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COVID-19: Updates and Operational Considerations On Board Ships

IMO issued Circular Letter No.4204/Add.22 on 11 June 2020 (link), informing of the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook (see also https://www.ssa.org.sg/images/ssa/pdf/SG-Crew-Change-Guidebook.pdf).

Recognizing the ongoing challenges that the industry is facing to effect crew change in Singapore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) initiated the formation of the Singapore Crew Change Working Group with its tripartite partners: the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and the Singapore Maritime Officersʹ Union (SMOU), and in cooperation with the International Maritime Employersʹ Council Ltd (IMEC) and the World Shipping Council (WSC). The Working Group developed this Guidebook which provides guidance to the shipping community on how to effect crew change in Singapore during these extraordinary times.

IMO supports the initiative of Singapore, and invite its Member States and the relevant international organizations to take this initiative as a model to develop similar guidance to address crew change.

09 Jun 2020:

IMO issued Circular Letter No.4204/Add.21 on 8 June 2020 (link), informing of:

Joint statement IMO-UNCTAD – Call for collaborative action in support of keeping ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic
Crew Change Report

The first Crew Change Report (Jun 1 2020) was circulated by ICS on the responses to date (reported crew changes up to end of May 2020).

An ICS Crew Change Report Form was launched in mid-May to enable ICS to collect information on crew changes attempted during the COVID-19 pandemic. (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CrewChangeReportForm)
The Crew Change Report Form has received 1152 reports to date, which provides a snapshot of the crew changes attempted worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report covers the reports of crew changes attempted in May 2020. Findings in this report are based on a sample size of 816 crew changes attempted in ports or terminals in 73 countries in May 2020.
Crew changes are reported to have been successfully completed in 50 different countries in May 2020.
Contact [email protected] for details of the first Crew Change Report (Jun 1 2020).

03 Jun 2020:

IMO issued a Circular Letter on 2 Jun on Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Guidance for flag States regarding surveys and renewals of certificates during the COVID-19 pandemic (link), informing that:

IMO urges Governments to carefully consider the introduction of restrictions which would affect the conduct of statutory surveys, so that the survey and certification regime can continue to operate as normal, ships can comply with the relevant mandatory requirements and Parties can adhere to their obligations under treaties.
the extension of the validity of certificates beyond the statutory maximum should only be considered in extraordinary circumstances and if no other alternative, such as the issuance of a short-term certificate with an appropriate risk-based survey, exists. The issuance of short-term certificates or other measures should be limited to specific situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and relevant decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.

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