The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (30 April) published a circular outlining details of the previously announced ‘MaritimeSG Together’ support package aimed at providing further financial support to the maritime industry in the wake of the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) outbreak:
MARITIMESG TOGETHER PACKAGE FOR MARITIME COMPANIES, INDIVIDUALS AND SEAFARERS
To further assist the industry, MPA has announced the MaritimeSG Together Package, effective from 1 May 2020
I. Additional Port Dues Concession
MPA will grant the additional port dues concessions set out in Table 1. This is on top of all existing port dues concessions:
Table 1: Additional Port Dues Concession
|Vessel Type||Port Dues Concession||Criteria||Period|
|Ocean-going cargo vessels||30%||Port stay of not more than 5 days, for Category 1, 2 and 3 activities||
1 May to 31 December 2020
|Non passenger carrying harbour craft||30%||With valid MPA licence|
In addition, MPA-approved offshore vessels will enjoy a 50% discount for Category 4 activity from day 91 to day 180 (equivalent to $0.50 per 100GT per day).
The concessions in paragraphs 3 and 4 will be granted via a reduced bill amount. Companies do not need to take any further action. Please see an illustration in Annex A.
For companies with licensed non passenger-carrying harbour craft, and/or vessels covered under the Annual or 6-Month port dues scheme as at 1 May 2020, MPA will issue credit note(s) to the companies. Companies do not need to take any further action. 2
II. Credit Management Measures
To ease MPA customers’ cash flow pressures, MPA will provide credit management measures as set out in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Credit Management Measures for MPA’s Customers
|Freeze in amount for securities furnished to MPA, which are due for renewal between 1 May and 31 December 2020||MPA will inform its customers on the security amount and validity period.|
|Extension of credit terms between 1 May and 31 December 2020||Customer to submit a request to MPA by email. MPA will assess the eligibility based on the customer’s payment mode, payment history and security placed with MPA.|
III. Manpower and Productivity Support Measures
To encourage upskilling and strengthen longer-term capabilities, MPA will introduce the following measures:
Table 3: Manpower and Productivity Measures for Companies and Individuals
|Maritime Cluster FundInternship Reimbursement Scheme||MPA will co-fund 50% of the internship allowance (capped at $500 per month per intern1 ) paid by maritime companies, for up to six months||1 May to 31 December 2020|
|Maritime Cluster Fund – Manpower Development (Certifiable Courses)||MPA will increase its co-funding support to 90%. Please refer to www.mpa.gov.sg for the list of qualifying courses|
|Maritime Cluster Fund – Manpower Development (Short Courses) selected courses only|
|Maritime Cluster Fund – Productivity||MPA will increase its co-funding support up to 90%|
III. Initiatives for Local Seafarers Seafarers Relief Package
To assist Singaporean seafarers whose employment has been affected by border control measures and crew change restrictions, MPA and the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) are jointly providing the Seafarers Relief Package. Singaporean seafarers who are unable to secure shipboard employment between 1 May to 31 July 2020 may apply for up to $800 per month in financial assistance. The eligibility criteria are laid out in Annex B. Applicants can submit their applications using the online form in this Link.
Achievement Award Scheme
MPA, the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), SMOU and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) are jointly providing a revised Achievement Award (AA) scheme. This revised AA scheme supersedes the existing AA scheme detailed in shipping circular 26 of 2015. The other schemes supporting a Singaporean seafarer in shipping circular 26 of 2015 continue unaffected.
The revised AA scheme complements and builds on the momentum provided by the current schemes for both the employers and employees. It will reward eligible applicants up to $10,000 for the successful completion of the requirements laid out in Annex C. The revised AA encourages the building of technical experience as senior officers on board to develop proficiencies that are necessary to assume key shore roles such as marine and technical superintendents. Applicants can submit their applications using the online form in this Link.
Alternative Arrangements for Seafarers Qualification
The conduct of Certificate of Competency (CoC) oral examinations in-person has been temporarily suspended during the Circuit Breaker period. To avoid delaying eligible candidates from completing their oral examination and qualify for their CoCs, MPA will conduct CoC oral examinations through online video-conferencing tools. Applications for CoC oral examinations can be made by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) has made available alternative arrangements for students who are pursuing their CoCs despite disruptions to their shipboard training. The alternative arrangements include rescheduling classroom training to online classroom training, to take place prior to the resumption of shipboard training.
IV. Initiatives for Seafarers in General (More assistance to Seafarer Missions)
MPA has been partnering with seafarer missions to provide for the needs of seafarers onboard ships calling at Singapore. MPA will provide a one-off additional $50,000 to its annual grant of $150,000 to the seafarer missions in Singapore. The annual grant supports a wide range of welfare services for seafarers including free counselling services and pastoral care, which the seafarer missions have also made available online. Please refer to the details of the seafarer missions here Link.
A full copy of the circular can be downloaded here.
Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 4 May, 2020
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