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 March 2021

1. IMO

No circulars relevant to the current COVID-19 situation have been issued by the IMO during this week.

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, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.

Reference: MSC.7/circ.1/Rev.24

Additional details available on our implementation page.

3. Government States


Version 5 - Guidance on prevention and control of COVID-19 on board (via IMO circular letter no. 4221/Add. 9) has been just released by the Chinese Ministry of Transport, introducing new contents on prevention and control measures for ships engaged in cold chain logistics, front line staff handling these cargoes and pilots directing ships coming from medium and high-risk pandemic areas. 


The Directorate General of Sea Transportation ( DGST) has, via IMO circular letter no. 4268/Add.3,  issued a new circular no: SE 2 Year 2021 dated 24 February 2021, on extension of guidelines for contingency plan for seafarers, ship/owners/operators and maritime education and training institutes, which is effective from 1 January to 31 December 2021 and henceforth revoking circular letter no. 30 of 2020. 

According to information kindly provided by Puradica Agencies, Indonesia, all foreigners since 28th December 2020, have been temporarily prohibited from entering Indonesia except for those holding diplomatic visa, duty visa related to official visit of ministerial level or above, diplomatic stay visa, duty stay visa, temporary stay permit (KITAS), and permanent stay permit (KITAP). 

However, as of 11th February 2021, the office of Port of Health Merak, Banten, Indonesia has confirmed that crew change is possible, particularly at Merak Port under its health protocols and procedures outlined. 


The Ministry of Transport and Communication Marine issued guidance notices 1, 2 and 3 of 2021 extending the validity of certificates of Myanmar registered ships.  These three Marine notices replaced marine notices 8, 9 and 5 of 2020. Details available via IMO circular letter no. 4246/Add.7.


Crew change guidelines have been provided by GAC Hot Port News, which include:

  • Measures to get the required health permit
  • Measures to get a Sea Crew Visa
  • Quarantine and PCR test requirements


Via an IMO circular letter no. 4230/add.14, the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) has updated their Merchant Marine Notice MMN-03/2020 modifying paragraphs 6.2, 7, 11.1 and 11.3 number 5 in relation to the extension of seafarers' certificates. 

The Panama Canal Authority ( ACP ) has issued on 2 March 2021, Advisory to Shipping No. A-13-2021, reminding all who come into contact with their ACP personnel onboard, of the mandatory requirements to wear protective masks, maintain a safe distance and wash hands frequently. 


According to information provided by Pinto Basto, the Portuguese State of emergency has been extended up to and including 16 March 2021.

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

4. Others 

There is no news issued under this section.


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


Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.

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Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.

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