BIMCO COVID 19 Weekly Report – 29 April 2022

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This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 29 April covers the International Maritime Organization (IMO) including crew change national contact point, Hong Kong SAR, Philippines, Singapore , and the latest from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

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, ILO and the Port State Control MoU regimes. 

1. IMO

The below represent the latest information from the IMO.  

  • Addendum no. 35/rev.11 issued on 22 March 2022 provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers. The latest list of 65 notifications is shown below with the addition of Morocco :

  • The IMO Secretary General, in addition to IMO circular letter no. 4524, which appeared in our weekly COVID-report dated 11 March, has expressed his deep concern via IMO circular letter no. 4524/Add.1, regarding the spillover effects of the military action in Ukraine on global shipping, logistics and supply chains. The security threats to merchant shipping can be found on this NATO link.
  • The IMO held an Extraordinary General Meeting of its Council on 10 and 11 March to discuss the impact of the present conflict situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov ( the “high risk areas”)  on shipping and seafarers. Several decisions were made, in particular, an agreement to establish as provisional and urgent measure, a blue safe maritime corridor for the safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from the high risk areas allowing ships to commercially navigate and mobilise as necessary, thus avoiding the military attacks, whilst protecting and securing the maritime domain. As COVID-19 is still ongoing, these decisions would also overlap with measures taken for the pandemic.  In addition, the same measures applicable to protect seafarers during COVID-19 are also applicable here as addressed by the Council to support the seafarers, in particular, as key workers, they are given unrestricted movement with ships allowing to sail from the ports of Ukraine at the earliest opportunity given,  and due to the conflict, it was proposed that government states exempt their seafarers from mandatory military service. 
  • Addendum no. 44  to IMO circular letter No. 4204, issued on 28 February, publishing a joint IMO/ILO/UNCTAD /WHO statement urging continued collaboration to address crew change crisis, safeguard seafarer health and safety, and avoid supply chain disruptions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Addendum no. 4/Rev. 4 to IMO circular letter No. 4204,  issued on 28 February, providing an updated version of the ICS guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers.  

2. Government States

Hong Kong, SAR

Even though seafarers are designated as key workers, take note that effective 1 April, they may be subject to testing on the 5th and 12th day following their arrival in Hong Kong and during the medical surveillance period. For more information, see the HK website for testing and self-isolation arrangements required for seafarers. Note in any case, signing-on crew members arriving at the airport should possess a negative result of COVID-19 nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time for duty and must take a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test at the DH’s TSCC ( department of health’s temporary specimen collection centre) and wait for the results there. After testing and immigration procedures, they must use the designated channel to arrive the pick-up point and travel to their vessels by point-to-point transportation.

See also updated summary table of quarantine arrangements for visiting vessels effective since 1 April 2022*  

 * Source: The International Maritime Employers’ Council ( IMEC)

Philippines 

The Philippines’ Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Health issued  Memorandum circular 2022 -04, setting out revised interim guidelines on crew change for cargo and cruise ships. 

Singapore 

Effective 26 April 2022,  fully vaccinated crew signing on will no longer be required to take a pre-departure test (PDT) prior to arrival in Singapore. Similarly, all signing-off fully vaccinated crew will not be required to do a PDT before clearing Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) at the Marina South Pier/West Coast Pier/ICA’s crew office at terminals. This means fully vaccinated crew do not require ART (Antigen Rapid Test) on board before disembarking the vessel. The requirement to do PDT test will no longer apply to fully vaccinated crew wishing to apply for shore leave. For full details, please see port marine circular 08/2022 issued by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.   

3. World Health Organization (WHO)

On 30 March, WHO updated their Strategic, Preparedness, Readiness and Response Plan ( SPRP) for COVID-19 in 2022 , setting out a number of key strategic adjustments for implementation at national, regional and global levels which will enable the world to end the acute phase of the pandemic, if these adjustments are implemented rapidly and consistently. 

On 13 April, the International Health Regulatons Emergency Committee held their 11th meeting  issuing 11 temporary recommendations to governments, which also involved the SPRP plan, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please see BIMCO-WHO for more information.

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

According to GISIS today, the list of countries (56) 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) ,  the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium,  Brazil, Canada, Chile,  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 ,  Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore , Sint Maarten ( Kingdom of the Netherlands) ,  Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , Tunisia, Ministry of Transport ( new), Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu. 

5. Port State Control – MOU 

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. 

See also BIMCO Port State Control Regimes- MOU 

6. ILO

The International Labour Organization  (ILO) issued the following on maritime labour issues and COVID-19:

7. Others 

There is no news issued under this section for this week.  

8. BIMCO

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 :

You can also view all information on our COVID-19 landing page.

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Source: BIMCO

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