This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 28 January covers the World Health Organization (WHO), Bangladesh, Brazil, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Oman, Philippines, Togo, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the latest from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as reported by BIMCO.
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. 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.
2. Government States
According to GAC Hot Port News, the increase in Omicron cases has caused the Bangladeshi government to infer new measures which include the prohibition of crew leaving vessels in ports and requiring immigrating passengers to show a vaccination certificate and undergo a rapid antigen test.
According to information from Lachmann Port News dated 25 January and provided to BIMCO by Westshore Shipbrokers, the Brazilian government is not vaccinating foreigners, but because of the frequent change in enforced rules, this might be interpreted differently at each port by the local authorities. It is therefore recommended that if crew change is scheduled for Brazil, contact the local authorities at the port where the crew change will take place. This is to make sure the arriving crew does not get rejected by local authorities upon arrival.
SID card implementation date is postponed until May 2022. Passport and seaman’s books are required for travellers from countries with visa exemption agreements in accordance with the information provided by the Ministry of External Relations.
Special requirements apply for Chinese seafarers as follows:
- The seafarer must hold a CMA seaman’s book
- The intended vessel must be Chinese-flagged
- The seafarer must hold valid visas
COVID-19 requirements for vessels and foreign crew
All crew members, including signing-off crew and superintendents, must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken a minimum of 72 hours prior to departure. Further, all crewmembers must keep a temperature log going back 14 days. When departing via plane, an E-ticket with flight detail along with the 14-day temperature log signed by the Mater/vessel must be submitted to the airport. All documentation must be issued in either English, Spanish, or Portuguese, and using metric units. As of 13 December 2021, crew members must comply with the demands for a WHO-approved immunization certificate for the two or single-dose applied on the last 14 days.
The signing-off crew must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken a maximum? of 72 hours prior to disembarking. If the test comes out positive, the whole vessel will enter a 14-day quarantine, where the crew is tested again. If this test comes out negative for the whole crew, the quarantine time might be reduced to 10 days.
Permission for a ship to enter a port, embark or disembark, discharge or load cargo or stores, will not be granted if any of the crew is suspected or confirmed infected with Covid-19. This procedure is determined by the local health authority and may vary depending on the port. It is therefore recommended that one contacts the local authorities at the port of arrival. Vessels must be able to provide a Covid-19 contingency plan if requested by the local authorities.
According to information provided by GAC Hot Port News, a maximum 72-hours old PCR test is be required from 18 January to 31 January for all arriving travellers counting from the date of departure. On arrival, a new PCR test must be taken and paid for. 72-hours after arrival a new free of charge rapid antigen test must be taken unless one has received the 3rd dose of a two-dose vaccine or the 2nd dose of a single-dose vaccine.
For further information contact email@example.com or visit Travel Safely to Cyprus
From 0.00 am 18 January Bhutan will be added to Hong Kong’s group A list of specified places with flight suspension.
Group A list of all specified places with flight suspension:
Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bonaire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Réunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Martin (French part), Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.
A complete list of all groups can be found on the Hong Kong official website.
To board one must not have stayed for more than two hours in Bhutan or any other group A specified place in the last 21 days. A recognised vaccination record and a maximum 48- hour old negative PCR test must be present. Further one must prove a 21- day room reservation in a designated hotel for quarantine. Hotels can be found here.
For further information please visit the COVID-19 Thematic Website
From 0.00 am 22 January Papua New Guinea, Surinam will be added to Hong Kong’s group A list of specified places with flight suspension.
To board one must not have stayed for more than two hours in Papua New Guinea, Surinam, or any other group A specified place in the last 21 days. A recognised vaccination record and a maximum 48- hour old negative PCR test must be present. Further one must prove a 21- day room reservation in a designated hotel for quarantine. Hotels can be found here.
For further information please visit the COVID-19 Thematic Website
From 0.00 am 25 January. Turks and Caicos Islands will be added to Hong Kong’s group A list of specified places with flight suspension.
To board one must not have stayed for more than two hours in the Turks and Caicos Islands, or any other group A specified place in the last 21 days. A recognised vaccination record and a maximum 48- hour old negative PCR test must be present. Further one must prove a 21- day room reservation in a designated hotel for quarantine. Hotels can be found here.
For further information please visit the COVID-19 Thematic Website
The UK P&I Club has updated the situation on Ghana and their mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers and the USD,3500 fines for non-compliance: suspended until further notice.
According to GAC Hot Port News, the Ghana Health Service has withdrawn the letter of enforcement of directives on international travellers entering the country.
The circular letter from the Indonesian covid-19 handling task unit has been released and will be valid from 12 January; one of which relates to requirements for seafarers as given below. For the complete document, please visit the Cabinet Secretariat of The Republic of Indonesia.
One must be fully vaccinated and show proof comprised of a card or certificate that one has received the 3rd dose of a two-dose vaccine or the 2nd dose of a single-dose vaccine. One must have a negative PCR result, take a maximum of 72- hours before departure. Upon arrival, a new PCR test, as well as one full week of centralized quarantine with a second PCR test on the sixth day.
Every operator of transportation modes at the entry point of overseas travel is required to use the PeduliLindungi application.
All seafarers travelling to Togo need to undergo a COVID-19 test in their home country 72 hours before their departure date. One must register at www.voyage.gouv.tg and follow the written instructions. On arrival, a PCR test will be given and while waiting for results, one must stay safe in a hotel. After three days, a second Covid-19 test must be taken and only when a negative result is present one must proceed with the trip. Read the full update here.
The following COVID-19 measures are in place:
- On 10 January 2022, the UAE government introduced an international ban on its citizens who are not COVID-19 vaccinated and for those fully vaccinated and wanting to travel, a booster dose will be required. For unvaccinated citizens, only exemptions based on medical reasons and humanitarian ones will be given.
- Passengers travelling to Dubai from all countries must have a negative COVID‑19 RT‑PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. Additional specific requirements apply for certain selected countries as given below.
- Entry is not permitted to passengers who have been in or transited through these countries in the past 14 days: Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
- Travellers coming from Ghana, Guinea, Rwanda and Uganda and entering Dubai as the final destination, are required to present a valid negative PCR test conducted by an approved facility within 48 hours of departure, a valid rapid test or PCR test certificate within 6 hours at the departure airport and undergo PCR test upon arrival and remain in quarantine until the test result is received.
- For travellers coming from Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia, specific requirements apply and one is advised to check just before travelling. For example, travellers from the UK, besides presenting the PCR test certificate, those from UK NHS Covid Test certificates would not be accepted for entry travel.
- Note that PCR certification must come from the UAE’s list of approved laboratories.
- Indian Nationals travelling to or from India via Dubai can obtain a visa on arrival in Dubai for a maximum stay of 14 days provided they have a visitor visa or a green card issued by the US, or a residence visa issued by the UK or EU which has to be valid for a minimum of 6 months.
- To see the latest travel requirements, see the Emirates website.
Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nigeria are now suspended in terms of crew sign off. This means that any vessel calling from or having visited these ports within 14 days are not permitted to carry out the sign off in the ports: “Port of Fujairah” and ”Fujairah Offshore Anchorage”. Sign off may be carried out in the sequence of vessels completing 14 days from exiting these ports. For more information visit GAC Hot Port News.
According to GAC Hot Port News, from 7 January, it is no longer required for arrivals to show a negative result from a covid-19 test taken at departure. From 9 January, fully vaccinated travellers can take a Day 2 lateral flow test instead of a PCR test, and only have to self-isolate if a positive test is detected.
3. 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.
There is no news issued under the section for this week.
The below circulars represent the latest information to date from the IMO.
- Addendum no. 35/rev. 8, issued on 13 October 2021, provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers to date with the latest additions of Bulgaria and Pakistan. The full list is shown below:
- 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.
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 :
- Details about implementation measures imposed for sea transport
- Overview of challenges to crew mobility
- Overview of extensions and exceptions to seafarers’ certificates
- COVID-19 seafarers’ mental health
You can also view all information on our COVID-19 landing page.
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