spread of Omicron and research efforts are ongoing to better understand Omicron’s escape potential against vaccine- and infection induced immunity.  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.


6. 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. 

    7. 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
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