The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Tuesday (19 January) issued a marine circular updating its crew change procedures for cargo ships to safeguard against Covid-19:
MPA will continue to consider the following circumstances for crew change applications:
The requirements for signing-on and -off in Singapore are as follows:
o 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 crew change.
o If the date of the positive PCR test result is between 22 to 180 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, the recovered crew need not serve the SHN at his/her originating country/region nor take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore. If he/she develops symptoms prior to departing for Singapore, he/she must be tested for COVID-19.
o 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.
* High-risk shore-based personnel are persons that interact closely with ship crew in an enclosed space on board such as repair vendors, equipment service providers and superintendents.
Designated crew change holding facilities in Singapore
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.
CrewSafe accredited facility
The Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience Fund Taskforce (SFTF) has developed a CrewSafe audit programme that endeavours to assist crew source nations to bring a higher level of confidence and quality control checks into crew change processes such as quarantine/holding, medical and swabbing facilities. Please refer to this link for more information regarding the CrewSafe audit programme and a list of CrewSafe accredited facilities.
For sign-on crew who undergo the protocol under these CrewSafe accredited facilities located overseas, his/her crew change application may be given the following concessions:
Holding areas at Marina South Pier and West Coast Pier
All crew that utilises Marina South Pier (MSP) or West Coast Pier (WCP) shall remain at the designated holding areas while waiting to clear immigration. Should the holding area be full, the crew shall remain in their private transportation.
For sign-off crew, the private transportation shall be ready and waiting so that the crew can depart MSP/WCP immediately upon clearing immigration and do not need to crowd up the holding area.
Agents and appointed drivers are responsible to ensure that the crew remain in the holding area or private vehicle at all times. At no time should the crew be loitering outside the holding area and interacting with the general public.
Precautionary measures for service providers facilitating crew change
Service providers that facilitate crew change in Singapore shall comply with the minimum level of personal protective equipment (PPE) as follows:
The agent shall charter a dedicated launch boat for conveyance of sign-on/off crew between the pier and vessel. No other personnel (e.g. boarding agents, technicians) shall be taking the same launch boat as the sign-on/off crew.
Land transport drivers shall carry out the following after each trip of ferrying sign-on/sign-off crew:
Precautionary measures for crew during flights
In view of the recent increase of occasions where ship crew are categorised as close contacts due to being on the same flight as a COVID-19 infected person, it is recommended that ship crew don full PPE (inclusive of gown, N95 mask and gloves) when travelling to Singapore.
Ship owners/managers/agents must apply for crew change in Singapore by filling up the online form at here.
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 is 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 taken seriously.
Any queries relating to this circular should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: A link to the original post on the MPA website is available here.
Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 20 January, 2021
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