This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 8 April covers the International Maritime Organization (IMO), China, Canada, India, Norway, Singapore, Ukraine, Port State Control, 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.
As the Chinese authorities have announced a major lockdown on Shanghai with port still in operation, this has however, impacted the shipping sector in terms of port congestion, delays and strains on the logistic supply of workers for the container hub operating at the port. See Mærsk's update on the current situation. Our Shanghai office reports as follows " Shanghai port is still up and running although the whole city is buried with a city-wide lockdown. But the operational efficiency has been dragged significantly since all port staffs, stevedores and even pilots are required for various PCR tests, quarantine and something similar. As to liners, the lack of trucks and drivers are current and common challenges presently since the drivers have to be tested constantly for Covid. The crew change in Shanghai is extremely difficult for the time being."
Transport Canada has announced via their Ship Safety Bulletin (SSB) no. 08/2022 dated 30 March 2022, that Ukrainian seafarers can now seek Canadian recognition/endorsement of their STCW certificates as a result of a reciprocal arrangement entered with Ukraine. The endorsement will apply for those certificates that are yet to expire and for those expired, the Canadian authorities will take into consideration, IMO circular letter no.4232/add.16. for determining the period of applicability of the Canadian endorsement. How to apply and the documents required in connection with the application are all available in the said SSB.
Effective 1 April, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer be required to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by land, air or water. For partially or unvaccinated travellers entering Canada, pre-entry testing requirements still apply. In this connection, an interim Order No. 3 "Respecting Vessel Restrictions and Vaccination Requirements Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)" outlining vaccination and testing requirements for crew, guests and visitors on passenger ships was issued on 31 March 2022 effective 1 April 2022. The interim order applies mostly to Canadian ships and cruise ships, Canadian or foreign. Transport Canada has issued an information document to assist with some Q&As that were raised. Canada Ship Safety Bulletin No 6/2022 for international crew changes still stands.
According to information provided by GAC Hot Port News, the Indian Directorate General of Shipping has issued Order No. 13, which withdraws all COVID-19 related directives and SOPs issued by the Directorate General of Shipping with immediate effect.
Measures regulated by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare may still be in place.
According to Information provided by the Norwegian Maritime Authority, the following certificates can exceptionally be extended due to COVID-19:
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) has issued revised requirements for crew change on 30 March via Port Marine circular ( PMC) no. 6 /2022. This circular supersedes PMC no.3/2022. The change is effective from 1 April 2022.
A summary of the revised and updated requirements as provided below, but please read the PMC no.6/2022 for full guidance:
Signing-on crew requirements as follows:
Signing-off crew requirements as follows:
The Ukrainian government making their stand, via an IMO circular letter no. 4544 dated 31 March 2022, that they have not negotiated nor was it approved by the IMO pertaining to the unilateral establishment of a "blue safe maritime corridor" by the Russian Federation allowing for safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from Ukrainian seaports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. On the contrary, the preconditions for safe evacuation of ships are outlined in the decisions made at the IMO Council's 35 Extraordinary meeting held on 10 and 11 March as well as at the IMO's 109 meeting of the Legal Committee. For more info, check out the IMO "In Focus" on " Maritime Security and Safety in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov".
Due to the situation in Ukraine, collective guidance harmonising the Port State Control activities ( PSC) has now been issued by the Indian Ocean, Paris, and Tokyo MoU on PSC and Vina del Mar Agreement relating to the repatriation of seafarers. Full information can be found in an IMO circular letter no. 4524/Add.2 dated 31 March 2022.
According to GISIS today, the list of countries (55) informing the IMO of their national focal point of contact for crew change and repatriation of seafarers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands) (new), the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile (new), Cook Islands, Costa Rica , Cyprus, Dominica, Ecuador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Libya , the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco (new), Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore , Sint Maarten ( Kingdom of the Netherlands) (new), 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.
Want to buy or download a BIMCO publication? Use the link to get access to the ballast water management guide, the ship master’s security manual and many other publications.