[Answer] How To Screen the Crew Leaving the Ship for COVID19?

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As COVID19 has become a potential risk for seafarers working at sea, IMO has come to their rescue by addressing safety and security of crew changes in a guideline published on their website.

Today, we are going to look into that guideline and highlight the protocol of crew disembarkation. Take a look what should be done and how it should be done.

IMO’s Outlook & Objective

But first take a look how IMO underlines it.

The Secretary-General is aware of the significant challenges being faced by the global
shipping industry to effect crew changes as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, large numbers of seafarers are having to extend their service on board ships after many months at sea, unable to be replaced after long tours of duty or be repatriated via aircraft to their home countries. Shipping is vital to the maintenance of global supply chains, but the current situation is unsustainable for the safety and wellbeing of ship crew and the safe operation of maritime trade. Each month about 150,000 seafarers need to be changed over to and from the ships which they operate to ensure compliance with international maritime regulations for ensuring safety, crew health and welfare, and the prevention of fatigue.

The Secretary-General refers to IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.6 of 27 March 2020 which
contains, inter alia, recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Expanding on these recommendations, the Secretary-General has received a Recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, proposed by a broad cross section of global industry associations in consultative status with the Organization representing the maritime transportation sector, as follows: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, INTERTANKO, P&I Clubs, CLIA, INTERCARGO, InterManager, IPTA, IMCA, INTERFERRY, FONASBA, ITF and WSC; and which also take account of input from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The Secretary-General supports these protocols and urges their implementation.

Member States and international organizations are invited to make use of the annexed
Framework and to disseminate it among relevant national authorities with responsibility, inter alia, for maritime issues, health, customs, immigration, border control, seaport and civil aviation authorities; and to liaise with relevant national authorities with respect to the use and implementation of this Framework, as appropriate.

PROTOCOLS FOR LEAVING A SHIP AND REPATRIATION

From a ship in a seaport in one country via aircraft to a seafarer’s place of ordinary residence in another country

The objective of these protocols is to facilitate safe travel of seafarers in order to be
repatriated, and to ensure that effective measures are applied to manage and control
the risk of seafarers becoming infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting
other persons, throughout the process of travelling via aircraft (and other transport
modes) to their place of ordinary residence in another country.

  • LOCATION: SHIP
  • LOCATION: SEAPORT
  • LOCATION: AIRPORT OF DEPARTURE
  • LOCATION: AIRCRAFT
  • LOCATION: AIRPORT OF ARRIVAL
  • LOCATION: PLACE OF ORDINARY RESIDENCE

LOCATION: SHIP

Period: Time spent on ship immediately before disembarkation

Objective: To monitor the health of seafarers prior to disembarkation to endeavour to
ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, they are healthy before disembarkation from
the ship

NOTE: The duration of this period will be determined by requirements of the Company in accordance with its coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and procedures.

Requirements of shipping companies

  • Shipping companies will endeavour to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that
    seafarers are healthy before disembarkation from the ship to mitigate the risk of
    infecting other persons upon leaving the ship to be repatriated.
  • Shipping companies will determine the duration of the period in which any special
    measures or requirements will be applied to seafarers that will leave the ship for
    repatriation.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with all standard infection protection and control precautions related to social
    distancing, self-isolation, hygiene (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.) and
    safe food handling practices, in accordance with Company and WHO guidance.
  2. Avoid close contact with any persons who are or appear unwell or show any
    COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  3. Check their temperature twice daily and keep records during the required number of
    days before travel (see appendix for a suggested template for keeping the records).
  4.  Inform the Master (or designated responsible office) if they show any COVID-19 symptoms in accordance with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and procedures.
  5. Familiarize themselves with general information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and
    standard infection protection and control precautions provided by the relevant national
    and local authorities.
  6. Prepare and assemble documentation referenced in these protocols to complete
    travel from the ship, which may be inspected by relevant authorities or other
    stakeholders during the course of travel and crew change. The documentation should
    include the following documents and forms referenced in these protocols
  1. Evidence of Seafarer Status Document(s)
  2. Crew Health Self-Declaration Form & Daily Temperature Records
  3. Employer Letter and Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet

7. Assemble and prepare any other documentation required to complete their travel from
the ship, as may be required by the Company and/or relevant authorities (e.g. passport).

8. Conclude all off-signing formalities to the extent possible online while on board ship
(receiving documents and travel instructions, etc.).

The Company will:

  • Ensure it has established coronavirus (COVID) plans and procedures for its ships.
  • Ensure that seafarers are supported in practising shipboard self-distancing (SSD) in
    accordance with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and procedures
    (e.g. PPE, meals in cabin, etc.).
  • Ensure daily work and tasks assigned to seafarers are arranged to minimize contact
    and close proximity with other seafarers if practising shipboard self-distancing (SSD).
  • Ensure seafarers are provided with cleaning materials, equipment and substances to
    clean and disinfect their own cabin and toilet on at least a daily basis if practising
    shipboard self-distancing (SSD).
  • Ensure seafarers are assigned a designated space for changing and safekeeping
    work wear (if not possible in their cabin) if practising shipboard self-distancing (SSD).
  • Ensure there is sufficient availability of PPE and other materials and substances
    required to maintain hygiene, cleanliness and disinfect surfaces as appropriate
    on board ship in accordance with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and
    procedures.

Additionally, the Company will:

  • Provide seafarers with general information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and standard
    infection protection and control precautions based on WHO guidance.
  • Arrange for seafarers to be provided with any necessary personal protective
    equipment (PPE) or other materials required for their travel in accordance with
    requirements of the Company or national or local guidance (e.g. masks, gloves, hand
    sanitizer, thermometer, etc.).
  • Notify the seaport and any relevant authorities of the disembarkation of seafarer(s)
    from the ship, as well as any seafarers joining the ship, as part of the ship’s pre-arrival
    notification.
  • Arrange flights and other supporting travel (e.g. transfers) for seafarers, and develop
    any necessary contingency plans.
  • Provide or ensure that seafarers receive documentation on their crew change and
    travel arrangements which, where possible, should include the following:
  1. Crew Health Self-Declaration Form & Daily Temperature Records
  2. Employer Letter and Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet
  3. Port – Crew Change Information Sheet
  4. Airport – Crew Travel Information Sheet
    (for both departure and arrival airports, as well as any transit airports)
  5. Airline – Crew Travel Information Sheet
  6. National – Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet
    (for flag State and both departure and arrival countries)

Conduct all off-signing formalities with seafarers to the extent possible online while
they are still on board the ship.

LOCATION: SEAPORT

Period: Disembarkation from ship

Objective: To manage the disembarkation of seafarers and to control the risk of seafarer
being infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting other persons, during or
following disembarkation

Requirements of shipping companies

  • Shipping companies will endeavour to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that
    seafarers are healthy and free of infection at the time of disembarkation.
  • The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:
  1. Avoid close contact and non-essential interaction with other personnel on the
    quayside, on the gangway or in the launch, including other seafarers.
  2. Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible during disembarkation.
  3. Wear PPE as instructed for disembarkation.
  4. Carry and handle their own luggage.
  5. Keep all relevant documents required for the travel to the country and place of
    ordinary residence in a bag or compartment that can be easily accessed and
    disinfected later.

The Company will:

Ensure that the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and procedures are fully
complied with during the management of the disembarkation of seafarers, which
should include:

  1.  disposal of any single-use PPE worn by seafarers onboard prior to
    disembarkation;
  2. seafarers at point of disembarkation wearing appropriate PPE (e.g. mask,
    gloves, etc.);
  3.  disinfection of seafarers’ luggage in a designated area prior to
    disembarkation;
  4. disinfection and/or laundering of seafarers’ clothes to be worn during travel
    prior to disembarkation;
  5. seafarers’ documents being returned by the ship to the seafarer are
    disinfected prior to disembarkation; and
  6. seafarers are screened in accordance with any procedures of the Company
    to verify they are ready for disembarkation and travel, such as having their
    temperature taken and recorded immediately prior to disembarkation.

Period: Movement in port from ship to transfer arrangement

Objective: To minimize and manage the interaction between seafarers and port
personnel and infrastructure and to control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with
COVID-19 while moving through ports to join their onward transfer to airports

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, use of hand-sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  2. Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  3. Avoid close contact and non-essential interaction with other personnel in port,
    including other seafarers.
  4. Wear PPE as instructed in the port area as far as practicable (e.g. mask, gloves, etc.).
  5. Keep all relevant documents required for the travel in a bag or compartment that can
    be easily accessed and disinfected later.
  6. Comply with any requirements of the port or other relevant authority for screening or
    testing prior to onward travel.

The Company will:

Arrange for seafarers to be provided with any new or specific PPE or materials
required by the seafarer to comply with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans
and procedures related to health protection during travel for repatriation.

Period: Transfer (potentially) to any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar

Objective: To manage the safe crew travel from the seaport to the place of any required
hotel stay, temporary accommodation or similar and to control the risk of seafarers
becoming infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting others, while travelling
to any such places
NOTE: For practical and logistical reasons, a hotel stay may be necessary before arrival at the airport Provided, however, this is consistent with any national requirements or restrictions, and/or the logistical or practical considerations that may prevail locally, shipping companies should consider the feasibility of making arrangements for seafarers to travel directly from the seaport to the airport of departure in order to minimize contact with other persons and so reduce the risk of infection or infecting other people.

Requirements of shipping companies

Shipping companies should provide appropriate means of travel from the seaport to
any required hotel stay, temporary accommodation or similar accommodation, that
minimizes contact with other persons after leaving the seaport. Appropriate social
distancing measures should be required and applied to the extent possible.

NOTE: Shipping companies may have less or no control or choice over the safety or means of the transport to be used, especially if crew are required to transfer to accommodation or facilities designated by local or national authorities.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with any instructions and procedures from relevant local or national
    authorities, which might potentially include the need to comply with instructions
    regarding self-isolation or quarantine in a hotel, or another place of accommodation
    that might be determined by the local or national authorities.
  2. Depending on the duration of the transfer, continue to check their temperature and
    keep records in a standard format
  3. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  4.  Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  5.  Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  6.  Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the travel as far as practicable (e.g. mask,
    gloves, etc.).
  7. Carry and handle their own luggage to the extent possible.
  8.  Keep all relevant documents required for their repatriation in a bag or compartment
    that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.

Period: Time (potentially) spent at hotel, temporary accommodation or similar

Objective: To manage the safety of seafarers while staying at any hotel stay, temporary
accommodation or similar and to control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with
the coronavirus (COVID-19) while staying at any such places

Requirements of shipping companies

For practical and logistical reasons, a hotel stay may be necessary before arrival at
the airport Provided, however, this is consistent with any national requirements or
restrictions, and/or the logistical or practical considerations that may prevail locally,
shipping companies should consider the feasibility of making arrangements for
seafarers to travel directly from the seaport to the airport of departure in order to
minimize contact with other persons and so reduce the risk of infection or infecting
other people.

If a hotel stay, temporary accommodation or similar is necessary, the Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with any instructions and procedures from relevant local or national
    authorities, which might potentially include the need to comply with instructions
    regarding self-isolation or quarantine in a hotel, or another place of accommodation
    that might be determined by the local or national authorities.
  2. Comply with any instructions from the hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, and
    national or local authorities, paying special attention any social distancing, hygiene
    and PPE requirements.
  3. Check their temperature twice daily and keep records during the required number of
    days before travel (see appendix for a suggested template for keeping the records), and inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show systems.
  4.  Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  5. Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  6. Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  7. Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the stay when appropriate (e.g. mask,
    gloves, etc.).
  8. Handle their own luggage at the hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, to the
    extent possible.
  9. Inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show any COVID-19
    symptoms during their stay.

Period: Travel to airport

Objective: To facilitate safe crew travel to the airport of departure and to control the risk
of seafarers becoming infected with coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting other persons,
while traveling to the airport of departure

Requirements of shipping companies

Shipping companies will arrange to provide appropriate means of travel to the airport,
such as a private transfer, to minimize contact with other persons after leaving the
seaport and during the transfer to the airport.

If a private bus is used, appropriate sanitization and social distancing measures should be required and applied to the extent possible.

In the vicinity of large towns or cities, shipping companies should avoid, as far as
possible, instructing seafarers to travel by means of public transport, although this
may be appropriate for longer journeys depending on the prevailing circumstances.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    in accordance with national or local guidance (e.g. social distancing, hand-washing,
    use of hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  2. Avoid close contact with persons who are or appear unwell or show any COVID-19
    symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  3. PPE as instructed for the duration of the travel as far as practicable (e.g. mask
    and gloves, etc.).
  4. Carry and handle their own luggage.
  5. Keep all relevant documents required for repatriation, in a bag or compartment that
    can be easily accessed and disinfected later.
  6. Provide all requisite documentation for verification or inspection if requested by
    authorities.

LOCATION: AIRPORT OF DEPARTURE

Period: Time spent in airport of departure

Objective: To manage seafarers at airports who are traveling to be repatriated in their
country of residence, and to control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with
COVID-19, or infecting other persons, while in the airport of departure and to facilitate
their safe travel by aircraft

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  2. Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible (i.e. social distancing).
  3. Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  4. Wear PPE as instructed for the duration time spent in the airport as far as practicable
    (e.g. mask, gloves, etc.).
  5. Keep all relevant documents required for their repatriation in a bag or compartment
    that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.

The Company will:

  1. Provide seafarers, as far as possible, with the latest available information on their
    flights.
  2. Provide seafarers with instructions and information on the arrangements awaiting
    them at the airport of arrival.
  3. Provide seafarers with instructions and procedures to follow standard infection
    protection and control precautions.

LOCATION: AIRCRAFT

Period: Time during flight

Objective: To manage seafarers on board aircraft and to control the risk of seafarers
becoming infected with COVID-19 or infecting other persons in-flight

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with the instructions and procedures of the airline and cabin crew of the
    aircraft.
  2. Maintain social distancing to the extent possible from other passengers on the flight,
    and sit with appropriate seat spacing, as may be arranged by the airline or cabin crew
    on board the aircraft.
  3. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  4. Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  5. Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the time spent in-flight (e.g. mask, gloves,
    etc.).
  6.  Limit exposure to the extent possible to aircraft crew during in-flight service and other
    passengers when using the facilities.
  7. Handle their own luggage onboard the aircraft

LOCATION: AIRPORT OF ARRIVAL

 Period: Time spent in airport of arrival

Objective: To manage safe crew travel for repatriation and to control the risk of
seafarers becoming infected with COVID-19 at the airport of arrival, or infecting other
person, and facilitate their onward travel for repatriation to their place of ordinary
residence

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with the instructions and procedures of the airport and relevant local
    authorities, including any health screening requirements such as temperature checks.
  2. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  3. Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  4. Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  5. Wear PPE as instructed for the duration time spent in the airport as far as practicable
    (e.g. mask, gloves, etc).

Period: Transfer (potentially) to any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar

Objective: To manage the safe crew travel to the place of any required hotel stay,
temporary accommodation or similar and to control the risk of seafarers becoming
infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) while traveling to any such places

Requirements of shipping companies

Shipping companies should arrange to provide appropriate means of travel to the
hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, that minimizes contact with other persons
after leaving the airport (e.g. private transfer). If a private bus is used, appropriate
social distancing measures should be required and applied to the extent possible.

NOTE: Shipping companies may have less or no control or choice over the safety or means of the transport to be used, especially if crew are required to transfer to accommodation or facilities designated by local or national authorities.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1.  Comply with any instructions and procedures from relevant local or national
    authorities, which might potentially include the need to comply with instructions
    regarding self-isolation or quarantine in a hotel, or another place of accommodation
    that might be determined by the local or national authorities.
  2. Depending on the duration of the transfer, continue to check their temperature and
    keep records in a standard format until they join their ship (see appendix).
  3. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.), and safe food handling practices, in
    accordance with WHO, national or local guidance.
  4. Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  5. Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  6. Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the travel (e.g. mask, gloves, etc.).
  7. Carry and handle their own luggage to the extent possible.
  8. Keep all relevant documents required for the travel to the ship in a bag or
    compartment that can be easily accessed and disinfected later

Period: Time (potentially) spent at any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar

Objective: To manage the safety of seafarers while staying at any hotel stay, temporary
accommodation or similar and to control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with
the coronavirus (COVID-19) while staying at any such places

Requirements of shipping companies

For practical and logistical reasons, a hotel stay may be necessary after arrival at the
airport Provided, however, this is consistent with any national requirements or
restrictions, and/or the logistical or practical considerations that may prevail locally,
shipping companies should consider the feasibility of making arrangements for
seafarers to travel directly from the airport of arrival to the seafarers’ place of
residence, in order to minimize contact with other persons and so reduce the risk of
infection or infecting other people.

If a hotel stay, temporary accommodation or similar is required, the Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with any instructions and procedures from relevant local or national
    authorities, which might potentially include the need to comply with instructions
    regarding self-isolation or quarantine in a hotel, or another place of accommodation
    that might be determined by the local or national authorities.
  2. Comply with any instructions from the hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, and
    national or local authorities, paying special attention any social distancing, hygiene
    and PPE requirements.
  3. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  4. Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  5. Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  6. Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the stay when appropriate (e.g. mask,
    gloves).
  7. Handle their own luggage at the hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, to the
    extent possible.
  8. Inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show any COVID-19
    symptoms during their stay.

Period: Travel to place of ordinary residence

Objective: To facilitate crew travel to their place of ordinary residence and to control the
risk of seafarers becoming infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting other
persons, while traveling to their place of ordinary residence

Requirements of shipping companies

Shipping companies will arrange to provide appropriate means for seafarers to travel
to their place of ordinary residence, such as a private transfer, to minimize contact
with other persons after arriving in the country and during travel to the seafarer’s place
of ordinary residence.

In large towns or cities. shipping companies should avoid, as far as possible,
instructing seafarers to travel by means of public transport, although this will depend
on the prevailing circumstances and may be necessary for longer journeys.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  1. Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    and safe food handling practices in accordance with national or local guidance
    (e.g. social distancing, hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  2. Avoid close contact with persons who are or appear unwell or show any COVID-19
    symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  3. Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the travel as far as practicable (e.g. mask
    and gloves, etc.).
  4. Carry and handle their own luggage.
  5. Keep all relevant documents required for the travel, in a bag or compartment that can
    be easily accessed and disinfected later.
  6.  Provide all requisite documentation for verification or inspection if requested by
    authorities.

The Company will:

  •  Arrange to provide appropriate means of travel from the airport that, as far as possible,
    minimizes contact with other persons before arriving at their place of ordinary residence (e.g. private transfer).
  • If a private bus is used, appropriate social distancing measures should be required and applied to the extent possible.

LOCATION: PLACE OF ORDINARY RESIDENCE

Period: Time spent at place of ordinary residence immediately after repatriation

Objective: To ensure that seafarers comply with applicable national or local
requirements or guidance related to the control of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after
completion of their repatriation to their ordinary place of residence

The duration of this period may be determined by requirements of relevant national or local
authorities, but depending on the circumstances that prevail at the time, this might be
between 7 and 14 days.

Requirements of shipping companies

Shipping companies will advise seafarers, based on any applicable national
requirements or in liaison with its local representatives or agents in the country, the
duration of any self-isolation or quarantine period.

The Company will advise seafarers to:

  1. Familiarize themselves with general information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and
    standard infection protection and control precautions provided by relevant national or
    local authorities.
  2. Comply with all standard infection protection and control precautions related to social
    distancing, self-isolation, hygiene (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.) in
    accordance with national or local requirements and guidance.
  3. Inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show any COVID-19
    symptoms after their repatriation.

The Company will:

Provide seafarers with general information on coronavirus (COVID-19) based on WHO
guidance, as well as any available information on the applicable requirements related
to coronavirus (COVID-19) and guidance on the standard infection protection and
control precautions to comply with in the country

IMPLEMENTING DOCUMENTS AND TEMPLATES

There are a number of documents which can provide important information or guidance that might be required by other stakeholders in order to facilitate and conduct safe crew travel and changes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The following are the main documents relevant to the implementation of the protocols and suggested templates for use in preparation of certain documents:

  1. Evidence of Seafarer Status Document(s)
  2. Cew Health Self-Declaration & Daily Temperature Records
  3. Employer Letter and Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet
  4. Port – Crew Change Information Sheet
  5. Airport – Crew Travel Information Sheet
  6. Airline – Crew Travel Information Sheet
  7. National – Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet

Evidence of Seafarer Status Document(s)

The protocols refer to seafarers carrying a document or documents that can individually
evidence that they are a bona fide seafarer. Any or a combination of the following documents should be accepted as evidence of being seafarers and are documents that have been established by international conventions and/or are consistent with those referenced in IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.6 (27 March 2020).

  1. Seafarer identity document (SID)

A seafarer’s identity document (SID) is issued by a State to each of its nationals and
permanent residents who are seafarers under ILO Seafarers’ Identity Documents
Convention, 1958 (No. 108) and the ILO Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention
(Revised), 2003 (No.185). Any seafarer who holds a SID should be recognized as a
seafarer. States are required to permit the entry into their territory of seafarers holding
a valid SID supplemented by a passport, when entry is requested for the purpose of
joining their ship or passing in transit to join their ship in another country or for
repatriation.

2. Seafarer employment agreement (SEA)

A seafarer’s employment agreement (SEA) is required to be signed by both the
seafarer and the shipowner (or a representative of the shipowner) under the ILO
Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended. It is a written legally enforceable
agreement that sets out the terms and conditions for employment of a seafarer.
Minimum particulars to be contained in a SEA include the seafarer’s full name, date of
birth and their capacity.

3. Seafarer certificates (CoCs, CoPs, flag State endorsements and medical certificates)

A seafarer certificate is issued to seafarers who meet the requirements for service, age,
medical fitness, training, qualification and examinations under the IMO International
Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers
(STCW), 1978, as amended. The capacity in which a seafarer is authorized to serve is
identified on their certificate of competency (CoC) or certificate of proficiency (CoP).
Seafarers serving on ships flying the flag of a State that is not the same as the
Administration who issued their original certificate are required to hold an endorsement
attesting to the recognition of a certificate (i.e. flag State endorsement), or documentary
proof that an application for an endorsement has been submitted (i.e. CRA). Seafarers
also carry medical certificates which certify their fitness for duty following an
examination by an approved medical practitioner as required by the IMO STCW
Convention and ILO MLC, 2006, as amended.

4. Seafarer’s discharge/record book

A seafarer’s discharge book is issued by flag States to their nationals who are seafarers
or foreign nationals employed or engage on board ships that fly the State’s flag in
accordance with national rules and regulations, and provides a record of the seafarer’s
seagoing experience and certification.

Crew Health Self-Declaration & Daily Temperature Records

The protocols refer to a seafarer completing a “Crew Health Self-Declaration” and keeping records of daily temperature checks.
The following is a template for a “Crew Health Self-Declaration” and a template for “Daily Crew Temperature Check Records”, which should be completed by seafarers while still at their place of ordinary residence or onboard ship, prior to their travel.

CREW HEALTH SELF-DECLARATION FORM

  • Name of Seafarer:
  • Date:
  • [Medical Certificate]
  • [Number/Reference:]
  • [Date of Examination:]
  • [Date of Expiry:]
  • Crew Change Type: ☐ Joining ship ☐ Leaving ship
    If joining ship, Place of Ordinary Residence: (i.e. city/town, country)
    If leaving ship, Ship Name:
    IMO No.:
    Flag State:
    Capacity/Position:
  • Have gone on shore leave in the last 14 days?
    Yes / No
  • Have you maintained a safe distance from any shore-side personnel
    that have boarded the ship in the last14 days?
    Yes / No
  • Have you received information and guidance on the coronavirus (COVID-19), including about standard health protection measures and precautions?
    Yes / No
  •  Do you understand and comply with applicable standard health protection measures and precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), such as proper hand washing coughing etiquette, appropriate social distancing?
    Yes / No
  • During the last 14 days, have you:
    – Tested positive for being infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    Yes / No If “Yes”, please provide date of test and name of test:
    – Tested positive for the antibodies for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    Yes / No If “Yes”, please provide date of test and name of test:
    – Shown any symptoms associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), specifically,
    A new and continuous cough: Yes / No
    A fever: Yes / No
    – Completed a period of self-isolation related to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    Yes / No If “Yes”, please explain the circumstances and the length
    of self-isolation:
    – Had close contact with anyone that has tested positive for coronavirus
    (COVID-19)?
    (“Close contact” means being at a distance of less than one metre for more than 15 minutes.)
    Yes / No
    – Had close contact with anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    (“Close contact” means being at a distance of less than one metre for more than 15 minutes.)
    Yes / No

Maintained good personal hygiene and complied with applicable health protection measures and precautions?
Yes / No

I confirm that the information provided above is correct to the best of my knowledge.

Signature:

Date:

DAILY CREW TEMPERATURE CHECK RECORDS Form

Name of Seafarer: ( ) of ( ) pages

I confirm that the information below is an accurate record of my body temperature.

Signature:

Date*

Check 1 

Temperature**    Time

Check 2

Temperature**     Time

Employer Letter and Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet Form

The protocols refer to the seafarer carrying an employer letter and a document that provides the relevant details about the seafarer, specifically their travel arrangements and ship they are traveling to join or leave.

The following is a template for an employer letter8 and a Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet, which may be attached to or accompany the letter.

[Company Header/Logo]
[Date]

To Whom this might concern,

Dear Sir / Madam,

CONFIRMATION OF TRAVEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF A CREW CHANGE

This letter has been prepared by [Name of Company] to confirm that [Name of Seafarer,
Passport No.] is a seafarer that is traveling for the purpose of a crew change of a ship.
[Name of Seafarer, Passport No.] has been serving onboard [Name of Ship, IMO No.] and is
now being repatriated to their place of ordinary residence in [Final Destination].

OR

[Name of Seafarer, Passport No.] is traveling to join the [Name of Ship, IMO No.] to relieve a crew member onboard the ship in [Name of Port, Country].

Crew changes are vital for ensuring the safety of ships and those that operate them and
ensures that ships can continue to carry the essential supplies and commodities needed
worldwide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Your understanding and assistance in facilitating the travel and movement of [Name of
Seafarer] for the purpose of this crew change is appreciated. Please do not hesitate to contact us if any further information is required.

Yours faithfully,
[Signature]
[Printed Name]
[Position of Company Representative]
[Contact Details]

CREW CHANGE & TRAVEL INFORMATION SHEET

  • Name of Seafarer:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Nationality:
  • Passport No.:
  • Seafarer’s Discharge / Record Book No.:
  • Seafarer’s Identity Document No. (if applicable):
  • Company Name:
  • Ship Name:
    IMO No.:
    Capacity/Position:
  • Crew Change Type: ☐ Joining ship ☐ Leaving ship
  • Service Period:     Start:            End:
  • Starting Point of Travel Location:
    (e.g. place of ordinary residence, a port) Date:
    Final Destination of Travel Location:
    (e.g. place of ordinary residence, a port) Date:
  • Full Travel Itinerary Details:
    (e.g. transfers, airports, airlines, flight numbers etc.)
  • Agent Details:

Port – Crew Change Information Sheet

The protocols refer to a document that could be prepared by ports to provide essential
information to all concerned about special measures related to coronavirus (COVID-19), which would be relevant to facilitating safe crew changes in the port.

The following are some of the types of information that ports should consider providing in a
form that is available to other stakeholders concerned with facilitating safe crew travel and
transfers.

PORT – CREW CHANGE INFORMATION SHEET

Date:

Port Name:

Location:

Country:
General information on port operation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:
General measures related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:
Method(s) of providing health advice/alerts issued to port users:

Description of any health measures and screening procedures for seafarers arriving at the port to join a ship:
(e.g. temperature checks, health self-declaration forms/questionnaires, testing, etc.)

Description of health measures and screening procedures for seafarers disembarking ships in the port:
(e.g. temperature checks, health self-declaration forms/questionnaires, testing, etc.)

Description of special measures and procedures for conducting crew changes in the port:
(e.g. security, customs & immigration, health, etc.)

Designated zones or areas related to facilitating seafarer movements in port and conducting crew changes:
(Drop-off & pick-up zones, holding/segregation areas, healthcare facilities and assessment areas, etc.)

Description of any special local movement or travel requirements/restrictions:

Port Health Authority Name:

  •  Contact information:
  • Designated medical/healthcare facilities

References or links to relevant local/national requirements or guidance

Airport – Crew Travel Information Sheet

The protocols refer to a document that could be prepared by airports to provide essential
information to all concerned about special measures related to coronavirus (COVID-19), which would be relevant to facilitating safe crew travel.

The following are some of the types of information that airports should consider providing in a form that is available to other stakeholders concerned with facilitating safe crew travel and transfers.

AIRPORT – CREW TRAVEL INFORMATION SHEET

Date:

Airport Name:

Location:

Country:
General information on the operation of flights during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:
General measures related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:
Method(s) of providing health advice/alerts issued to airport users and passengers:
(e.g. designated website or app, posters, public address system announcements, etc.)

Description of health measures and screening procedures for arriving passengers:
(e.g. any PPE requirements, temperature checks, health self-declaration forms/questionnaires, testing, monitoring and surveillance, etc.)

Description of health measures and screening procedures for departing passengers:
(e.g. any PPE requirements, temperature checks, health self-declaration forms/questionnaires, testing, monitoring and surveillance, etc.)

Description of designated health authority and facilities in airport Type:

  • Location:
  • Contact:

Special/designated pathways and eligibility Check-in:

  • Security:
  • Border Control:
  • Customs & Immigration:

Special/designated zones or areas and eligibility Drop-off & pick-up zones:

  • Holding/waiting areas:
  • Segregation areas:

Flight connections and lay-overs special requirements and procedures:

References or links to local/national public health authority requirements or guidance

Airline – Crew Travel Information Sheet

The protocols refer to a document that could be prepared by airlines to provide essential
information to all concerned about special measures related to coronavirus (COVID-19) during embarkation and disembarkation of aircraft and in-flight.

The following is a suggested template that could be used by airlines to provide some essential information, which may be circulated to those arranging travel or traveling with the airline.

AIRLINE – CREW TRAVEL INFORMATION SHEET

Information on flights and schedules during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

General measures related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

Method(s) of providing health advice/alerts to prospective and booked passengers:
(e.g. designated website or app, posters, departure lounge address system announcements, etc.)

Description of pre-boarding/departure gate health measures and procedures:
(e.g. temperature checks, health self-declaration forms/questionnaires, testing, monitoring and surveillance, etc.)

Description of health measures and procedures during embarkation:
(e.g. temperature checks, health self-declaration forms/questionnaires, testing, monitoring and surveillance, etc.)

Description of in-flight health measures and procedures:
(e.g. temperature checks, face masks & gloves requirements, interaction with cabin crew and passengers, etc.)

Description of health measures and screening procedures during disembarkation:
(e.g. monitoring and surveillance, early provision of health declaration card of country of arrival, etc.)

Arrangements for aircraft cabin and baggage disinfection:

Arrangements for monitoring the health of flight and cabin crew:
(e.g. temperature checks, health self-declaration forms/questionnaires, testing, monitoring and surveillance, etc.)

Flight connections and lay-overs special requirements and procedures:

Description of arrangements for bookings and reservations
(e.g. contact information, booking/reservation systems and partners, etc.)

References or links to other relevant international/national regulations or guidance

National – Crew Travel Information Sheet

The protocols refer to the need for compliance with the requirements of Governments and their relevant national authorities. As such, all stakeholders involved in facilitating crew travel and changes need to be able to receive and be aware of some essential information about the requirements, approaches and measures established related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These requirements and measures will be related public health, civil aviation, customs, immigration and border control.

The following are areas and elements of information that Governments and relevant authorities should consider providing in a form that is available to other stakeholders concerned with facilitating safe crew travel and changes.

NATIONAL – CREW CHANGE & TRAVEL INFORMATION SHEET

Date:

Country:

General national measures related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:
Method(s) of providing public health advice/alerts to public:
(e.g. designated website, national declarations/orders or public advisories)

Requirements and guidance of relevant national authorities

Public Health – Description of relevant requirements and key guidance:

Customs – Description of relevant requirements and key guidance:

Immigration – Description of relevant requirements and key guidance:

Border Control – Description of relevant requirements and key guidance:

Civil Aviation – Description of relevant requirements and key guidance:

Description of any special regional or local variations in requirements and guidance:

Permissions Flights – Confirmation of permission to operate flights and airports

Crew changes – Confirmation of permission to conduct crew changes

Documentation Any special documentation required for crew travel or crew changes:

References or links to public health notices/guidance related to coronavirus (COVID-19)

References or links to maritime circulars/advisories related to coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

This is how the full protocol of crew disembarkation while crew change should fuction. Stay tuned every Wednesday and we will bring a new answer. The new part of this is crew arrival protocol which will be highlighted next wednesday’s challenge corner.

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Source: IMO

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