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, 19 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


The State Maritime Agency advising IMO via IMO circular letter no. 4223/Add.4 granting the following extensions till 30 June 2021 :

  • Validity of certificates
  • Endorsements for recognition of certificates issued by other Governments
  • Seafarers Identity Documents under the terms of ILO convention no. 185 


Due to the on-going COVID-19 situation, the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority is granting a further 6 months extension until end of September 2021 on the validity of the seafarers' certificates . Full details available via an IMO circular 4235/Add.7 dated 15 March 2021.


Via an IMO circular letter no. 4216/Add.5, the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization informed IMO of further extension of seafarers' certificates including endorsements, COCs, COPs and medical certificates until 21 September 2021. 


The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on 18 March, issued an advisory to the marine and offshore sector, highlighting the updated requirements for all ships arriving at shipyards for repair, which are listed in the Singapore Economic Development Board's circular annexed to the said Advisory. The advisory on " Mandatory Precautionary Measures for Shipyards"  in Annex B are to be complied strictly and all marine and offshore companies are to update their safe Management measures (SMM) via the link provided therein by today. 


Via an IMO circular letter no. 4245/Add.10, the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure advised that seafarer's seaman book, COC and other relevant certificates would be granted extension of validity of up to 30 June 2021 without any further application or approval process required. 


The US Coast Guard has issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 04-21 on "COVID-19 crew change issues", providing guidance for US  and non-US mariners who may be experiencing crew change issues abroad and in US respectively. Should a mariner experience crew change challenges despite following all the required protocols, the USCG may be contacted at


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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