This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 7 January covers the World Health Organization (WHO), Argentina, China, France, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore and the latest from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
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 IMO, WHO and International Labour Organization (ILO).
On 23 December, WHO issued an updated global technical brief and priority action required for Member states to enhance readiness for Omicron ( B.1.1.529), of which WHO has given an overview. The overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high for a number of reasons (eg significant growth advantage over Delta leading to rapid spread in the community) and also due to the fact that the global risk of COVID-19 remains very high overall. A risk-based approach to adjust international travel measures in a timely manner is recommended and efforts to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination coverage as rapidly as possible should continue. See WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant for additional information.
Please see BIMCO-WHO for more information.
Extensions to 31 March 2022 or one year depending on the expiration dates, have been granted to certificates and titles issued by the National Merchant Navy of the Argentinian government. Refer to an IMO circular letter no. 4287/Add.7 for full details.
The Chinese Ministry of Transport has announced the establishment of a special class for the conduct of Chinese crew changes for ships at Chinese ports. It is in the form of a special class contact number : 010.65299809 and special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Take note however that in practice, crew changes at the various Chinese ports vary from port to port and members are encouraged to contact the port agent for the latest information available.
In the wake of increased spread of the Omicron variant in UK, the French government has implemented health control measures at the borders with UK effective 18 December, where amongst the measures taken, compelling reason must given for the travel. Reason such as tourism and business travel will not be accepted. Travelling as seafarers will be accepted however. For more information, please refer to the official French website on inbound travel to France.
As Hong Kong (HK) has been tightening their border measures for inbound travellers in view of the Omicron development, the government has announced yesterday three more countries being added to their Group A list of countries - Grenada, Mauritania and Mayotte effective 9 January. Non-HK residents would not be allowed to enter if they had been to Group A countries within the last 21 days while HK residents fully vaccinated will be subject to strict quarantine and subsequent COVID tests conducted.
The government also announced the following COVID-19 measures:
Seafarers are not exempted for Group A list of countries unless they are HK residents.
Click here for a quick overview of the boarding and quarantine requirements for entry to HK and refer to the HK official website for inbound travel for full details of Group A list countries as well as requirements for sea crew members.
Singapore has extended assistance to their seafarers in the form of financial support for another six months to 30 June 2022. For more details, please refer to port marine circular no. 48/2021.
According to GISIS today, the list of countries (48) 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, Ecuador ( new) Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Libya , the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco ( new) Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore , Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden,Thailand , Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.
The below circulars represent the latest information to-date from the IMO.
There is no news issued under this section for this report.
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.
Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.
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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