BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report dated 3 September 2021

COVID 19  3 factors to help you stay safe


This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 3 September covers updates on Argentina, Myanmar, Portugal, Ukraine and USA. 

Every week, BIMCO summarises measures imposed by governments for sea transport, including for crew change, as well as updates from United Nations bodies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).


1. IMO

The below circulars represent the latest information to-date from the IMO.  

  • Addendum no.4/Rev.3 to IMO circular no. 4204, issued on 16 July 2021, providing a further update to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)'s guidance for ship operators relating to the protection of the health of seafarers.
  • Addendum no. 35/rev. 7, issued on 20 May 2021, provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers. The list is shown below:

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

As per our BIMCO news of 12th April, the IMO has discontinued the issue of the IMO circular in series: MSC.7/circ. 1 relating to government states informing the IMO of their national focal point for crew change and repatriation of seafarers. Instead, the IMO's online Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) will be used to contain such information. 

According to GISIS today, the list of countries  (45) informing the IMO of their national focal point of contact for crew change and repatriation of seafarers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, IrelandIsrael, Italy, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore (new), Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.

Earlier reference of the MSC.7/circ.1 : our implementation page.

3. Government States


Extensions to 31 December 2021  or 6 months depending on the expiration dates have been granted to certificates and titles issued by the Merchant Marine National of the Argentinian government.  Refer to an IMO circular letter no. 4287/Add.5 with an unofficial translation copy for full details. 


Marine instruction (8/2021) issued advising of further extension of validity of seafarer's STCW certificates to 31 March 2022 for those expiring between the period of 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021 without any need to submit application. For full details, please refer to the IMO circular letter no. 4246/Add.8.


According to our member Pinto Basto, the Portuguese entry restrictions have been amended taking into account of the European Union Digital COVID-19 Certificate of Vaccination, which may substitute the PCR test requirements.


The government of Ukraine has advised, via an IMO circular letter no. 4232/Add.13 of the following: 

  • Validity of seafarer's CoC and CoP certificates including SEA - extended till 30 June 2022 for those onboard ships and their certificates have expired on or after 1st March 2020.
  • Validity of seafarer's CoC and CoP certificates including SEA - extended till 30 June 2022 for those currently ashore and their certificates have expired on or after 1st January 2021.
  • Medical certificates of seafarers onboard ships - expired medical certificates allowed for maximum of three months.
  • Seafarer's identity document - extended to 31 December 2021 for those onboard ships and their document has expired on or after 1 March 2020.
  • Seafarer's identity document and medical certificates to be revalidated for those seafarers ashore with these documents that have expired or about to expire.  

Please read the circular for full guidance. 


Change-3 issued on 2 September to Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 02-21 advises that mariners on “Non-passenger- carrying commercial vessels operated by a team of mariners who all live on the vessel” are exempt from wearing a mask. A mask will still be required when the vessel receives persons who are not a part of the team of mariners that live on the vessel. The previous guidance regarding the enforcement of mask wear in outdoor areas remains in effect. Though the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is no longer requiring mask wear in outdoor areas, operators of conveyances and transportation hubs, at their discretion, may require masks to be worn in outdoor areas. Please refer to the revised MSIB for full guidance. Note also that the CDC has published an updated list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which can be found at Public Transportation. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has also published additional guidance that can be found at the FAQ web 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


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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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