Covid-19 Port Limitations In China

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As the Omicron version spreads across China, China is sticking to its Covid-19 dynamic clearance policy as reported by Gard.

Controlled approach

The central government has received unambiguous instructions to continue its Covid-19 control approach following a recent politburo meeting. The Covid-19 limitations in Chinese ports are expected to continue in place for some time, given the tight measures to contain the virus are unlikely to relax in the medium term, and one crucial part of such measures is to prevent the import of cases from abroad.

Current Covid-19 restrictions in Chinese ports

Circular No. 2204 from Oasis P&I covers the existing Covid-19 restrictions in various Chinese ports. The following is a summary of the current restrictions:

  • Surveyors’ attendance: For most Chinese ports surveyors’ attendance onboard is not permitted, although some ports allow surveyors who are members of the ports’ covid-19 control management, also known as close-loop management, to board vessels. In some ports and shipyards where boarding is allowed, surveyors have to undergo a period of quarantine afterwards.
  • Crew change: Chinese crew change is allowed in all Chinese ports. However, non-Chinese crew change is only possible in some major ports like Shanghai, Tianjin and Qingdao subject to local authorities’ approval. The full or partial lockdowns/static management in some areas may make it challenging and even impractical to arrange crew changes.
  • Local Covid-19 control policy: The local requirement varies from port to port. In general, PCR tests are required for all or some of the crew for vessels that have a crew change within 14 days of arrival at a Chinese port and for vessels/crew that have called at/travelled to high-risk areas. In some ports, vessels may be asked to fulfil a period of quarantine before getting alongside for cargo operations or ship repair. Some ports even require ships to be disinfected before berthing.
  • Handling of positive cases: In most ports, it is allowed to disembark Chinese crew who have tested positive while it remains impossible to disembark non-Chinese crew who have tested positive. Some ports may reject the entry of vessels for scheduled cargo operations or repair work if there are confirmed cases of Covid-19 on board.

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Source: Gard

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