BIMCO COVID-19 Weekly Report


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 10 September covers updates on Republic of Korea, Pakistan, the UK P&I club and the latest from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

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, World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).


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

  • Addendum no.4/Rev.3 to IMO circular no. 4204, issued on 16 July 2021, providing a further update to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)’s guidance for ship operators relating to the protection of the health of seafarers.
  • Addendum no. 35/rev. 7, issued on 20 May 2021, provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers. The list is shown below:

IMO Crew Change – National Focal Point for Crew Change and Repatriation of Seafarers 

As per our BIMCO news of 12th April, the IMO has discontinued the issue of the IMO circular in series: MSC.7/circ. 1 relating to government states informing the IMO of their national focal point for crew change and repatriation of seafarers. Instead, the IMO’s online Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) will be used to contain such information.

According to GISIS today, the list of countries  (45) 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, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, IrelandIsrael, Italy, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore (new), Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.

Earlier reference of the MSC.7/circ.1 : our implementation page.

Government States

Republic of Korea

The Ministry of Justice announced on 27 August  that effective 1 September, the Korean Electronic Travel Authorisation (K-ETA) comes into full implementation where all visa-free foreign nationals eligible to travel to Republic of Korea will need to hold a K-ETA prior to entry. Application for a K-ETA should be made at least 24 hours before departure and on their K-ETA website.

However, due to the current COVID-19 situation, K-ETA will only be available for nationals of 49 countries ( see item 2 of guidance note)  and priority entry (business) persons  from the 63 countries ( see item 3 of guidance note).


With effect from 1 October 2021, only fully vaccinated passengers will be allowed to undertake international inbound travel/outbound travel from Pakistan. Currently this is not applicable. For full details, please refer to the Guidelines on air travel to/from/within Pakistan issued by the Pakistani civil aviation authorities dated 3 September 2021.


Industry organisations

The UK P&I Club has issued version 1.24 of their comprehensive guide on crew changes covering updates on South Korea, Ukraine, India and France.


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 :

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Source: BIMCO


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