BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report


The BIMCO Maritime Information department informs members on a weekly basis, updates about the COVID-19 in relation to implementation measures imposed by governments for sea transport including for crew change as well as from the United Nation bodies like the International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).

BIMCO provides the following update for this week ending Friday, 5 February 2021

1. IMO

IMO has issued no circulars in connection with the pandemic situation other than the ones mentioned below.

2. IMO Crew Change - National Focal Point for Crew Change and Repatriation of Seafarers 

As of today, the countries that have informed the IMO of the above are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu

Reference: MSC.7/circ.1/Rev.22

Additional details available on our implementation page.

3. Government States


Via an IMO circular letter no. 4225/Add.1, the Bahamas Maritime Authority has released their latest guidance on COVID-19 measures (BMA Technical Alert No.21-01 ) and with respect to crew changes, the following should be duly noted: 

  • The Bahamas remains under national restrictions in accordance with the Emergency Powers (COVID 19 Pandemic) Order 2020.
  • However, as of 01 July 2020, crew changes are being allowed subject to conditions including the need for the crew member to have a Travel Health Certificate based on undertaking a negative RTPCR Covid-19 test, within 7 days of entering The Bahamas (arrival for incoming crew and disembarking for outgoing crew).
  • Details of the process for obtaining the Certificate is outlined in the Bahamas Government website – see .


Information provided by Proinde reiterates the existing travel ban from the UK and the PCR test requirement. Meanwhile the travel ban is extended to include South Africa.


According to information provided by the government of Canada, all flights are suspended from Mexico and the Carribean to Canada until 30 April, 2021.


The Croatian government informing the IMO via circular letter no. 4241/Add.5   to include their country into the list of Member states that have designated seafarers as key workers.


The Finnish government informing the IMO via a circular letter no. 4260/Add.2  of the following: 

  • extension of validity of seafarers' endorsements to be valid until the end of June 2021
  • to include their country into the list of Member states that have designated seafarers as key workers.
  • furnishing contact information for Finland's national focal point on crew change and repatriation of seafarers. 


The Indian Directorate General of Shipping has issued order 8/2021, which effectively revokes the previous E-Pass requirement for foreign seafarers.


According to information provided by the Norwegian Maritime Authority, seafarers are still exempted from entry restrictions.


The Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority has issued new standard operating procedures effectively prohibiting travellers other than Pakistani citizens or residents from the following countries:

  • Brazil  
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal 
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom

Portugal has issued Ministerial Council Resolution 1242-E/2021 dated 29 January with new precautionary measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The primary measures include:

  • Entry restrictions based on infections rates
  • PCR test requirements
  • Exemptions, e.g.:
    • Professional activities
    • Passengers with strictly necessary voyages 

Further details available on our implementation page


  • reminder was also sent out by the Singapore Shipping Association to remind shipowners, shipping companies and agencies of the importance to be up to date with the latest crew change requirements and procedures in Singapore. For cases of non-compliance, appropriate action will be taken against anyone found in breach of the law. Shipowners, shipping companies and agencies will also be suspended from carrying out crew changes in Singapore until the Singapore Maritime Port Authority (MPA) is satisfied of their due compliance thereafter. Since beginning of January 2021, GAC Singapore reported that 2 shipping agencies had already been suspended by MPA from carrying out further crew changes in Singapore. 

For further details on additional countries, please refer to our implementation page.


BIMCO General COVID-19 Links 

BIMCO is continuously monitoring COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on the shipping industry in particular on crew changes. Below are some of the type of information  currently being provided by BIMCO :

You can also view all information on our COVID-19 landing page.

Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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