The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has tightened the requirements for crew changes in Singaporean ports taking into consideration the evolving Covid-19 situation globally.

Majority numbers of Asian crew complete sign-on and sign-off process through Singaporean ports.

In a new circular, the authority enforced severe pre-cautionary measures to prevent spread of the virus through crew change events.

“In view of the evolving Covid-19 situation globally, MPA has enhanced our crew change requirements to safeguard the wellbeing of seafarers undergoing crew change in Singapore as well as Singapore’s populace,” a port marine circular says.

It added sign-on crew is required to serve Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) in the crew’s originating country/region in the period immediately prior to his/her departure flight/ferry to Singapore.

The crew must have a negative result from a Covid-19 test, PCR type, taken at a government-approved testing facility at his/her originating country, not more than 48 hours prior to departure for Singapore.

Unvaccinated crew or fully vaccinated crew should only join his/her ship not more than two days or three days respectively before the date of the ship’s final departure from Singapore.

Sign-off crew must not have gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking the ship, must have remained well, and not had contact with any known or suspected case of Covid-19 throughout that period.

The crew must refrain from interacting with shore-based personnel at previous ports of call in the last 14 days.

Unvaccinated sign-on crew and sign-off crew may stay at the designated holding facilities in Singapore for up to 24 hours, while fully vaccinated crew can stay up to 72 hours.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s maritime regulator, the department of Shipping, on Sunday, by updating a previously issued circular said, seafarers certificates of competency (CoC) and certificates of proficiency (CoP) and associated endorsements which have expired or are expiring between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021, shall remain valid, irrespective of whether the seafarer is/was on the ship at the time of expiry or not.

During the revalidation of expired certificates, the new validity shall be issued for a period of five years from the original expiry date.

Consideration will be given to allow seafarers who hold foreign-issued CoC to continue serving onboard Bangladesh Registered Ships, if they are unable to revalidate their CoC before the expiry date due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Source: Container- News