This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 25 March covers the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Azerbaijan, China, Panama, Russia, Ukraine, new IMO crew change national focal point of contact, and the latest from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and 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.
The below represent the latest information from the IMO.
The State Maritime and Port Agency Agency via an IMO circular letter no. 4223/Add.8 , advised that an extension till 30 June 2022 is granted for the following:
According to Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd, the Ministries of Transport, Foreign Affairs and General Customs have jointly issued a document " The Announcement on Effectively Implementing Remote Prevention and Control Measures of the COVID-19 for Vessels Engaged in International Voyages", informing that vessels on international voyages scheduled to conduct crew change at Chinese ports should undertake COVID-19 tests and implement prevention and control measures from 48 hours before their departure from the last overseas port to one day before arriving at Chinese ports. This came into force on 15 February 2022. See Huatai for a full update.
As advised via an IMO circular letter no. 4230/Add.15, the Panama Maritime Authority continues to support seafarers providing the Humanitarian Maritime hub of the Americas for key workers, allotting 300, 000 vaccines aside for seafarers to receive, regardless of nationality.
1. The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation has granted an extension to 3O June 2022 inclusive on seafarers' certificates and documents which have expired or due to expire. In addition, validity of certificates of competence/endorsements and other relevant STCW certificates will be extended for a 3 months for seafarers on board ships and unable to do the extension. Please read the IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.27 for full details.
2. The following has been reported:
** Source: North P&I club
The Maritime Administration of Ukraine, together with the Marine Transport Workers Trade Union of Ukraine, provide advice and guidance ( via IMO circular letter no. 4536 ) on the fair treatment of seafarers, in particular at the time of the present Russian-Ukrainian crisis, to assist seafarers with regard to crew changes, repatriation, employment contracts, seafarers' certificates etc. In this advice, it is noted that seafarers would not be able to obtain refugee status under this conflict pursuant to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugee. However, a State wishing to take on the responsibility to grant refugee status should take into account of this as well as the relevant Geneva Conventions that do provide protection.
According to Skuld P&I Club, for repatriation of Ukrainian crew, it is recommended to avoid repatriating them via Russia or Belarus if possible. If a Ukrainian crew member upon finishing his contract, does not want to return to Ukraine, staying in any of the EU countries is possible and more information is available on the EU Commission website.
Skuld also reported on the following :
According to GISIS today, the list of countries (52) 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, Costa Rica ( new), Cyprus, Dominica, Ecuador,Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau ( new), Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Libya , the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco 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.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) issued the following on maritime labour issues and COVID-19:
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.
There is no news issued for this week.
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.
Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.
Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.
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.
For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.
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