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MPA mandates contactless operations, segregation protocol for bunkering sector

31 May 2021

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday (28 May) issued Port Marine Circular No. 21 of 2021 (PMC 21) which updates requirements for vessels arriving at the port of Singapore during the Covid-19 pandemic.

PMC 21 states owners, agents and masters of vessels must ensure that all port operations (e.g. cargo operations, bunkering, ship’s supplies and stores, and other marine services) are carried out contactless or contactless with segregation protocol.

Contactless Operation

In a contactless operation, no person is to board the visiting vessel except MPA-licensed harbour pilots, authorised government officers, and persons approved by the Port Master.

Parties involved in a contactless operation must minimally ensure the following:

  • Communicate and/or send documents by telephone text message or email.
  • If items must be transferred from one vessel to another (e.g. securing of mooring, ship supplies; certain documents like bunker delivery note etc), disinfect these items and equipment thoroughly before and after the transfer.

If it is necessary for shore-based personnel to board the vessel, segregation protocol must be in place to minimise interactions between the vessel’s crew and shore-based personnel.

Contactless Operation with Segregation Protocols

Examples of contactless operations with segregation protocols are bunkering, cargo operations and tank cleaning Owners, agents and masters of vessels are required to work with the destination terminals to agree on the segregation protocol before the operations commence.

For bunkering operations, the owner, master or agent of visiting vessels and service providers involved must minimally ensure the following:

  • Bunker barge crew must not board the visiting vessel;
  • Visiting vessel’s crew must not board the bunker barge;
  • Communicate and/or send documents (e.g. bunker delivery note) by telephone text or email;
  • Visiting vessel’s crew to connect the hose at the vessel’s manifold; and
  • Bunker surveyor must not board the bunker barge.

Note: The full PMC 21 document with additional information may be downloaded from the link here.


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 31 May, 2021

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