BIMCO COVID 19 Weekly Report – 3 June 2022


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 3 June 2022 covers the International Maritime Organization (IMO) including crew change national contact point, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine 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


The Russian government has informed the IMO of changes made to the route (humanitarian maritime corridor) in the Black Sea for merchant ships coming from the Ukrainian ports of Chernomorsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhne effective 27 May 2022. Full details are available in the IMO circular no. 4577 dated 30 May 2022


Via an IMO circular letter no. 4245/Add.11, the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure advised that seafarer’s seaman book, Certificate of Competencies ( COC) and other relevant certificates would be granted extension of validity of up to 30 June 2022 without any further application or approval process required. 

See also Turkey travel and entry restrictions 2022 – COVID-19 update here


The IMO Secretariat has issued a circular no. 4573 titled “Maritime security threat posed by free floating sea mines in the Black Sea region), advising ships to navigate cautiously whilst operating in the Black Sea region including the coasts of littoral States based on reports received on free floating sea mines in the region due to the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. 

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.   


BIMCO General COVID-19 Links

BIMCO is continuously monitoring COVID-19 restrictions and their impact on the shipping industry in particular on crew changes. Below are some of the types of information  currently being provided by BIMCO :


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Source: BIMCO


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