BIMCO COVID19 Weekly Report – 11 February 2022

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This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 11 February covers the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Israel, Maldives, NAMMA  and the latest from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

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 and International Labour Organization (ILO).

1. IMO

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

  • Addendum no. 35/rev. 9  and rev.10 issued on 1 and 10 February 2022 respectively provide consolidated lists of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers. The latest list is shown below with the addition of Maldives and Peru:

  • Addendum no.42 to IMO circular no. 4204 “Coronavirus (COVID-19)” issued on 17 September 2021 relating to joint IMO/ILO statement on upholding medical assistance obligations to seafarers and accelerating seafarer vaccination programmes.
  • Addendum no. 43 to IMO circular no 4204 “Coronavirus (COVID-19)” issued on 1 November 2021 offering a list of global ports offering vaccinations for seafarers.

2. Government States

Argentina

The following extensions were approved as advised by the Argentinian Ministry of Transport to the IMO via an IMO circular letter no. 4287/Add.8

  • Titles and Certificates whose expiration date was between 1 January 1 and 31 December 2020 were extended till March 31, 2022.
  • Titles and Certificates of seafaring personnel overseas with an expiration date in the year 2021 and in the year 2022, extended for one year from the date of expiration. 
  • Titles and certificates of the overseas area with an expiration date between 1 January and 30 June 2022 inclusive – an extension of 6 months from the expiration date. 

Canada

Extension automatically granted for 2 months without any application to the validity of the marine medical certificate, which would have otherwise expired on or after 1 February 2022 but before 1 April 2022.  

Cuba

Extension of validity of seafarers’ certificates including medical certificates and endorsements has been granted from 1 February to 30 April 2022. Full details are available in the IMO circular letter no. 4249/Add.4.

Israel 

The Israeli Ministry of Transport announced that all Certificates of Competency, Certificates of Proficiency and documentary evidence issued by them to seafarers with the expiration date between 1/6/21 and 176/22 would be considered valid until 31 December 2022.  Source: IMO circular letter no. 4505 dated 2 February 2022

Maldives

Revised Guidelines on Quarantine/ Isolation Duration issued by the Health Protection Agency effective 13 January 2022. 

Effective 27 November 2021, ships arriving or transiting 14 days prior from the following ports of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Eswatini and Mozambique and ships who have transited via Lesotho will not be allowed to enter ( ref: Marine circular INT-02/2021).

3. World Health Organization (WHO)

On 21 January 2022,  WHO issued an updated global technical brief and priority action required for Member states to enhance readiness for Omicron ( B.1.1.529), of which WHO has given an overview.  The overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high for a number of reasons (eg significant growth advantage over Delta leading to rapid spread in the community) and continues to result in significant increases in hospitalisation as well as posing overwhelming demands on health care systems in most countries. The rise is also due to evidence indicating immune evasion causing the quick spread of Omicron and research efforts are ongoing to better understand Omicron’s escape potential against vaccine- and infection-induced immunity.  A risk-based approach to adjust international travel measures in a timely manner is recommended and efforts to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination coverage as rapidly as possible should continue. See WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant for additional information.

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 (48) 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, Ecuador ( new) Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Libya, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco ( new) Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu. 

5. Others

The North American Maritime Ministry Association ( NAMMA) issued a survey report dated 10 February done by its members on the state of seafarers’ welfare at their ports in North America, in particular on shore leave, vaccination services for seafarers and other necessary services provided. 

6. BIMCO

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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