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Monday, August 31, 2020 

BIMCO has advised that in order to facilitate crew changes in a safe manner and against Covid-19 risks, Singapore has revised crew change requirements and set up a Crew Facilitation centre, with effect from 1 September.

The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will implement revised requirements to the process of crew changes, in order to enable crew changes to be better facilitated as well as mitigating the risk of having Covid-19 amongst crew members and the general public at large.

In short, signing-on crew will be required to follow these procedures:

  • All crew members except those coming from low risk countries/regions are required to serve 14-day Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) in the originating country/region.
  • As at 28 August, the countries considered of low risk are Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand for a waiver of 14-day SHN. Crew members from Australia (excluding Victoria State), Macao, Mainland China, Taiwan and Vietnam will however need to do a 7-day SHN in the originating country prior to departure from Singapore.
  • All crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor in originating country not more than 24 hours prior to departure.
  • Crew must also have obtained a negative Covid-19 test result not more than 48 hours prior to the departure flight. The test must be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR type) taken at a government -approved or ISO 151189-accredited testing facility.
  • If crew member was previously tested Covid-19 positive, the date of this test must be more than 21 days from date of departure from originating country to Singapore.
  • The crew changing process requires no more than five persons in a group and no interactions between these groups.

Signing-off crew must follow these requirements:

  • Certified fit-to-travel by doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship; and
  • must not have gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking and remained well throughout the period.

Effective 1 September 2020, a Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) at Tanjong Pagar Terminal containing three floating accommodations designated as holding or quarantine facilities is being established to enable crew changes to be facilitated in a safe manner. These will house sign-on crew that are waiting for their ships’ arrival for up to 48 hours, and a quarantine facility to house close contacts of crew who are tested positive for Covid-19.

Additionally, MPA with the support of other local organisations plus IMO and ILO is to establish a S$1 million Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund to work with stakeholders in seafaring nations on concrete solutions for safe crew changes, such as initiatives on best practices for crew holding facilities and PCR testing centres.

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