BIMCO applauds Hong Kong for pragmatic approach to crew change


Following several discussions with the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, the administration in Hong Kong is opening for conditional but unrestricted crew change in Hong Kong.

With the crew change deadline set out by a group of international stakeholders drawing ever closer, the administration in Hong Kong has taken a pragmatic approach, according to information provided by the Hong Kong Ship Owners Association (HKSOA) and confirmed by the Maritime Department (MARDEP) of the Hong Kong administration, allowing  for facilitation of crew change from cargo ships without scheduled cargo operations in Hong Kong if the following conditions are met:

  • Out-going crew members who have completed their service on board would be required to stay on board the vessel during their stay in Hong Kong and travel directly to the airport for repatriation to their home countries in order to minimise contact with the local community
  • In-coming crew members should only arrive Hong Kong when their vessels are berthed in Hong Kong and should get on board immediately upon arrival. If there is a genuine need for them to stay in Hong Kong while waiting to board, the shipping companies/agents should arrange for accommodation for self-isolation until getting on board
  • Point-to-point transfers should be arranged by the shipping companies/agents for crew members to and from the vessel.

For more details, please see the original release from MARDEP.

BIMCO applauds the work done by the HKSOA and welcomes the pragmatic approach taken by the Hong Kong administration. The acceptance of crew change on ships without scheduled cargo operations in Hong Kong is a milestone achievement in the maritime industry’s shared ambition to perform crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, this deed will encourage other administrations to take similar steps.

BIMCO is monitoring restrictions to crew mobility and provide a variety of information on the topic to the shipping industry such as:

BIMCO encourages relevant stakeholders in the industry to take full advantage of the information offered and encourages stakeholders to share new information with BIMCO in return via


Johan Conrad
in Copenhagen, DK


Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.

Read more

VPS Bunker Alerts

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.


Latest industry releasable threats



Contracts & Clauses

All of BIMCO's most widely used contracts and clauses as well as advice on managing charters and business partners.

Learn about your cargo

For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.

More about cargo

BIMCO Publications

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.

About a new business partner

We can help members check new business partners. We also help to recover millions of USD (undisputed) funds every year.