In a major development, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, MPA has issued a new circular to facilitate crew changes. The new circular published on their websites provides a detailed guideline regarding how to apply for adequate crew change facilities which would be of great help for shipowners and agents hiring seafarers.
1. MPA will continue to consider the following circumstances for crew change applications:
(a) crew whose employment contract has expired;
(b) additional crew on board whose sign off would not affect the safe manning of the ship;
(c) change of crew due to the sale or purchase of ship;
(d) personnel who are not part of the ship’s crew such as superintendents and
(e) compassionate grounds e.g. death of a family member; or
(f)the crew is no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship.
2. MPA has reviewed and revised the requirements for crew change as follows:
(a)In general, all signing-on crew are required to serve 14-day Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) in the crew’s originating country/region. The crew should be properly isolated (individual room
with dedicated toilet) with strictly no interaction with others (including family members) at his/her place of residence, or serve the SHN in a dedicated facility/hotel.
(b) Crew from specific low risk countries/regions will either no longer be required to serve the SHN or serve a shorter SHN of 7 days in his/her originating country/region
prior to departure for Singapore. Please refer to MOH’s website (https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid/19) for the latest list of low risk countries/regions
(c)The crew must have a negative result from a COVID-19 test (polymerase chain reaction (PCR) type) taken at a government-approved or ISO 15189-accredited testing facility not more than 72hoursprior to departure for Singapore.
(d)The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor at his/her originating country, not more than 24 hours prior to departure for Singapore.
(e)During the entire crew change process, especially during the journey to join the ship in Singapore, the crew should not be in a group of more than five (5) persons, and must remain in the same group. There must be no interactions between groups.
(f)The crew should only arrive in Singapore to join his/her ship not more than two (2) days before the ship’s departure from Singapore.
(g)Crew who has recovered from COVID-19 must submit documentary proof of his/her past diagnosis of COVID-19 based on the earliest positive PCR test result. The guidelines are as follows:
If the date of the positive PCR test result is 21 days or fewer before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she will not be approved for a crew change.
If the date of the positive PCR test result is between 22 to 90 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, the recovered crew need not serve the SHN at his/her originating country/region and take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore.
If the date of the positive PCR test result is between 91 to 180 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she must serve a 14-day SHN at his/her originating country/region. The recovered crew need not take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore, but if he/she develops symptoms during the SHN period, he/she must be tested for COVID-19
If the positive PCR test result is more than 180 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she must serve a 14-day SHN at his/her originating country and take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore
(a) The crew must not have gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking the ship and has remained well throughout that period.
(b) The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor in Singapore, not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship.
(c) MPA will facilitate pre-departure COVID19 PCR testing for sign-off crew in
Singapore in accordance with the prevailing national policy. Please refer to
https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/pre-departure test for more information.
Shipowners/managers/agents will bear the cost of the COVID 19 tests of their crew, where applicable.
Stay at holding facilities
Sign-on and sign-off crew may stay at designated holding facilities for up to 72 hours. Please refer to Annex A for details of the designated holding facilities.
Designated holding facilities for SIGN-ON crew
Floatels @ Tanjong Pagar TerminalRooms: Air-conditioned with en suite bathroom
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included. Meals will be delivered to the room.
Ship owners/managers/agents must apply for crew change in Singapore by filling up the online form at www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/port-of-singapore/operations/crew-
change or scan the QR code below.
MPA urges ship owners/managers/agents to submit applications at least 14 days before the planned crew change, especially if the application includes sign-on crew. For foreign
– flagged ships, crew change will be considered if the ship meets all prevailing requirements, and are in Singapore for cargo operations, bunkering and/or other marine services.
For crew changes to take place safely, MPA continues to expect all owners, agents, ships and individuals to ensure that the COVID-19 preventive measures are followed strictly. Any breach will be ta ken seriously.