Singapore Maritime and Ports Authority issues guidelines for crew change
Following a significant number of enquiries related to the recent relaxation of restrictions on crew change, the Maritime and Ports Authority (MPA) in Singapore has issued a guideline and FAQ with the aim to facilitate crew change.
In order to increase the chances for a successful request for crew change it is highly recommended to study the guidelines and FAQ prior to forwarding the request. Port Marine Circular 26 lists the following circumstances under which crew change can be facilitated:
- The crew has served the maximum time on board, and no further extension of the employment contract is granted by the flag state. Carefully study the details on extension to the SEA
- Compassionate grounds (e.g. death of a family member)
- The crew is no longer medically fit to work on board the ship. Carefully study the details on extension to the medical fitness certificates
The following circumstances would also be considered in the crew change request: The employment contract of the crew has expired; Off signing crew would not affect the safe manning of the ship; Crew change is due to sale/purchase of ship; The off signers are supernumeraries; If the off signing crew meets the above listed requirements, application to the MPA for crew change must be forwarded at least 14 days in advance of the planned crew change. However, crew change is only permitted if the following requirements are met:
- On- and off singers must be in 14 days quarantine before disembarkation or departure from home country
- The off signer must have a fit-to-travel document issued by a Singaporean doctor
- The on signer must have a fit-to travel medical certificate issued by a doctor his or her home country and have taken a Covid-19 test with negative result not more than 48 hours prior to departure from home country
- Details on travel arrangements must be in place before disembarkation – both on- and off signer must travel directly between the airport and ship.
- Kindly notice the ship will not be allowed to depart before the off signing crew is on board the plane.
BIMCO receives a number of reports regarding the impact to the shipping industry in the wake of Covid-19. For further details we kindly refer to the following pages: Crew challenges on the limitations to crew change; Implementations for a detailed insight; Extensions to crew related documents which shows how issuing states are taking a pragmatic approach in line with recommendations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).