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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - implementation measures for sea transport

BIMCO is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation on a global basis and will attempt to keep members updated on measures implemented by various countries to combat this outbreak which could impact sea transport: 





*From 10 March 2020, Albania is officially in the list of affected countries with COVID-19. Restrictive measures, similar to those of other countries, are being imposed from the government. From 18:00 hrs to 06:00 hrs and from 10:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs there is movement curfew, and no one can be outside in the city (unless there are justifiable reasons) however the activity in the port (loading, discharging, formalities etc. are continuing as usually 24 hours).

Please note that cargo ships can be operated normally. For all, the ships that come to port, the crew is not allowed to go out to shore and no embarking or disembarking of crew is possible.

Actually in Durres port, the cargo ships continue with normal operations. During this period, only the ship agent (and the doctor) usually comes onboard to take the documents for the free pratique and no crew allowed to go out ashore.

At East Terminal (where the ship is supposed to be berthed for discharging petcoke) the commercial activity continues as per normal.*

*Source: North P&I Club



Restrictions apply to all the ships coming from the following countries:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Kuwait
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Bahrain
  • Oman
  • Cambodia
  • Iraq
  • Sri Lanka
  • Lebanon
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Nigeria
  • Nepal
  • Afghanistan

Restrictions are as follows:

  • Systematic health inspection at anchor by border health services in case of doubt quarantine of the ship
  • Limit as much as possible the shore access of the crew
  • Limit as much as possible the boarding of authorities and personnel
  • Systematic temperature checks of each person on board
  • Formally prohibit access on board by anyone with a temperature above 38 ° C
  • Below documents to be sent to the concerned authorities 24 hrs before arrival:
    • Pre arrival documents
    • Medical certificate of health of all members on board
    • Crew list with date & port of embarkation
    • Vaccination proof
    • List of the last ten ports
    • The last updated body temperature measurement taken during the last 24 hrs of all the members on board
  • The agent must be wearing gloves and face mask before boarding the vessel.

Coast guard has issued an instruction that all vessel must be inspected first by sanitary authorities at port and the Maritime health declaration must be sent before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs.  On-signers must be carrying medical certificate that proves their health and all off-signers must be inspected by port sanitary services and receive medical certificate before disembarking.

Port Restrictions


As per original notice (26 February) received, any ship that has been the subject of a stopover at any Italian port will be quarantined until 'free services' are obtained.


For vessels coming from Asia:

  1. Maritime declaration according to the WHO (World health organization) international health regulations (R.S.I) article 37.
  2. In case of declaration of fever or even mild respiratory problems, it would be preferable for the sanitary inspection to be carried out on road.
  3. Plan a ship disinfection company to compensate for any eventuality.

For other provenance of ships:

  1. Maritime declaration according to international health regulations (R.S.I)


Coast guard issued an instruction that all vessels must be inspected first by sanitary services at ports and agents must send the Maritime health declaration before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs.

If there are any declarations, the vessel will be kept on the road first. If there are no special declarations, the vessel will be berthed and inspected alongside.


Coast guard issued an instruction that all vessels must be inspected first by sanitary services at ports and agents must send the Maritime health declaration before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs.

If there are any declarations, the vessel will be kept on the road first. If there are no special declarations, the vessel will be berthed and inspected alongside.

Ships is to email the 10 last ports and crew list to be provided to port authority prior to the ships arrival


Coast guard issued an instruction that all vessels must be inspected first by sanitary services at ports and agents must send the Maritime health declaration before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs

If there are any declarations, the vessel will be kept on the road first. If there are no special declarations, the vessel will be berthed and inspected alongside.

Sanitary doctor for vessels with Chinese crews have requested for crews list with date of sign on, in order to do inspection on road or alongside

** Temporary suspension of flights and maritime transport between Algeria and France, from Thursday 19th March as order coming from Algiers Prime Minister to the Minister of Public Works and Transport. 

*Source: Wilhelmsen, **  Algeria Press Service


On 18th March 2020, the Angolan Government by Presidential decree established provisions to close sea borders, starting on 20 March 00:00 Hours.

This regulation is to be imposed for 15 days extended to additional similar periods if considered necessary. Under this new regulation, all crew change and foreigner technical personal assistance is suspended. Nevertheless, the Angolan Government will safeguard the assistance to ship’s crew in case of medical emergency. 

30 March - The Angolian Government declared a state of emergency on 27th March. According to North P&I Club, the ports are closed only for passenger ships. Cargo vessels can still enter the port and continue working but the crew will not be allowed to come down the gangway and go ashore. Stevedores are advised to wear protective gloves and masks and restrict their contact with the crew to the strict minimum. All maritime agencies and government offices are working. Please note that during the state of emergency it is prohibited to export fuel from Angola.

Please refer to the Angolian Government's news section for updates. 


*With the declaration of Provision 1644/2020 the Argentine government is effectively processing restrictions of all visa applications from the following political entities:

  • Mainland China
  • Republic of Korea
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Japan
  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom
  • European Union
  • Schengen Area* 

** 15th March - Argentina will close its borders for 15 days to non-residents in order to contain the spread of this disease as announced by the President of Argentina on Sunday, 15th March. A day earlier, the Argentinian government published a decree establishing a 30-day ban on entry of non-residents who have travelled to a country highly affected by COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

***23 March - Migration authorities has cancelled all temporary and working VISA for all citizens coming from affected area, i.e. China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Europe, USA, Brazil and Chile  (these two countries just recently added).

Sanitary requirements applicable to all ships coming from abroad - these are in addition to usual pre-arrival requirements and must be sent prior to ships arrival holding yellow flag, otherwise free pratique will not be granted: 

In case any crew member or passengers present any sickness symptoms, free pratique will not be granted and vessel must comply the quarantine. Even though non-residents are not allowed to enter country for the next 15 days so far, exceptions to the following as long as they do not show any signs of being affected with the virus and comply with further recommendations/instructions of the National Sanitary authorities: 

  • people affected to the transportation of goods/commodities through Air, ground and Sea.
  • Crew members
  • people related to flight operations and sanitary transfers
Therefore, ships coming from ports abroad would be authorized to proceed alongside as long as they comply with special Sanitary requirements in force as above. 

The Argentine Pilotage Chamber has advised that, from 0000 hours on 24 March, all ships proceeding from Brazil and Chile must comply with a 14-day corresponding quarantine period as established by the National Government along with Sanitary Authorities.***

* Source: *Vega & Co., ** Thomson Reuters, *** North P&I Club


Australian travel restrictions

  • From 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia meaning Australia will deny entry to foreign nationals. 
  • From 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival. 

The facilities will be determined by each state and territory and may be hotels.  There are some exemptions to the above. One is marine pilots and crews. They are considered persons with critical skills or providing critical medical services including delivery of supplies that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports. This means that maritime crew entering Australia to undertake their next work voyage are exempt from this requirement. Instead, they are required to self-isolate at their home or accommodation until their next work voyage. More information is available on "Information Sheet to the Marine Industry" issued by the Australian Government's Department of Health. 

Travel restrictions are subject to change. Please check Australian Dept of Home Affairs: COVID-19 and the Border regularly

Cruise ships

  • The Australian Government has restricted all cruise ships from entering Australia until 15 June 2020, including direct arrivals and Round Trip Cruises.
    All travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.
  • As of 15 March 2020 there is a full restriction on arrivals of any cruise ship that has left a foreign port. The restrictions are inclusive of direct arrivals and Round Trip Cruises (RTC). This measure will be reviewed after 30 days.
  • From 16 March 2020, Australia will deny entry to any cruise ship that has left a foreign port, with the exception of:
  • Australian-flagged vessels.
  • International cruise ships en route having departed their last overseas port and destined for Australia.
  • Australian cruise vessels (domestic cruise ships) operating within the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone can continue to operate without restriction.
  • Round Trip Cruises that are already in progress and currently returning to Australia.
  • Cruise ships that do not meet the above exemptions, may be approved through the Maritime Traveller Processing Committee (MTPC). These approved cruise ships will be required to go to Brisbane or Sydney.
  • Crew must self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of their stay whichever is shorter.

For updates, please refer to the main COVID-19 and the border page.

Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

Ships entering Australian ports are impacted by state border restrictions. Ships must comply with all local directions meaning all federal, state or territory safety directions, including crew movements, isolation and social distancing requirements.

Extension of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Certificates  - AMSA issued Marine Notice 02/2020 taking a pragmatic approach allowing for an extension of up to 6 months.

AMSA and other related links: 
AMSA corona page
AMSA : Advice to the marine industry 
AMSA updates
COVID-19 news from all Australian government agencies

Australia Biosecurity Reporting 

Please click here for details on travel and COVID-19 in relation to biosecurity requirements. 

See also their General Coronavirus Advice page  where you can find travel and freight requirements for the various states in Australia.

Measures by some Australian states

Tasmania - After declaring a state of emergency, the Tasmanian Government issued a notice on 19th March regarding Tasmanian border restrictions. Exemptions apply which include flight Crew and ship crew, for the limited period of delivery of persons, freight or logistics into, within and out of Tasmania, and for no other purpose.

Western Australia - On 24th March 2020, the Government of Western Australia declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency in response to COVID-19 coronavirus, restricting Western Australian borders to all travellers by road, sea, air and rail.  See declaration here made under the Emergency Management Act for Western Australia. 


  • Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Exemptions will apply to essential services and essential workers, including health and emergency services, defence and policing, mining industry workforces, flight crews and freight of essential goods, via ports and trucks – with strict guidelines in place to monitor and manage this.
  • There will also be exemptions granted on compassionate grounds and where people live near border communities.
  • Arrivals will have to show they meet the essential arrival criteria to be granted an exemption.

Non-Australians who arrive at WA ports are not allowed to disembark from the ship. Those people will be required to stay on the ship until arrangements have been made for them to be privately transported to the airport to fly to their home country. These orders will be made under the Emergency Management Act.

For full details on the above, please refer to the Western Australia Government COVID-19 updates,their COVID-19 response page and WA Government Border Fact Sheet


*Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, ports of the Azores Islands remain open for the following purpose of calls, to be authorised on a case-by-case basis:

  • Bunker calls
  • Receiving spare parts
  • Medical disembarkations (duly proven)
  • Repairs
  • Load/discharge operations

Crew not allowed to come ashore, unless for urgent medical attendance. No crew changes are allowed. 

'Source: North P&I Club 


24 March - The Bahamas Maritime Authority issued Technical Alert 20-03 taking a pragmatic and practical approach for extensions, postponements etc relating to SEAs, certificates, seaman's record books, inspections etc.  Technical Alert 20-04 refers to BMA change of office hours due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Restrictions to apply via "Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order, 2020" effective 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. With recent information coming from the Prime Minister's office, the state of emergency have been extended until 8 April. Preventative restrictions include:

  • No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
  • All airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor unless written permission of the Competent Authority has been granted.
  • All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
  • Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: outgoing flights or ships, cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • All international visitors currently in The Bahamas are urged to immediately work with their airline to make travel arrangements to safely return home. Those who choose to remain in The Bahamas should prepare to do so for an indefinite period of time.
  • No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; or inter island private commercial sea transport.
  • All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police. Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
  • All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above

To keep updated, please refer to the Government of Bahamas: news and press releases.


According to information released by the Ministry of Interior on 5 March, Bahrain will deny the entry to any individual with a travel history - including transit - within 14 days to any the following:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Korea, Republic of

Additionally, as declared on 16 March,  on-arrival visas  are no longer possible effective from 18 March 2020. 

For the most recent restriction, please refer to the Ministry of Interior, Nationality, passport and residence affairs


Vessels calling Chittagong must be declared free of Coronavirus, please see the original release here as well the form required.

According to circular dated 23 March issued by the Ministry of Shipping are all disembarkation from ships prohibited.

According to Office Order issued by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority - all types of ship operations under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit & Trade (PIWT&T) between Bangladesh and India are suspended up to 31 March 2020. 


*Antwerp: All incoming ships must present a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), which the master must submit 24 hours before entering the port, stating whether there are any actual or suspected cases of illness on board together with a list of the last ten ports. The ship is checked for this by Saniport. If there are any suspicions, the ship may be obliged to remain off the coast and a doctor may go on board. The ship will not get a pilot and will not be permitted to enter port.

The Port of Antwerp Covid-19 Taskforce [has] confirmed on 23 March that the port remains 100% operational thanks to the daily efforts and commitment of all employees.

Handling on the terminals is going ahead normally, there is sufficient manpower available to deal with cargo, and drivers are arriving and departing without too much delay.

However, several points for attention are being monitored, including:

  • The different approaches of Belgium and the Netherlands. Port of Antwerp is served by Flemish and Dutch pilots. The Dutch position starts from a controlled contamination, while the Flemish standard is much stricter.
  • Manpower: at the moment everything is under control. The availability and allocation of employees is essential for correct functioning of all port services. In addition, fall-back scenarios are being drawn up to assure continuity of service.*

20th March - Directorate-General for Shipping Policy support issued instructions for crew leaving ships and crew change in Belgian ports. In short, they are as follows: 

  • Crew Change: due to travel restrictions in Belgium and other European countries, change of crew in Belgian ports is difficult at this time.  Recommended: no crew change in Belgian ports. If the maximum time of crew members on board is about to exceed, please contact the flag State administration for further instructions
  • Shore Leave: crew members are still allowed to leave the ship during their stay in a Belgian port. However they have to be compliant with the current Belgian measures. This means that they are not allowed to leave the vessel in group, maximum two persons at the time and always keep a distance of 1,5 meter.
  • General Recommendations: all crew members to stay on board us much as possible and to avoid any contact with local inhabitants as much as possible. 

*Source: North P&I Club 


*20 March -  The Benin government has decided to restrict entry and exit at its land borders, effective from 19 March. Only crossing judged necessary will be allowed. Quarantine will be automatically applied to any person attempting to not follow the restrictions.

Visas will be restricted. Government reserve their rights to deny visa to any applicants as from now until further notice. All travelers arriving in Benin by flight will be conveyed automatically and compulsorily to quarantine zones for 14 days.

Quarantine zones are hotels requisitioned by government. Quarantine costs are on foreign travellers’ account.

Port calls are still going on. However, vessel berthing and cargo operations will be delayed, with a possible waiting time of up to 4 hours. Berthing is now subjected to Cotonou Port Authorities’ approval based on information provided at least 72 hours prior to arrival (vessel port of call list, Maritime Declaration of Health, crew list mentioning place of embarkation, health declaration for crew members duly filled out).

Green light for cargo operations will be granted only after proper health authorities inspection carried out. Anticipate a delay up to 6 hours.*

*Source: North P&I Club  


According to an announcement from ANVISA (Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency), all foreign flagged ships are required to go through a medical evaluation prior to issuing the mandatory certificate of free pratique. See the original release here

Please view local restrictions for the ports of Paranagua and Antonina here port service order 012/20

For the latest news from Brazilian health authorities, click here

20 March - referring to port operations, the Ministry of Infrastructure classified logistics services as essential for the country, reporting that measures will be adopted to safeguard the stevedores and workers on site, guaranteeing the vessels operations.  The health authorities’ procedures remain the same, with the master reporting medical conditions on board upon arrival at anchorage, aiming to obtain the free pratique. Vessel’s with possible cases of Coronavirus, will be submitted to quarantine and the infected crew member moved to a hospital for treatment.

23 March  - The Port of Acu issued an official notification  informing that their port remains operational. Please refer to Port of Acu's website/press releases for updates. Please also view the port's best practices,  providing amongst others the following: 

  • Domestic and international travel, institutional visits and face-to-face meetings are prohibited by nearly all ports, with some specific exceptions. This standard was also adopted by the Port of Açu.
  • For cargo operations, the port is implementing measures so that there is still maritime access, docking and cargo operations with contingency action plan. 
  • The port will follow protocols set by ANVISA with regard to treatment of ships with suspected or actual contamination cases

24 March: all major ports, airports and land corridors are open and functioning normally, amid government guarantees to protect the workers and ensure the continuity of cargo operations and logistics services during the pandemic. There are no reports of port congestions or delays in bunker supply and cargo delivery. The transit of seafarers (for shore leave and crew change) is restricted or is not permitted in some ports and terminals.

30 March - ANVISA issued Technical Note 34 ( original) and in English, advising, amongst others, the measures for ships: 

  • Request to ships in international transit the Medical Logbook to evaluate the issue of Free Pratique Certificates;
  • The Maritime Health Declaration - DMS must be filled out correctly and in a complete form for evaluation regarding the issuance of Free Pratique. A careful analysis of the document by the sanitary authority is essential to allow the commencement of the operations;
  • No impediment for pilots to perform the manoeuvre of mooring the ships, as long as the preventive measures and use of surgical mask are observed as a protective barrier;
  • Cargo ships on an international route will only be able to berth and operate if no crew member disembarks for 14 days from the date of arrival of the ship at the first national port, with the exception of landings that are essential to the operation. The minimum contact of the crew with Brazilian port workers must also be enforced during this period, restricted to the limits of the terminal.
  • In case of suspicion of COVID-19 on the ship , the issuance of Free Pratique must be carried out on board. The traveler must be kept in a private place, preferably in the cabin, and a surgical mask should be available until an evaluation by the health authority is carried out with the epidemiological surveillance or medical health team, as defined in the local Contingency Plan. After assessing the case, it will be decided whether the traveler will be excluded as a suspected case, kept on board in isolation or removed to the health service.
  • In the event of a health event on board related to COVID-19, during the journey or during the ship 's stay in the port, the crew will not be able to disembark for another 14 days from the last case, unless serious cases requiring medical assistance . Other health events will be assessed for landing authorisation.
  • The embarkation of new crew members, coming from abroad, which usually occurs by air, must be suspended, in compliance with the provisions of Ordinance No. 126, of March 19, 2020.
  • Operations for the supply of water, food, removal of solid waste and sanitary rejects will occur normally, provided they are authorised by Anvisa.
  • Inform the recommendations regarding the use of PPE for pilots, servants of the Federal Revenue Service, the Federal Police, Vigiagro and the Brazilian Navy and other workers who are in direct contact with the vessels.
  • It is recommended that servers and workers, including pilots, keep a distance of at least 2 meters from the crew, especially those who are coughing or sneezing.
  • It is recommended the immediate suspension of cnew embarking on cruise ships that are already in the Brazilian coast
  • It is recommended preventing the operation and disembarkation of cruise ship travelers on a long-haul voyage with a stopover in Brazil.
  • Cruise ships will be allowed to disembark asymptomatic Brazilian passengers and crew. Everyone should be instructed to perform home isolation for at least 14 days.

31 March - Interministerial Ordinance n° 152, issued on 27 March 2020, provides for the 30-day travel ban to commence on 30 March 2020 and applies to individuals of all nationalities, except those falling into one of the following categories:

  • Brazilian citizens and residents
  • Foreign professionals employed by a non-governmental aid organisation recognised by the Brazilian government
  • Foreign officials accredited by the Brazilian government
  • Spouse, partner or immediate family member of a Brazilian citizen
  • Foreign nationals whose entrance into Brazil is deemed by the government to be in the public interest
  • Bearers of the National Migration Registry (RMN)
  • Foreign travellers in transit (providing they do not leave the transit area and the country of destination admits their entry)
  • Flight crews

The travel ban does not apply to air cargo transport or technical landings for refuelling when there is no need to disembark foreign passengers.

A foreigner who is in one of the land border countries and needs to cross the border to Brazil to catch a flight back home may exceptionally be authorised by the Federal Police (immigration authority) to enter the country as long as directly to the airport to board the flight.

There is no bar for passengers to depart on commercial flights from Brazil; however, given the restriction on the entry of foreigners in many countries, the availability of international flights will probably decline substantially.

Crew change and shore leave

  • On 26 March 2020, the government placed an exceptional 30-day ban, with immediate effect, on the disembark of all foreign crew members arriving at Brazilian ports and points of entry, except those seeking medical assistance or in an air connection to their country of origin.
  • In view of the temporary prohibition of entry by air of non-resident foreign nationals imposed on 27 March and beginning on 30 March 2020, embarking of crew members in Brazil will also not be possible for at least the next 30 days. Crew changes and shore leaves remain suspended at all Brazilian ports, except for medical emergencies.

*For the latest news, view Proinde's dedicated page.  View also the dissemination of information material in Portuguese and English is recommended, as available on the official pages, Anvisa/coronavirus, and  Brazilian Ministry of Health, with general recommendations for the port community.

*Source: North P&I Club


Mandatory requirement to provide information of any crew boarding the ship from international waters for the past 14 days prior to ship arrival. The required information is the crew name, date, and port of boarding, etc., which is part of the health declaration.

The agent must monitor the local electronic clearance system for comments published and in case the ship is not approved by the health inspectorate due to potential threat etc., the representative(s) of heath and border police authorities will board the ship first for health inspection. They should wear protective equipment and perform thermo-scanning of the crew by a contact-free thermometer to avoid any clearance delays.

Ship agents shall receive instructions prohibiting the crew to disembark the ship and/ or limit any human contacts with crew and passengers on board minimum 14 days from the last voyage originating from any of high risk considered territories (see below). The instructions /prescriptions must be duly relayed to Captain/ crew and all authorities concerned. The instructions shall bear prescriptions of how the loading-discharging operations should be done, under minimal human contact and with mandatory PPE protection 

Measures should be inserted in field “Remarks” in the Government vessel electronic clearance system

Health inspectors are first to board the ship for a detailed inspection and temperature measure of crew and passengers.

For crew arriving via domestic airports, there are thermo-cameras installed which do the necessary screening

During the ship’s stay, in case any of the crew is showing symptoms corresponding to these of coronavirus, the agent must be immediately informed to alarm and act as per the instructions received from health inspectorate. 

Territories considered as a primary source for COVID-19 transmission: China, Italy, Iran and Korea. 

*Source: Wilhelmsen 


According to a circular issued by the Port Authorities of Cameroon, all ships calling from countries at risk (not otherwise specified) must wait at outside port limits for a minimum of 14 days, before medical evaluation. A positive evaluation is required before berthing is permitted. Please find the original release here


Transport Canada issued Marine Security Notice #2020-003 giving temporary measures to all foreign flagged ships, in particular pre-arrival information 96 and 24 hours requirements on health conditions of crew members and passengers.  The said notice has also similar measures, though less stringent for domestic ships.  

25 March- The Canadian government has announced that all borders are closed to all foreign nationals except US citizens until 30 June 2020. According to information provided at the Canadian Governments website, airline or marine crew members are exempted. See also Transport Canada's Ship Safety Bulletin confirming the unrestricted movement of seafarers/crew members. 

According to North P&I Club ( 23 March) - When flying into Canada, such seafarers must have in their possession a seafarer identity document issued in accordance with the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 2003 (ILO Convention No 185) supplemented by a passport; or other seafarer documentation, including proof of employment by a vessel operating out of a Canadian port; and a visa, if required.

Canadian government monitoring of coronavirus 


19 March update: According to information provided by Waypoint Port Services, the Chilean borders are closed and crew change prohibited. Please see the original press release here

Information on any suspected cases should be forwarded to the relevant authority. Please see the original release here (in Spanish)


According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China is temporarily suspending entry of all foreign nationals effective from 00.00 28 March with the following visa exceptions:

  • Diplomatic
  • Service
  • Courtesy
  • C (maritime and airline crew)

See the most recent news from China Briefing here for updated information.

Hong Kong, SAR

According to Notice to all shipping agents in Hong Kong, dated 18 March, effective from 19 March and for a duration of three months, the local government is imposing 14 days quarantine to people arriving at Hong Kong from foreign places. Crew members are exempted from these quarantine regulations.

Click here to check for latest press releases from the Hong Kong Center for health Protection.


With effect from 7 February 2020, Taiwan bans entry of foreign nationals who have visited China in previous 14 days, notwithstanding being eligible for visa-free treatment, landing visas as well as valid visas. Exceptions apply which would include medical certification. Please read press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for full details. 

With effect from 10 February 2020, Taiwans imposes home quarantine for all travelers transiting through other parts of China. Please see the original release here

Please find the latest press releases from the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control here


Colombian Maritime Authority's measures: undertake an exhaustive verification by port health authority of health conditions of seafarers that have been recently to Asian ports.* If voyage has been less than 15 days, ships coming from China will be automatically quarantined by port health authority  to complete the 15 days incubation time as required. All crew changes must be reported in advance to the Colombian port authorities. Chinese crew must carry a medical report ( recent) and informed to State Health Authority in advance by agents and will be observed during their transfer. 

All seafarers while at port must wear mask, gloves inside forecastle and on deck.*

Source: North P&I Club, * Wilhelmsen


  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date and maritime health declaration.
  • All trade vessels will go through temperature check and screening by port health before boarding team will be allowed on board.
  • Vessel will only be quarantined if coming from infected countries, and stay anchorage or if master reports any illness on board which give reason for checking of suspected cases. Period 15 Days. Still not officially confirmed as a method by authorities.
  • All boarders closed and flights suspended unless cargo flights.

Source: OBT Shipping

Congo, DR

  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date and maritime health declaration.
  • All trade vessels will go through temperature check and screening by port health before boarding team will be allowed on board.
  • Vessel will only be quarantined if master reports any illness on board which give reason for checking of suspected cases. Period 14 Days
  • All passenger flights has been suspended in 30 days since 20.03.20

Source: OBT Shipping


*13 March - latest directive was issued by the Ministry of Health today and comes into effect as from 14th March which basically provides as follows:

Category 1: Mandatory quarantine, under medical supervision, at their home (if available) or at a place designated by the Ministry of Health for 14 days after departure from any of the below countries irrespective of any apparent symptoms:

  • Hubei Province of China
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • Republic of Korea.

Category 2: Self-isolation and telephone surveillance at their home or place designated by the Ministry of Health (avoiding close contact and travel, observing basic hygiene rules, monitoring and reporting symptoms at hotline 1420) for 14 days after departure from the following countries:

  • China (excluding Hubei Province)
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • Germany
  • France
  • Spain
  • Greece (Territory of Achaia, Ilias and Zakynthos)
  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland

Category 3: Self-monitoring (with instructions for adhering to basic hygiene rules and restricting travel to the most necessary) and in the event of symptoms to call hotline at 1420, for 14 days after leaving the following countries:

  • Greece (excluding Achaia, Ilia and Zakynthos)
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Belgium
  • Singapore

The Directive provides that all passengers in categories 1 and 2 will be directed to the doctor’s airport office whereas at ports self-isolation will be limited to cabins.

Given the above any passengers / crew arriving from Italy will not be disembarked unless the 14 day period has passed, irrespective of any sign of symptoms. No directive or law has been issued by the Authorities with respect to “detaining” a ship. Although a ship may be cleared in (given that no physical contact is required to clear her in) the crew / passengers arriving from countries in categories 1 and 2 will not be permitted to disembark unless the measures contained in the directive are complied with. Once the 14 days have passed then the crew / passengers can be disembarked.

Please also note that agents have also been requested to provide the questionnaire to crew and passengers for completion prior to entry and submission the Authorities.

For your information preventative measures have this week been implemented with all schools in the Republic of Cyprus closed as from today until 23rd March and gatherings of more than 75 persons being banned. The government is set to introduce new measures which will be announced this evening by the President of the Republic of Cyprus.  All borders with the Turkish occupied territory of Cyprus have closed until further notice.

As of 16 March 2020 (18:00 hours) until 30 April 2020, entry into Cyprus will only be permitted to citizens – regardless of nationality – who fall into the following categories provided that they hold a medical certificate confirming that they are free of the virus (issued within 4 days prior to the date of travel).  Such certificate may only be obtained from designated centres in each country. Furthermore, upon arrival to Cyprus such persons will be quarantined for a period of 14 days in government quarantine facilities.  It should be noted however, that practical difficulties in many countries are inhibiting the issuing of the required medical certificates thereby making travelling to Cyprus almost impossible.

  • Cypriot citizens.
  • Legal residents in the Republic of Cyprus.
  • European nationals or third-country nationals working in the Republic
  • Nationals of countries who are in a designated diplomatic service or mission under bilateral or international conventions.
  • Individual cases of European nationals or third-country nationals for unavoidable professional obligations, provided that the relevant authorization has been obtained from the competent Ministry.
  • European or third country citizens attending educational institutions in the Republic of Cyprus.
All surveyors and agents have been advised by the Cyprus Ports Authority that they are not permitted to go onboard vessels if they can carry out their work electronically (e.g. dealing with forms).  Those who must attend onboard (e.g. for loading/discharge operations, taking samples etc) must do so only once the Master confirms in writing to the relevant port authority that the crew will be isolated and kept away from those going onboard. No crew changes are permitted (embarkation / disembarkation) within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.*

As of 18 March 2020, the Shipping Deputy Ministry will not be allowing the public access to its offices. However, services (e.g., register of Cyprus ships, flag state control matters, seafarers certification, maritime safety matters etc) will still be rendered by having certain measures in places which can be viewed in their circular No.6/2020.  In addition, circular no.8/2020 provides a number of urgent provisional measures for Cyprus- registered ships, e.g., extensions for seafarers' certificates and endorsements etc  required for seafarers that joined the ship prior to 1st March and remain on board with a new contract, ships' surveys, audits as well as accepting of remote inspections and audits.

*Source: North P&I Club


The Danish Government announced effective Saturday 14 March 2020 at 12:00 noon, the existing temporary border control will be expanded to include control of all of Denmark’s borders as part of the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. This measure is expected to include a complete or partial closure of a significant number of train, air, and ferry routes for passenger traffic. Furthermore, this will also include a complete stop of all cruise ship traffic to Denmark. These border control measures will remain in effect at least until 13 April 2020.

Persons wishing to enter Denmark must expect to be rejected entry at the Danish borders, including in Danish airports, unless they have a worthy purpose for entering, e.g. if the person lives or works in Denmark or has been commissioned to provide goods or services in Denmark. 

As regards the transport of goods, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of maintaining and not delaying the necessary supply chains, including food supply and Denmark’s imports and exports to and from other countries. Therefore, there will not be blanket border control inspections of goods transport. 
The Danish authorities are in dialogue with the carrier industry to plan an expedient implementation of these efforts so that they do not cause greater obstacles than necessary for suppliers of goods

*Source: The Danish Police Authority , the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Dominican Republic

*17 March:
1. Cruise ships are not being allowed to dock in Dominican ports for the period of 30 days as of today 16th March 2020.

2. All flights inbound and outbound are suspended between the Dominican Republic and Europe, China, South Korea and Iran for the period of 30 days as of 16 March 2020.

3. A quarantine requirement is being imposed for visitors who have been in any of the above listed countries during the previous two weeks.

4. Health screenings have been placed at airports and all arriving passengers must complete a travel history form.

5. Ship cargo operations are being carried out normally at all ports for now. We strongly recommend that all crew must stay on board.

The National Epidemiological Monitoring System (SINAVE) must be notified of any person presenting symptoms of the virus. Notification to the National Liaison Center for International Health Regulations (CNE-DIGEPI) could be performed by telephone, any day of the week, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at 1-(809) 686-9140 or toll free at 1-(809) 200-4091, from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am, also via mobile phone (829)-542-7009.
*Source:  North P&I Club


According to circular 10/2020 (Free translation in English) issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and provided to BIMCO by local members, all travellers will be subject to medical screening upon arrival. Any person suffering from high temperature - above 38 degrees Celsius - and at least one symptom of acute respiratory illness will be subject to a secondary screening and potentially transfer to a local designated hospital. The circular doesn't explicitly mention any period of quarantine.

** Minimum contact and strict use of PPE. In practice, the working mechanism consists of Authorities checking all ships arriving from the listed countries at outer anchorage.

In cases of only 1 suspect case/sick person, crew is disembarked, ship disinfected, all returned on board and ship allowed to enter port.
In cases with 2 or more sick crew members, ship is to remain at roads in quarantine.

Risk areas widened to include Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain and Thailand.

Disinfection is carried out by the state Quarantine Department at the ports.**

**17 March:

  • All vessels arriving for Suez Canal Transit and/or entering Egyptian Ports will be subject to the examination by the Medical Quarantine
  • Special attention will be given to those vessels coming from Chinese ports and/or any other hot spots. If any crew members are suspected of being infected or any actual case is detected, the vessel will be held from transiting the Canal or entering the ports.
  • Personnel dealing with those vessels (including but not limited to; pilots, agencies, mooring crew, etc.) will be recorded by the Medical quarantine, and will have a permit to board (confirming that they are free from inspection), it is also possible that they will be further examined/monitored upon disembarking.
  • Egyptian ports are open but are implementing precautionary and preventative measures.
  • So far there have been no reports of disruption to shipping through the Suez Canal.
  • The east side of Port Said is closed, while the west side remains open with limited operations.  The port of Alexandria is only accepting vessels to discharge cargoes and the port of Damietta is restricted to container ship activity only.
  • Surveyors have not been told of any restrictions imposed on boarding vessels to carry out surveys.**

* Source: Fairtrans Marine, Trading & Forwarding S .A. E.Pan Marine Shipping ServicesKhedivial Marine Agency S.A.E, Inchcape Shipping Service and Kadmar Shipping
**Source: North P& I Club 

Equatorial Guinea

  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list + other documents.
  • Vessels will be cleared at anchorage and screening will be done
  • Crew change not possible any longer and airport has been closed for passenger traffic.
Source: OBT Shipping


Depending on the requirements of the French ports, certain documents are given to / required by ships and crew: Travellers’ Advice ( TA) issued by the French Ministry of Health, Déclaration Maritime de Santé (DMS – health maritime declaration form) and  Lorient questionaire.

*24 March - Information as follows: 

  • Except for performing security & safety tasks related to their vessel, crew members are subject to confinement measures and are no longer permitted to disembark during calls.
  • As for crew changes, the European Union having now officially closed its borders, all crew changes are suspended for non-EU crew members as they are no longer allowed in or out of the country. As for EU crew members, situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Authorities and under the strict provision that the repatriation can be proven “necessary/essential”. ( BIMCO advice: please see EU section for details) 
  • French ports are still operating, most of them normally, some on a downgraded scale. Stevedoring companies are still working with limited personnel, and Agents around the country are now reduced to a bare-minimum staff and limiting their attendance onboard vessels to a strict minimum to avoid contact.
  • All the services of the Ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris are reported operational.
  • Surveyors across the country have confirmed to date that, while they are prepared to attend urgent and important matters onboard vessels with the necessary protective gear and measures in place, they will most probably have to reconsider more simple assignments (such as draft surveys, pre-loadings and so on) on a case-by-case basis as such might be considered as “non-essential” by the Authorities in case of control.

Ports in France will also have local restrictions. Please refer to ship agents SEA INVEST for details. *

*Source: North P&I Club  


*Preventive measures at the following ports as per Information Note


Any ship must send to the Harbour Master's office of the port of call, three (03) days before its arrival:

  • The list of the ten (10) last ports called
  • The list of crews changed and the visas of the last ten countries called by these crews.


Any ship coming from or having called at least one of the ports of the countries in the grip of the epidemic (see list of countries below), whose duration of departure from these ports until arrival at the port is between fifteen (15) and twenty eight (28) days, the procedure for accessing the port is as follows:

  • Give the information on the on-board health certificate;
  • Give the list of crews, copies of passports and up-to-date seaman’s books.

If the ship calls in a country plagued by an epidemic in the 14 days preceding its arrival at the port :

  • Fourteen (14) day quarantine of the vessel;
  • Morning and evening temperature control by medical and / or paramedical staff;
  • During this entire emergency period, gloves, FFP2 masks and the application of hydro-alcoholic solutions will be required for health workers and all other stakeholders of the port platform who may be in contact with so-called suspect ships ;
  • The medical and / or paramedical staff followed by the Inspectors of the National Institute of Public Hygiene and Sanitation, will board the ships before berthing at the same time as the pilots, all with adequate PPE;
  • Access to these ships is prohibited for any person before the advice and disembarkation of medical and / or paramedical staff and that of INHPA,
  • No crew member is allowed to alight from the ship until further notice,
  • No crew change is authorized until further notice in the Ports of Libreville,

Any breach of these provisions exposes the offender (s) to the sanctions provided for this purpose. 

List of countries or cases of coronavirus have been detected: Apart of the Republic of China, the following countries are considered at risk:

Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Taiwan, Usa, Macao, Vietnam, France, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Philippines, Russia, Italy, India, England, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium*

*Source: North P&I  Club 


  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • Vessels will be cleared at anchorage by health before receiving green light to proceed usual inward clearance and granted free practice is done alongside if vessel clear the health check at anchorage.
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • No specific measurement announced for vessels with suspected cases, however individuals will be quarantined.
  • All crew changes has been suspended, thus cargo transport still available.
  • Travelers from any affected countries will be sent in 14 days quarantine.
  • SN brussels (21.03 – 19.04) and Royal Air Maroc will suspend flights from Banjul.

Source: OBT Shipping


All the country’s land, sea and air borders will be closed from midnight 22 March.

The Ghana Port Harbours Authority (GPHA) has set up an interagency committee to initiate and apply standard operating procedures (SOPS) in the ports of Takoradi and Tema.

On 17 March, ships calling in Tema and Takoradi must now follow the following procedures:

  • 7 days before their expected arrival, vessels should complete and return by email the attached COVID-19 form;
  • When the vessel comes within the 25-mile VHF signal zone, it should start emailing daily updates on the crew’s health to the Harbour Master and the Incident Commander in his capacity as the Director of GPHA Health Services.  Full contact details are provided in the circular.
  • Before berthing, all vessels arriving in Tema and Takoradi must anchor at Quarantine Anchorage pending clearance by Port Health Inspectors.
  • Fully-gowned Port Health inspectors will use the GPHA launch to board the vessel where they will screen crew members by taking their temperatures and reviewing both their COVID-19 forms and their Maritime Health Declarations.
If a suspected case is found:
  • A sample for testing will be taken from the suspected case and any crew members who have been in contact with the suspected case will be confined to their cabins.  If necessary, the suspected case will receive first aid on board.
  • The vessel must fly the yellow flag and both national and port security forces will ensure that nobody enters a 100 m perimeter around the vessel.
  • The launch boat used to board the vessel will be fumigated.
  • GPHA expects test results to be available within 6-12 hours.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 onboard:

  • The confirmed case will be evacuated taking strict precautions to avoid contagion.
  • The vessel will be quarantined at anchorage for 14 days.

If the result is negative but the sick crew member needs further medical attention, he will be disembarked for treatment at Tema General Hospital and the vessel will be allowed to berth in the usual manner. If no suspected case is found, the vessel will be authorized to berth.

*Source P&I Club


Port Circular 7 issued by Gibraltar Port Authority prohibits all crew change.

For the latest circulars, we kindly refer to Gibraltar Port Authority

Source: GAC


20 March - Extensions of Seafarers' Employment Agreements (SEAs)
Circular issued by the Hellenic Republic Authorities on the above. 

*According to information from the Ministry of Shipping provided by local members, there are currently no operational restrictions to shipping as per 4 March. Suspected cases should be isolated and treated onboard. 

For the latest information, please refer to the Ministry of Shipping (In Greek)*

**For ships coming from countries where the virus is in a wide outbreak, all port personnel who visit on board and/or liaise with the ship’s crew must wear simple protective face masks and maintain a minimum distance of more than 1 metre from any other person. Same measures apply to all visitors, either seafarers, surveyors, technical or vessel representatives included.

For all ships docked in Piraeus Port Authority/ Piraeus Container Terminal premises, regardless of the country of origin, for crew disembarkation/return, a private car provided by the ship agent will be used for the crew transportation. Pick up and drop off point is the ship’s ladder and the crew will in no way mingle with the port employees. Same measure applies for the transportation of all visitors who wish to enter the port facility. It should be clarified that any private bus, mini bus or taxi arranged by the agent for this purpose, should be accompanied to/from the ship by a private car provided by the agent.

The port personnel is recommended to minimize contact with the ships’ crew and communications with the ships are carried out by email to the extent possible.

Compulsory use of face masks and protective gloves is followed by stevedores who go on board to carry out their tasks.

There are private companies engaged in disinfection, however when a ship is believed to have been possibly affected by the decease, the State Hygiene Authorities will initiate action and decide for the measures to be taken.**

* Source: Patrikios Shipping ,** North P&I Club 


  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • Vessels will be cleared at alongside and checked by port health for temperature control on arrival as well as requested for implementing hand sanitizing measures while alongside. Also PPE will be requested to be used
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • No specific measurement announced for vessels with suspected cases, however individuals may be quarantined.
  • All airports has been closed effective 21.03.20 for a 30 days period or until further notice.
Source: OBT Shipping

Guinea Bissau

  • No Specific statements related to vessel inward clearance as of yet from authorities of Guinea Bissau.
  • No crew will be allowed to disembark the vessel.
  • All movement from land or airport has been closed as of 18.03.2020 until further notice.

Source: OBT Shipping


According to Notice to Mariners Advisory (1) with regards to COVID19 are all seaports closed to international ships with the exception of international merchant ships. No shore leave or crew change shall be granted.

Follow the Maritime Administration Department for the most recent circulars.


As of midnight, Monday 16 March 2020,  the government has implemented flight restrictions and closure of the border with the Dominican Republic. All flights to and from Haiti and destinations in the Dominican Republic, Canada, Latin America and Europe will be suspended for two weeks. Flights between Haiti and the United States will continue.

The Government of Haiti stated that all travelers from the U.S. must have a document showing that they have tested negative for coronavirus before boarding. The Government of Haiti did not specify what proof passengers should present and has not yet provided instructions to airlines.

The Government of Haiti will continue to conduct health screenings for arriving passengers.

The Minister of Interior announced that the border with the Dominican Republic will be closed to passenger traffic, but goods crossing the border will still be permitted if personnel transporting the goods are screened at the border.

CPS Terminal at Port au Prince is implementing the IMO’s guidance. The Port Authority has not issued yet any memorandum regarding the other terminals.

Ship cargo operations are being carried out normally at all ports for now. Strongly recommended that all crew must stay on board.

*Source: North P&I Club 


The Indian government has imposed restrictions on landing permits to Chinese citizens and foreigners residing in China. Please find the original release here. Please find a port statement from Chennai addressing the same issue here.

The Ministry of Shipping have issued a memorandum suspending all landing permits if the ship have been to China after 15 January.

The Directorate General of Shipping has issued the following circulars:

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 3 4 February

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 4

20 March

  • Shipping services are required to continue to be operational and goods by sea should not be needlessly disrupted.
  • In case of any suspected person on board the vessel the suspected person shall be isolated on the ship and the same precautions applies to all  who may have come in contact with the suspected person
  • If necessary, ships having persons suspected of COVID-19 will be monitored by the health authorities and put in quarantine.
  • Ships arriving from ports of infected countries identified for mandatory quarantine and travel ban by MoHFW, Govt. of India before 14 days of departure from the infected port, or having seafarers embarked on the ship who have been in infected regions within 14 days of arrival at any Indian port shall need to comply with additional measures as given in the Annex 1.
  • The updated list of infected countries may be obtained from the website of MoHFW, Govt. of India.
 Addendum to No. 4   1 April 
  •  Pursuant to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 24 March, the validity of 31 March 2020 to ports and ships and list of affected countries in DSG Order No. 4 is lifted and will remain to be valid until further notice orders.
  • Strict adherence to shore personnel (ship agents, cargo personnel, immigration authorities ect)  onboard ships - required to be kept to a minimum and have appropriate PPE ( Addendum to the above-mentioned MHA order).
Directorate General of Shipping, No. 5 23 March Indian seafarers on crew change
Directorate General of Shipping, No. 6 23 March  Extension of seafarer certificates
Clarification note of 24 March 24 March The above clarification note in short clarified - no restriction of sign on/sign off of Indian seafarers in ports of India. However, utmost caution to be exercised in respect of sign off in foreign ports due to international and/or domestic travel restrictions imposed by their authorities. Also, stoppage of immigration of passenger traffic at 107 check posts including all sea ports is applicable only for passengers and NOT crew.
Consolidated guidelines on the lockdown

27 March

Port are excepted from the lockdown provisions. As mentioned in para 6:

"All transport services – air, rail, roadways – will remain suspended.


  • Transportation for essential goods only.
  • Fire, law and order and emergency services.
  • Operations of Railways, Airports and Seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation and their related operational organisations.
  • Inter-state movement of goods / cargo for inland and exports.
  • Cross land border movement of essential goods including petroleum products and LPG, food products, medical supplies.
  • Intra and inter-state movement of harvesting and sowing related machines like combined harvester and other agriculture/horticulture implements."


*18 March - the following will be implemented at all Indonesian ports: 

  • Incoming ships from all other countries will first be inspected by Quarantine officer at anchorage.
  • Nobody can come on board, no loading activity can be conducted before arrival inspection by quarantine officer is completed Free Pratique will only be granted if crew are not suspected of coronavirus all crew are in good condition after inspection completed.
  • Arrival inspection will take about 2-3 hours by quarantine officer at outer anchorage. If any crew member is suspected to have the coronavirus disease, all activity will be suspended and vessel will be quarantined. She will not be allowed to proceed alongside jetty or load at anchorage, and shall wait for quarantine officer’s decision with indefinite waiting time.
  • Any person who has spent the last 14 days or more in mainland China is not allowed to enter, or transit, through Indonesia and Indonesian ports.*

The Indonesian port of Tanjung Priok requires a pneumonia-free declaration prior to arrival including the last 10 ports of call. Please see the original release here (in Indonesian).

 * Source: North P&I Club


*17 March - Ministry of Communications General company of Ports for Iraq have informed all agents that Masters of ships that have called at a Chinese port within the last 30 days before arriving in Iraq are requested to provide a statement 3 days before arriving in Iraqi territorial waters that crew onboard do not have any symptoms of corona virus (high temperature, sore throat, coughing or breathing difficulties).

If any such symptoms are noted, the Master should inform port authority prior to arrival and await further instructions.

The Iraqi government has imposed curfew in all cities of Iraq starting from 11 PM Tuesday 17th of March until 11 PM 23rd of March except for medical staff. As of now the impact on port operations is unknown.*

*Source: North P&I Club


Port authorities may refuse the arrival of a ship unless a health declaration form has been filed. This applies to the following:

  • Ships with previous port calls to China within the past 30 days of arrival
  • Crew members or passengers with recent travel history to China
  • Suspected COVID-19 cases onboard
  • Suspected contact with COVID-19 cases

Please find the original release Marine Notice 06 of 2020

20 March 2020 - The Irish Maritime Administration (IMA) issued marine notice No.14 of 2020 , providing procedures allowing for a temporary extension to the validity of seafarer certificates; giving an extension of 6 months from date of expiry. The same applies for SEAs. If a crew member needs to leave the ship due to urgent circumstances and cannot be replaced immediately due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the shipowner/Company manager should contact the Marine Survey Office for a dispensation or revised MSMD (mininum safe manning document) as may be applicable. For port state control inspections, the IMA will accept expired seafarer certificates of competency/proficiency and medical certificates as long as letters of dispensation by their flag State administration are produced. This marine notice shall expire on 31 August 2020 and the provisions outlined therein will no longer be applicable. However, towards the end of August, a further marine notice will be issued to update status. 

23 March 2020 - IMA issued marine notice No.15 of 2020, providing information relating to extensions and postponement pertaining to statutory certificates, audits and inspections for Irish-registered ships. 


Restrictions may apply if the ship has called any of below countries and regions or any person onboard have a recent travel history within 14 days to the same:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Mainland China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

Please find the original release here and amendment here

According to instructions from Israel Shipyards Port provided to BIMCO by local members are crew onboard ships in Israeli shipyards prohibited from leaving the living area and deck house unless explicit permission is provided from VP Operation.

For the Port of Ashod, berthing is possible, but crew mobility is restricted if the ship or any onboard has been in any of the above mentioned countries. Please find the port circular here

*Source: ICL Fertilizers


All ships should forward a request for free patique (Please find a copy here) and a health declaration (Please find a copy here) 6 hours prior to arrival. Please find the original release here (in Italian)

*There are no limitations for ships entering the ports of Trieste and Monfalcone. The Trieste and Monfalcone Port Authority have issued a note dated 24 February 2020 which provides advice for ships. In case of coronavirus the ship will remain at roads and the infected person will be disembarked by means of Harbour Master’s  launch boat with health assistance on board.

Agents will board the ships with masks and/or protective suits.

Italy’s prime minister published a decree on 9 March “laying down urgent measures to contain and manage the epidemiological emergency brought on by COVID-19” and extending the emergency measures introduced by the previous day’s decree to all of Italy. The measures will be in force until 3 April, subject to any further measures being introduced. In brief, people must avoid travelling anywhere in the country. The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Service advise that the travel restrictions: (a) do not apply to the transport and transit of goods or to the entire supply chain to and from the affected areas; and (b) do not prevent individuals from travelling for work- or health-related reasons, or for other needs.*

On 10th March, the Port of Ravenna advised that the port remains operational despite the town being in lockdown.

23 March: As per BIMCO news piece, the Italian Ports Association has given the following assurance:

  • Operations in ports are carried out with adequate measures. 
  • Ports are, therefore, fully operational with all their regular services guaranteeing complete functionality of all those offices dedicated to control and verification (i.e. Port Authority, Customs, Harbour Master, Health department offices and so on). 
  •  All restrictions enforced by the Italian Government are referred only to the Cruise sector.
  • The measures adopted by the Government in no way restrict the transport of cargo in the country. The precautionary obligation of the so-called "Free Sanitary Practice" issued by the Local Office of Maritime Health remains in force. This document authorizes ships to berth, and all Italian ports are equipped and ready to apply any new measures deemed necessary by the Italian Office of Civil Defence, without compromising cargo operations.

*The Courts remain operative only for urgent procedures, such as arrest or payment injunctions, which can be filed electronically (system now in use in Italy).Mediation and negotiation proceedings are suspended until 15th April 2020. All time bars and prescription terms expiring between 9th March 2020 and 15th April 2020 are suspended.*

31 March: A statement issued by the Italian National Cerealist Association (ANACER) assuring that Italian ports are fully operational and the national authorities of Italian ports have taken all the necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of both crew members and workers ashore handling the shipment of agricultural goods to Italy.  

*Source: North P&I Club 

Ivory Coast

  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • All trade vessels will go through temperature check and screening by port health.
  • Any suspected persons will be quarantined at a nominated hospital for blood testing.
  • Vessel will only be quarantined at anchorage if master reports any illness on board which give reason for checking of suspected cases. Period 14 days.
  • All international flights has been suspended.
  • A curfew has been initiated, thus not affecting operations in ports.
Source: OBT Shipping


Japan’s Ministry of Justice is denying permission to land to the following foreigners, unless the circumstances are exceptional:

Foreigners who have stayed in any of the following cities/provinces/regions within 14 days prior to the application for landing:

  • People’s Republic of China: Hubei Province, Zhejiang Province
  • Republic of Korea: Daegu-guangyeok-si, or Cheondo-gun, Gyeongsan-si, Andong-si, Yeongcheon-si, Chilgok-gun, Uiseong-gun, Seongju-gun, Gunwi-gun in Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Italy: Veneto Region, Emilia-Romagna Region, Piedmont Region, Marche Region, Lombardy Region, Aosta Vlley Region, Trentino-South Tyrol Region, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, Liguria Region
  • Republic of Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Principality of Andorra
  • Italian Republic
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Republic of Estonia
  • Republic of Austria
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Swiss Confederation
  • Kingdom of Sweden
  • Kingdom of Spain
  • Republic of Slovenia
  • Kingdom of Denmark
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Kingdom of Norway
  • Vatican
  • French Republic
  • Kingdom of Belgium
  • Portuguese Republic
  • Republic of Malta
  • Principality of Monaco
  • Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • Foreigners who have Chinese passports issued in Hubei Province or Zhejiang Province in the People’s Republic of China.
  • Foreigners who were on the cruise ship, Westerdam, departed from Hong Kong.

For the most recent updates, we kindly refer to the Japanese Ministry of Justice


*24 March 2020 - Kazakhstan announced one-month state of emergency until 15 April. Servicing of ships from Azerbaijan and Iran at the sea ports of Aktau and Kuryk has been suspended as a temporary measure. Crews of foreign cargo vessels are not permitted to leave their ships and the transportation of people and vehicles with drivers has also been halted.*

*Source: North P&I Club 


The following ships are subject to early screening before berthing:

  • Ships with recent calls to China
  • Ships with onboard crew members with recent travel history to China
  • Ships with suspected cases onboard

Please see the original release here

Please see the news section on Kenya Ports Authorities website here for the most recent news.

Korea, Republic of

For ships arriving at Korean ports from or via China, the National Quarantine Station and related authorities have set up an enhanced screening measures for the crew on board.
National Quarantine Station officers are boarding those ships to check the body temperatures of each crew along with handing out questionnaires to be filled out personally by all crew members.(source: Spark International)

Free pratique will only be granted after passing the above onboard quarantine inspection. 

*Restrictions on crew changes etc for Chinese seafarers or those who embarked in China

The following crew/passenger are restricted to enter Korea:

  1. All Chinese seafarers with passport issued in Hubei province is prohibited to enter Korea
  2. All valid Korean visa issued in Hubei province has temporarily lost its effect until further notice.
  3. All foreigners that have visited Hubei province in the past 14 days is prohibited to enter Korea.
  4. All foreigners transit without visa to Jeju Island in Korea has temporarily lost its effect

Other potential restrictions due to Coronavirus

  •  All crews ( Chinese, Filipino, Indian..) who intend to join/disembark to/from the vessel in Korea are allowed to enter Korea require a VISA. Transit passengers without a VISA for Chinese and foreigners from China will not be allowed.
  •  Hong Kong and Macau are now designated as countries affected by Coronavirus. Fever monitoring of all crew and crew members of ships arriving from Hong Kong and Macau and a concentrated quarantine inspection for all crews and passengers will be conducted.
  • Cruise ships are not allowed to call at any port in Korea temporarily. However, if the cruise ship needs bunkering and store supplies without disembarking from the ship, she can call at anchorage only.*

25 March - In light of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the United States and the rise in the number of imported cases from the US, starting 0:00 of 27 March, a stronger screening process will be applied for inbound travellers from the United States. To keep updated, please refer to Korea Center for Disease Control & Prevention ( KCDC)/Press Releases 

*Source:  Wilhemsen  


* With clear reference to IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.2, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health have issued a clarification note to Circular no. 3, which now recommends cargo ships from the below mentioned high risk areas to be able to berth, while prohibiting direct contact with the crew and preventing them from disembarking. This measure will be under the continuous co-ordination with the Port Health Section - Ministry of Health :

  • China and Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

Regardless of the above, all arrivals irrespective of nationality with a travel history within 14 days to any of the above-mentioned countries are banned according to Circular no. 3

***Kuwaiti Ports Authority announced that due to the recent increase in cases in Iran, the Kuwait port authorities have suspended all ship movements from Iran for ships calling Kuwait with immediate effect until further notice.

With effect from 6 March, the Ministry of Health in Kuwait has imposed a ban on travellers arriving from, or who have visited in the last two weeks, the countries listed below::

  • China and Hong Kong SAR
  • South Korea
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Singapore 
  • Thailand ***

A temporary travel ban expiring on 13 March has been imposed on travellers from the following countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Lebanon
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
Ships calling from countries with a permanent travel ban are allowed to berth with the prohibition of direct contact with the crew and no disembarkation allowed. Irrespectively of this, ships from the following countries are not allowed to berth:
  • Iran
  • Iraq

** Oil sector ships are exempted from circular No (3) 2020 with certainty and care for the boarding of preventive health personnel in ports - Ministry of Health boarding ships coming from the countries above.

*** On 12 March it was advised that the Kuwait government have taken a series of exceptional measures in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, halting commercial flights and sending public sector employees on a public holiday for two weeks starting from today until 26 March 2020.

Maritime navigation and normal operations at all Oil Terminals ( Mina Al Ahmadi & Mina Abdulla ) and Commercial ports ( Shuwaikh and Shuaiba ) will continue as usual without any hindrance.

*Source: GAC (Kuwait), ** Wilhelmsen, *** North P&I Club


*17 March - Following measures taken: 

  • The Lebanese government announced on 15 March 2020, a medical state emergency, obliging all citizens to remain at home except for extreme necessity until 29th March 2020.
  • The Government has declared the airport, airspace and all sea and land borders as closed for passengers as from Wednesday 18th March until 29th March 2020, except for UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon), diplomatic missions and cargo aircraft.
  • Ports in Lebanon will be closed to passengers, but cargo is still permitted entry.
  • The measures applied at the Lebanese ports for commercial vessels consists of members of the Ministry of Health attending onboard the vessels arriving from countries at risk and prior to their berthing checking the body temperatures of all crew members onboard to verify whether any of them are suffering from any of the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Depending on the findings of the Ministry’s representatives, measures are decided on a case-by-case basis.*

According to information from local members, entry into the Port of Beirut is restricted by a pre-arrival medical examination by the port's medical staff if the vessel is calling directly from China.

All ships should report the previous 10 port calls. Please see the revised release here

*Source: North P&I Club


  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • No specific measurements implemented by the port up till this date concerning inward clearance.
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • No specific measurement announced for vessels with suspected cases, however individuals may be quarantined.
  • All passenger flights will be suspended from 23.03.2020 at 2359 hrs lt. This does not include cargo flights.
Source: OBT Shipping


*As of 16th March 2020, Libyan Authorities announced that due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all air, ground and maritime Libyan borders will be closed for 3 weeks (with potential extension).

If a vessel is calls to Libya from a country that has recorded COVID-19 cases, the vessel will go into quarantine for 14 days at anchorage.   The quarantine period starts to count from the date the vessel sailed from previous port of call. Thereafter, it will undergo an inspection by the Health Ministry.  If it is found “clean”, it will then be permitted to enter the port.*

*Source: North P&I Club


Malaysian Shipping Notice ( MSN 02/2020) of 18th March is issued for ship managers and seafarers and provides, amongst others, the following measures : 

  • All China, Italy, South Korea, Iran and Japan flagged ships or any ship that had entered any ports in those countries in the last 14 day from their arrival to Malaysian waters, are PROHIBITED to enter any Malaysian ports.
  • Foreign seafarers are NOT ALLOWED to sign-off or going ashore in any Malaysian ports and water. 
  • All seafarers are NOT ALLOWED to sign-on, in any Malaysian ports and water.
  • The ones ALLOWED to sign-off and disembark at the DESIGNATED PORT are only Malaysian seafarers, constantly developed COVID-19 symptoms from Malaysian-flagged ships. 
  • All foreign seafarers currently serving on board Malaysian-flagged ships, not having any COVID-19 symptoms or been to China, Italy, South Korea, Iran or Japan within 14 days, are ALLOWED to continue their normal service onboard Malaysian-flagged ships. This also applies to seafarers of Malaysian nationality.
  • All foreign seafarers are PROHIBITED to change ship in any Malaysian ports and water
  • All seafarers of Malaysian nationality who already possessed COVID-19 symptoms or have been to China, Italy, South Korea, Iran or Japan within 14 days, MUST UNDERGO proper health screening and isolation only  at the DESIGNATED PORT, and their contract of SEA will be terminated.
  • All foreign seafarers  who already possessed COVID-19 symptoms or have been to China, Italy, South Korea, Iran or Japan within 14 days, MUST UNDERGO proper health screening and isolation onboard as mentioned in Annex 1 of MSN 05/2020.
    • All cruise ships are PROHIBITED from entering any Malaysian ports

For Kuantan Port, ships having a record of the last 3 ports that are from China will be required to furnish information at least 48 hours prior to arrival as well as subjected to screening process before any disembarkation can take place. Please find original release here


On 17 March, the Merchant Shipping Directorate (MSN) of Malta issued MSN 158 in addition to an earlier MSB 157, advising that extension of SEA, validity of seafarer certificates, statutory certificates, surveys, audits and inspections, would be considered on a case-by-case basis. For full details, please see MSN 158

According to a local member the following restrictions apply:

In Malta Freeport Terminals:

  • Disembarkation of crew members is prohibited, unless permission is granted by Port Health and Transport

Oiltanking Terminal

  • Shore leave is prohibited - apparently with no exemptions
  • Ships waste shall be handled by shore side contractors
  • Ships at berth are not allowed to receive supplies and spares - effective from February 29
  • Ships at berth are not allowed to perform crew change - effective from February 29

**In addition, ships are being requested to show the Yellow flag in accordance with the International Code of Signal to signify that the ship is healthy. It is to remain up until the Medic gives the green light to start operations.

It is understood that same procedures are in place in the Port of Valletta.**

**On 12 March, the following was sent by the Authorities in Malta to all service providers, ship agents and bunkering operators at Malta in respect of services provided outside Maltese territorial waters:-

  • All ships must be cleared by Port Health prior to port entry.
  • Cruise liners arriving from an Italian/Sicilian port (LPC) are NOT Permitted.
  • Cruise ships arriving from a port other than Italian/Sicilian are Permitted subject to Port Health clearance.
  • Any requests involving passengers from Italy/Sicily are NOT Permitted.
  • Any request involving passengers not coming from Italy/Sicily are permitted and are subject to Port Health clearance.
  • Requests from local work boats WTW / OTW are subject to Port Health clearance.
  • Conveyances involving crew changes WTW and OTW are NOT Permitted.  Crew changes are only permitted whilst vessels are in port subject that applicable procedures are in place including Port Health clearance.
  • Conveyance vessels requesting to proceed to OTW are to process a normal arrival and departure notification and are also subject to port formalities including Port Health clearance.
    With regards to the dis/embarkation of surveyors, mooring master, etc…  Port Health doctor to be consulted prior to authorising.**

*Source: Focal Maritime, ** North P&I Club

Marshall Islands

International Registry to the Marshall Islands maintains a COVID-19 advisory page, including the Marine Notice (MN) 7-052-2 from the Republic of Marshall Islands allowing for extended SEAs.


The following circulars have been issued by the Mauritanian Minsitry of fishery and maritime economy:

Marine circular 03/2020 Restrictions to cargo ships

For cargo vessels transhipping fishery products in the harbor:

  • No transfer of the crew of the cargo ship is authorized
  • Contacts must be reduced to the strict minimum
  • The teams of the Mauritanian Coast Guard "GCM" and the crew of the fishing vessel must observe the protective measures and keep a minimum distance of 2 meters from the crew members of the Cargo ship
  • For the crew of the cargo ship, no contact with land, boats or other ships is allowed

For merchant ships serving Mauritanian ports:

  • The captains of the ship must transmit to the harbor master's offices their "ETA" and their Maritime Declaration of Health at least 72 hours in advance
  • The pilots and the pilot crew must be equipped with masks, gloves, boots and must maintain a distance of 2 meters from the ship's crew
  • Persons likely to be engaged on board the ship must have accurate and relevant pandemic information and take all measures to reduce the risk of exposure
  • No disembarkation of the ship's crew member is authorized.

Source: OBT Shipping


The Mexican Navy Secretariat has issued guidelines for a ship arriving with infectious diseases, including Coronavirus, or suspicions thereof. Should a ship have a suspicious case of Novel Corona virus, the guidelines from the Mexican Navy are as follows:

  1. The Master of the ship shall inform Port Agents of the sick person(s) who present symptoms similar to the Covid-19 (or as per applicable medical guidelines issued by national and/ or international authorities, such as WHO or IMHA for instance).
  2. Port Agents shall proceed to give notice to the International Health Service (Sanidad Internacional / S.I.).
  3. S.I. will coordinate with the Harbour Master the applicable safety protocols to be imposed on the ship.
  4. The Harbour Master will coordinate with traffic control, and likely order any suspect ship to remain at anchorage until further notice.
  5. While at anchorage, S.I. will board the ship to either confirm as negative or positive the symptoms of the crew member in relation to the Coronavirus.If positive, the ship shall be placed in quarantine until the virus is eradicated.

The Mexican Merchant Marine, has issued recommendations based on the WHO’s Circular No. 4202 from the 31st of January 2020. These are mainly aimed at preventing the spread of the virus in the maritime community. 

On the 27th of February 2020, the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, stated that ships with suspicious cases, or confirmed coronavirus would be treated indiscriminately, and that they would not be denied access without previous fair treatment and protocols.


Prior to arrival the follow documents must be forwarded:

  • Previous ports calls
  • Maritime Health Declaration
  • Crew list with temperature of each crew for 4 days before arrival
  • Public Health Passenger Form for each crew
  • Port control must be advised if there are suspected cases onboard

* Source: Somaship S.A.R.L and Universal Shipping


13 March - Port Health requirements:  due to Corona Virus, all ships must send the required information before arrival at Beira Port:

  •  Maritime Health Declaration
  •  Crew list  which is mentioned the countries where all crew members have embarked the vessel
  •  List of 10 Port of Calls Before Beira
  •  Yellow fever vaccination list
  •  Declaration from Master confirming that all crew members are in good health conditions since from last Port of departure until arrival in Beira Port
  •  Vaccination list

In case it is verified of any risk situation to Public Health and confirmed that ship is coming from infected Countries or crew members, Captains have to declare in Maritime declaration and inform all concerned before arrival of ship , then will be analysed how long the ship has taken from previous Port until Beira, at least ship must have stand 14 days allowed from World Health Organisation, hence Port Health authorities will allow berthing of ship and Port Health officer will be the first to be on board with appropriate machine to measure the temperature of all crew members, if not have been verified high fever temperature vessel will be allowed to work but all crew members will not be allowed to go ashore.

*Source: North P&I Club


*18 March - The Myanmar Immigration Authority suspended visa on arrival for all Chinese citizens. Maritime Port Authority no longer gives shore passes to Chinese crew and no longer allows crew change.  Port health officers will attend and board all incoming ships on arrival. Health cards will be given to each crew to complete and sign on arrival.Master of ship  must declare crew health prior vessel arrival.

Effective 15 March 2020,  travel suspension for any foreigner who has travelled to Korea and China virus hot spots in the past 14 days. Myanmar citizens who have been to hot spots in Korea and China will be quarantined at designated facilities. All individual who travelled to areas in Korea that were not hot spots will be subject to 14 day home quarantine.Anyone who has travelled to Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Germany will be subject to 14 day quarantine at a designated facility. *

*Source: North P&I Club


As per 2 April The Namibian Ports Authority have issued the following relevant ciruclars:

Additional Contingency Measures for the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Date: 17 March

Restrictions to cargo ships

Effectively suspending crew changes (Bullet 2) and imposing the PPE requirements (Bullet 1)

  • Goggles
  • Masks (FFP2 or better)
  • Surgical gloves
  • The above to be worn when boarding foreign ships

Additional Mitigation measures - Corona Virus (Covid-19) Pandemic

Date: 25 March

 Quarantine calculation Imposing a minimum of 14 days quarantine at anchorage "calculated as the duration from the last port of call or the last crew interaction with another vessel/rig at sea" before medical clearance and berth may proceed

External memorandum

Date: 26 March

Port operations during COVID-19 lockdown

Imposing the following restrictions until at least 17 April, 07:00 LT:

  • Entrance to Namport buildings will be limited to ten (10) people and clients are required to maintain at least one-meter distance while queuing for service. Hand sanitizers are provided at our entrances and will be administered by security personnel at each entrance.
  • Namport customer care desk and revenue division will operate as normal from 08:00 to 17:00 with reduced staff numbers.
  • Marine, Port Security and Port Control will continue to operate with full staff compliment and normal shift patterns will be maintained.
  • The Syncrolift and Terminal Planning Divisions will shut down operations at 16:30 on 27 March for a period of
    fourteen days. Syncrolift employees will remain at home and on standby for potential emergencies.
  • The normal three shifts four-panel operations will remain in force at the container terminal and equipment and human resources deployment will be reduced accordingly.
  • Current berthing window arrangements will temporarily cease and all vessels will be handled on a first come first serve basis. Namport may at its sole discretion deviate from this arrangement to give preference to vessels carrying emergency supplies.
  • Break Bulk Operations will be limited to two vessels at any given time and human and equipment resources will be reduced accordingly.
  • Import and export deliveries will be accommodated during normal working hours but special consideration will be given to emergency supplies during this period.
  • Port activities in Luderitz will be limited to two working vessels at any given time and equipment and human resources will be reduced accordingly.

For the most recent circulars, we kindly refer to NAMPORT

Source: Irish Shipbrokers

Netherlands, the

*24 March - The port of Rotterdam remains operational. Cargo handling and production continues unabated. The Harbour Master Division is monitoring safety and public order on the water 24/7.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has taken steps to safeguard the continuity of business operations and is advising and assisting clients to keep them informed of developments. As the situation relating to the spread of coronavirus is changing very rapidly, new measures including those requiring additional measures are likely in the days and weeks to come.

The following measures have been taken:

  • Employees of the Port of Rotterdam Authority are working from home as much as possible and can be reached by email. Operational services continue and the Harbour Coordination Centre remains accessible 24/7.
  • All events, receptions and non-essential training courses have been postponed or cancelled.
  • All seagoing vessels are required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH) before arriving at, or being piloted in, the port of Rotterdam. That procedure is already in place for cruise vessels. It does not apply to inland shipping.*

**According to information received from local members, there are no restrictions issued by the Dutch government on passenger traffic.

However - considering the above - local terminals and port authorities may have issued their own preventive measures. Ships calling from affected areas may be liable to the following preventive measures:

  • Crew change by boat
  • Early medical screening**

26th March - the Netherlands' Maritime Affairs (Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate) has now enforced a contingency plan ( via IMO) in relation to granting of extensions for ships' certificates, surveys, annual ISM audits, dispensation for Minimum Safe Manning compliance, seafarers' certificates etc. 

* Source: North P&I Club, ** MariTeam Shipping Agencies

New Zealand

As per 1 April, the following travel restrictions are in place according to the New Zealand Health Authorities:

  • No entry to New Zealand for foreign citizens.

Since 26 March a State of Emergency was applied at all New Zealand territory. To keep updated on this, we recommend you to refer to the New Zealand Government page on COVID-19. The Ministry of Transport has issued guidelines for clarification on essential services, according to which the non-essential goods can be transported under the following circumstances:

  1. If essential workers are already located at the port for the purpose of dealing with essential goods; and
  2. If the movement of non-essential goods at the Port does not impact on:
    1. The movement of essential goods or
    2. The delivery of essential services at the Port; or
  3. If the movement of non-essential goods is required to create space for essential goods and the movement of essential goods within the port and across the supply chain. In this instance, the non-essential goods are classified as essential for the purposes of moving them to an alternative storage facility.

With respect to 3 above:

  • Additional workers that are required to enter the Port, to assist with the movement of non-essential goods to create space for essential goods, become essential workers for the purpose of moving those goods; and
  • Those goods should only be moved to a place of storage to get them out of the way as essential goods.

Please refer to the NZ Ministry of Health information page  and NZ Border information for latest updates. 


Presently, WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. Hence there appears to be no restrictions on ships and crew whose previous port call was from COVID -19 high risk countries or on specific nationalities arriving in Nigeria. However, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health (Port Health Services) has the following procedures in place:

  1. Intensify surveillance at points of entry (Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and FCT) particularly for returning travellers with travel history to countries with ongoing transmission*.
  2. Heighten screening measures at points of entry. In addition to automated temperature screening at points of entry, travellers are given a contact form to fill and asked questions upon arrival about symptoms of illness and travel history.
  3. Travellers without symptoms on departure but become unwell in transit are advised to self-report to the Port Health Services on arrival
  4. Travellers from countries with ongoing local transmission*, but who show no symptoms on arrival should self-isolate at home for 14 days after arrival
  5. If travellers from countries with ongoing local transmission* feel ill with fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days of arrival in Nigeria, please:
  •  Observe self-isolation immediately by staying indoors and avoiding contact with people
  • Call the NCDC 24/7 toll-free line IMMEDIATELY on 080097000010

*Travellers to China and other affected countries with ongoing transmission as at February 28, 2020: China, Republic of Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan


With regard to the change of crew on Norwegian ships, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has now agreed to issue a general acceptance of crew members to continue service on board
Norwegian ships until a suitable arrangement can be made. Please see NMA's letter here

The Norwegian borders are closed effectively from 16 March according to local newspapers (Text in Norwegian). According to the Norwegian Maritime Authority crew change operations are possible though quarantine measures may be applied if off signing crew members have had close contact with persons not assigned to the ship.


The Pakistani Ministry of Maritime affairs issued a declaration prohibiting shore leave and disembarkation of crew from foreign flagged ships. Please find a copy of the original release here. The Directorate of Central Health Establishments has also issued an advisory guidelines to all Pakistani ports. 

In addition to this, Karachi Seaport is requiring the following certificates 24 hours prior to arrival:

  • Maritime Declaration of Health
  • Last 10 ports of call
  • Ship Sanitation Certificate
  • Health declarations for crew and Captain
  • Vaccination lists


Extensions of SEAs, seafarers certificates (including endorsement certificates and issue of dispensation letter
In respect of the above, the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) pursuant to their Notice MMN 03/2020,  provides details on the procedures of how the above can be obtained. Note that extension will be for a period of 3 months granted if approved from the date of expiration of certificates.

PMA's implementation measures onboard their ships pursuant to MMN 02/2020, some of which are as follows - : 

  • Seafarers calling at China ports are advised to wear masks and take precautionary measures to avoid getting infected with a new coronavirus and prevent its potential spreading.
  • When entering China ports, seafarers are expected to remain onboard their ships and disembark their vessels only when it is absolutely necessary.
  • Strictly enforce the ISPS requirements on ensuring that unauthorized personnel do not board the ship throughout the ships port calls.
  • Shipping agencies in Panama, must inform the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and Harbor Master (captaincy of ports) if any crew member or passenger is reported with any of the symptoms of the coronavirus and must coordinate with local health authorities

Ships intending to transit the Panama Canal, should report suspected cases through the Panama Maritime Single Window within 30 days prior to arrival to enable PMA authorities to take the appropriate preventive measures. Please find the original release Advisory to Shipping A-04-2020

PMA's Press Release dated 16 March 2020 listing out their latest measures,some of which are as follows: 

  • Effective 14 March 2020, temporary suspension of boarding and landing of passengers and crew members to and from cruise ships, small cruise ships, ships with great draft, international shipping of passengers in yachts, mega yachts, and commercial yachts in ports, berths or wharfs, anchorage areas and marinas located within the national territory, and which arrive from international shipping originated from risk areas coming from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, France and from other countries as announced.
  • Information required to be submitted at least 48 hours prior to arrival on boarding dates and places for each crew member, list of the 10 ports previously visited, Maritime Health Statement, sick list if maritime ancillary services need to be rendered to international ships subject to approval by maritime health authorities. 
  • Only personnel essential for operation of the ship is allowed to board but have to be in compliance with all health measures
  • All STS (ship to ship), as well as fuel and water supply operations procedures to be carried out upon procedures approved by PMA and Ministry of Health. 

Additional information: 

**17 March update:

  •  The Panama Canal continues to operate normally even though air travel to and from Europe and Asia remains suspended. This has caused problems for ship personnel who land ashore for medical reasons and once fit to fly are unable to be repatriated until flight restrictions are lifted. 
  • Only Panamanian citizens and/or residents are allowed to enter the country.
  • The Maritime Courts have suspended all terms and operations limited to matters of urgency including ship arrests.
  • Only local personnel, suppliers, surveyors etc are allowed to board vessels at the anchorages and terminals. It is not known at present when/if this will change.**

25 March update from Waypoint Port Services

  • Crew changes cancelled with immediate effect
  • Cruise ships forbidden to berth, embark or disembark passengers
  • Airspace closed for international pax flights effective 22 March for 30 days. Only cargo, humanitarian and domestic flights allowed.
  • Strengthened measures for ships attendance and control in ports in effect.
  • Any foreigner arriving shall remain in quarantine for 14 days. 

26 March - Panama Canal adopts measures to guarantee sustained operations amid COVID-19 

27 March - PMA issued MMN 07/2020 informing shipowners/operators and interested parties on postponement - extension of statutory certification and services and the procedures as to how such requests should be made.   

1 April - Notwithstanding the exception provided to Holland America's passenger ships MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam to transit, PMA reiterated that all ships must still adhere to their precautionary measures, in particular, ships with confirmed cases or suspected cases of COVID-19  are prohibited from transiting the Panama Canal and must comply with the required quarantine period. For full details, see PMA's Advisory Shipping Notice (A-12-2020).

To keep updated, please check on PMA's Notices to ShippingAdvisories to Shipping and  Panama Canal Press Releases

**Source: North P&I Club 

Papua New Guinea

There is a suspension of shore leave by crew by all international ships calling into all Papua New Guinea [PNG] port facilities.

There is a suspension of crew changes in all PNG port facilities.

No crew is allowed on the quayside of PNG port facilities.

No personnel from the portside are allowed on board any international ship apart from those performing statutory functions and relevant stevedores.

All statutory functions undertaken by receiving PNG port personnel should be done strictly with the PNG National Department of Health guidelines and appropriate PPE.

All ships are to be cleared in the nominated ports and port facilities as gazette by NDOH before any expedition to any other port of remote site.

Exemption to any of the above must be made to the Department of Transport for rare consideration.

Deliberate failure to comply with this Direction and Notice is a breach of the Regulation and can warrant a penalty fee of K100,000.00.

Any party having difficulty complying with these directions should immediately contact the First Assistant Secretary – Maritime Security Division on email: or Ph. 3236187.

Source: North P&I Club


*9 March - The Peruvian Transport Ministry is enforcing new directives aiming to prevent  new cases. Every ship (cargo or passenger) calling Peruvian ports will be subject to an inspection at anchorage prior to berthing.

The inspection will be carried out by personnel from the National Port Authority in liaison with The Maritime International Health Direction and the Ministry of Health.

15th March : Effective midnight Sunday, 15th March 2020, a National State of Emergency will enter into force in all Peru. The intention is that all Peruvian population stay at home for the next 15 days. With exception of those people essential to certain activities needed by the population, such as; health, food and banking services. In particular frontiers will be closed and this includes inbound passenger; planes and ships that will not be allowed to disembark; crew or passengers in the country.

Marine and river Cargo transport and stevedoring operations are excepted in the National State of Emergency and ensuing social isolation. Thus, these operations of import, export and cabotage will continue. The complimentary measures taken to put in force the above; National State of Emergency and the limitations this will cause will be informed.*

2 April - On 15 March, Peru announced a national State of Emergency, which has now been extended until 12 April. From 31 March, there will be a nationwide curfew between the hours of 18:00 to 05:00. In Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Loreto the curfew will start two hours early, lasting from 16:00 to 05:00. All borders are closed until at least 12 April. Peru announced a ban on all flights arriving from and departing to Europe and Asia, with effect from Monday 16 March. The ban is for 30 days and could be extended.On 30 March, the President declared further measures to be enforced during the State of Emergency period. These include an extended mandatory curfew from 31 March between the hours of 18:00 and 05:00 each day (with exceptions for emergencies) and the complete ban of private vehicles from 05:00 on 19 March.

*2 April - Paita, Salaverry, Chimbote, Callao and Pisco are currently reported to be operating as normal.*

*Source: North P&I Club 


Circulars and announcements of national concern:

Implementation in the seaports of the presidential directive for the management of the 2019 Novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease situation

PPA circular 01/2020

Date: 3 February

Philippine Ports Authority
  • Temporarily banning the entry of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government, directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions.
  • Temporarily banning the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government who within fourteen days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, has been to China and its Special Administrative Regions.
  • A mandatory fourteen (14) day quarantine for Filipinos and permanent Resident Visa holders coming from any place in China and its Administrative Regions.
  • Temporarily banning Filipinos from travel to China and any of its Special Administrative Regions.

Guidelines at all seaports for prevention and spread of Novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease

Date: 4 February

Department of Health
  • All vessels calling from China, including Hong Kong and Macau SAR, in the past fourteen days must be boarded at the quarantine anchorage.
  • Upon arrival at quarantine anchorage, the master of vessel must hoist at its foremast the yellow flag and inform immediately the Quarantine station at assigned port through ship agents. Strictly no embarkation/disembarkation policy.
  • Quarantine Boarding formalities shall ensue - the master of the vessel shall submit a duly accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and BOQ shall issue free pratique. Other boarding formalities shall commence.
  • Ships cleared at the first port of entry and calling another local port, which within the past 14 days travelled from China, Hongkong and Macau SAR, must be boarded at the designated Quarantine anchorage area by QMO, submit duly accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and other pertinent documents.
  • The master of vessel must report immediately any occurrence of flu-like symptoms (e.g fever, cough, colds, body weakness and difficulty of breathing). In an event of flu like manifestation arise, the master must immediately report to the QMO for guidance on implementing infection prevention and control protocols to minimize the spread of infection on board.

Management port protocols in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019)

PPA circular 02/2020

Date: 12 February

Philippine Ports Authority

This circular applies to:

  • All arriving ships that have called at any port in China or South Korea.
  • All arriving ships with crew and/or passengers who have travelled to China or South Korea.

The following restrictions applies:

  • All PPA ports shall remain open to all ships, except cruise ships, with recent port calls in China and its SARs regardless of the fourteen (14) days incubation period of disease, provided that they have been boarded at Quarantine Anchorage.
  • No embarkation/disembarkation of crew shall be allowed.
  • PPA must receive preferably 24 hours - but not less than 8 hours - before arrival:
    • the Maritime Declaration of Health
    • Crew list/Passenger List
    • Information on sick or deceased crew/passengers
    • Information on crew/passengers travel history
    • Copy of Ship Sanitation Certificates
    • Last five ports call list
    • Waste on Board Vessel Information Form (WOBVIF)
    • Other related documents
    • Pilotage services shall continue to be rendered, provided that no boarding shall be made prior to the submission of "free pratique" by the vessel's master and clearance from the BoQ Boarding Team.
    • Restrictions apply to disposal of garbage such as but not limited to:
      • Food products
      • Animal products
      • Infectious waste

Amendments to PPA circular 02/2020:

Philippine Ports Authority Removing Taiwan and inserting South Korea in section II. Coverage in PPA circular 02/2020.

PPA ports under tight watch, new measures against COVID-19 imposed

Date: 11 March

Philippine Ports Authority
  • The policy on no disembarkation and expected vessel change-crew involving Filipinos, remain in force and if needed, all berthing privileges of vessels coming from highly-infected countries shall be cancelled
  • On top of the usual thermal scanning of passengers and port personnel in all ports, the PPA has mandated all its Port Management Offices to make available to passengers, port users and other stakeholders necessary disinfecting supply such as anti-bacterial solutions and sanitizers.
  • Fumigation and disinfection of all Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTBs) and PPA offices nationwide are also ongoing in order to reduce the risk of a sustained transmission via the seaports
  • Proper disinfection and monitoring of cargoes in short-haul voyages are likewise in place
  • A highly accurate passenger information system for easy contact-tracing and an isolated holding and testing area for COVID-19 symptomatic port users are in place in all ports.
  • To-date, PPA ports remain in full commercial operations and no person showing the symptoms of the COVID-19 has been detected. International cargo vessels are also being strictly screened at anchorage prior to docking. Vessels with Free Pratique are allowed to dock, otherwise, they are held in preventive anchorage for 14 days before being allowed to berth.

Guidelines in the implementation of community quarantine in Luzon in all ports under the jurisdiction of PPA.

PPA Circ. 10/2020

Date: 17 March

Philippine Ports Authority

Ports shall continue to be open to cargo ships provided that there will strictly be no embarkation/disembarkation of crew, and subject to the requirements of the Bureau of Quarantine/Department of Health. All passenger ships shall not be allowed entry in ports.

Temporary Travel Restrictions on Inbound Foreign Nationals During the Enhanced Community Quarantine

Date: 20 March

Bureau of Immigration

Temporary Travel Restrictions: Effective 22 March 2020, the entry of foreign nationals shall be highly restricted.

Foreigners outside the country either with immigrant, non-immigrant or special visas shall not be allowed to enter the Philippines, except for:

  • Accredited Foreign Government and International Organization officials and their dependents;
  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals; and
  • Foreign airline crew.

Exclusion: All Exclusion Order Issued against a foreigner pursuant to this Circular shall be deemed as final and executory. The foreign passenger shall be promptly boarded on the same vessel or immediately succeeding flight.

Effectivity: This Circular shall take effect immediately, and continuously during the period of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Circulars and announcements of local concern:

Metro Manilla

Date: 15 March

North P&I Club
  • The government has declared the whole of Metro Manila under a state of community quarantine starting 15 March 2020 until 14 April 2020. During this period, land, domestic air and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila will be suspended.

Luzon, PPA circular 10/2020

Date: 17 March

Philippine Ports Authority
  • Ports shall continue to be open to cargo ships provied that there will strictly be no embarkation/disembarkation of crew
Port of Villanueva

Date: 18 March

North P&I Club
  • The port of Villanueva has adopted stringent policies which affects surveyor attendance. The port will not allow access to persons other than local stevedores
  • Foreign Vessels are banned from docking at any port in the Province of Siquijor until further notice.

Surigao del Norte

Date: 23 March

North P&I Club
  • Travel ban to all incoming and outgoing domestic vessels. All incoming foreign vessels (regardless of nationality and the country of origin) will be banned to enter the province.

Subic vessel and terminal operations:

  • Seaport Boarding Formalities and Pre-Departure Inspection shall be conducted in apron/open areas.
  • Delivery of ship supplies are allowed only for confirmed orders. No solicitation will be allowed on board the vessel.
  • Provisions shall be handled through ship’s provision crane only.
  • Pull out of Seaport personnel at the One Stop Shop (NCT). One Stop Shop services/processes will be conducted at the Seaport Administration Building during the effectivity of the ECQ.
  • Cargo checking services at the NSD Station, Coastal Station and Main Station shall operate from 0800H to 2200H.
  • Releasing of cargoes at NSD will be allowed until 2400H.
  • Tipo Station and NCT Station shall remain open 24/7
For the latest update from the Philippines, please confer with the Philippine Ports Authority.


13 March - Portuguese Government issued a statement informing that all passenger ships will not be authorized to disembark any guests/crew members/staff. Licenses to go ashore also will not be granted.

Exception is made to Portuguese citizens living in Portugal wishing to disembark at our ports.

Cruise ships still may call Portuguese ports and to carry on provisions, fresh water and other supplies, as well as to perform bunkering operations.

This containment measure will soon be in force and will be re-evaluated on 9 April.

30 March - All shore-leaves permits remain suspended to all crew members within Portuguese ports.  On a case- by- case basis, and upon the opinion and advice of Health Maritime Authority it may be authorized crew changes or disembarks with repatriation purposes.Every person arriving to Portugal by sea, air or ground borders will be placed in quarantine (isolation) for 14 days.

*Source: North P&I Club 


24 March - Requirements for the various ports:

Mesaieed Port

  • Vessels are permitted to call to Mesaieed port, except for those calling directly from Iranian ports, which are subject to 14 days’ waiting period before being allowed entry.
  • All vessels must submit Corona Virus declaration, Maritime Declaration of Health, Master’s Declaration, Last 10 Port of call and crew list & temperature reading of all onboard 72 hours before arrival/berthing and resubmit 48, 24, 12, 6 and 3 hours prior to arrival.
  • If any crew is suspected of COVID 19 infection, the port shall contact the medical authorities for assistance and testing. After clearance, vessels are being permitted to berth.
  • Entry into the country has been suspended for all nationalities except for Qataris. No shore leave is permitted, including berth and jetty, unless in case of emergency and subject to approval from Port Management. No crew changes are authorised until further notice.

See Masaieed Port circular 

Ras Laffan Port

  • Circular from Ras Laffan -  MDH, Corona Virus declaration, forms required from all vessel calling Ras Laffan, Maritime Health Declaration is normally need to be submitted to regulation department 72 Hrs prior to arrival, in addition Master need to update & resubmit MDH 24 Hours prior berthing.
  • If vessel arriving directly from China or called in China, the quarantine period commences on departure China, Ras Laffan port regulation will review the departure date from China and berth if vessel completed 15 days of quarantine  period before calling Qatar.
  • If any crew onboard suspected with Corona Virus, Ministry of Health will attend the vessel for inspection, pilot will board once Ministry of Health approved to board.
  • Off signers from foreign vessels should attend screening inside port.
  • Crew arriving from Halul island or area operating directly by QP should complete Corona virus screening inside Ras Laffan port.
  • On Signers will screen at Hamad International airport only

Hamad Port

  •  All vessels to submit  Declaration form  with Pre – Arrival Information 72/48/24 Hours prior arrivals.  No other requirement officially announced so far.
*Source: North P&I Club  


10 March - All ships arriving from risk areas will be subjected to thorough checks inclusive of physical examination of crew, checking of ship’s medical logs as well as crew lists to verify travel history.
If no suspect cases, the ship will proceed to berth with crew members being forbidden to go ashore till expiry of the 14 days incubation period.

Operations can progress with limited contact, PPE, a distance of minimum 2 meters and or no longer than 15 minutes.

After the incubation period, all restrictive measures will be abolished.

If suspect cases, quarantine will be established during which ship will await at roads and the only permitted operations be supply of food/water/medications.

Suspect cases be referred to Constantza Contagious Disease Hospital as per procedures where analysis to either confirm or disprove the case be carried out.

If positively confirmed infection with COVID-19, the sick will receive treatment and the ship will remain in quarantine as per procedures.

If analysis show negative result, the quarantine will be lifted after the expiry of the incubation 14 days.

Disinfection will be carried out by authorised specialized companies.

25 March: Romanian authorities would bind any vessel calling Black Sea and Danube River ports to a 14 day quarantine period at roads prior to be allowed in port. While indeed legal text states that 14 days begin running as from vessel’s sailing out of the last port situated in a red or yellow risk zone, in practice Interservices SA  has encountered situations where 14 days began running as from vessel’s call at Romanian ports. Exercise caution on how authorities would view running of 14 days.

31 March: All vessels calling at Romanian ports will be allowed to berth alongside the ports only if vessels are found to be equipped with necessary protection equipment. This includes:

  • Disposable protective gloves,
  • Disposable face mask with filter
  • Protection glasses
  • Alcohol type disinfectant/sanitizer
  • Disposable overalls. If disposable overalls are not available, the overalls made of cotton should be available, which can be removed before the pilot gets in the pilot boat. (Only for the vessels whose last port of call was one of the Countries where the pandemic was widespread)

    If the vessels are found not to be equipped with necessary protection materials, then they will have to wait in quarantine period for 14 days counting from the date of last port of call.

    Please note that there are two anchorage areas where the ships are allowed to wait in quarantine. One of these areas for the vessels coming through Black Sea is the port of Sulina and for the vessels which sail through the Bystroye Canal is in the 44 miles off Danube River.

*Source: North P&I Club


Effective from 18 March until 00.00 1 May Russian borders will be closed to foreign travellers. According to an official release from the Russian Government, maritime crews are excepted from these provisions.

*According to information received by local members no other restrictions on federal or state level. Restrictions may be applied at local port level.

The list of epidemiological risk countries has been updated. If a ship has crew members or passengers from epidemiological risk countries who boarded within the last 14 days before arrival to Novorossiysk, or if the ship has visited one of the listed epidemiological risk countries within the last 14 days, disinfection of the ship will be required upon arrival.

The current list of epidemiological risk countries is as follows:
1. Disinfection is required and compulsory: China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain, The Republic of Korea
2. Highly likely disinfection will be required: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA.
3. Disinfection can be required: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Butane, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech, Dominican Republic, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Finland, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, UAE, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Only Group A countries are currently subject to the compulsory disinfection. Groups B) and C) as a preliminary assumption only. The final decision on the need for disinfection will be taken by the Sanitary Authority for each particular vessel, depending on the actual epidemiological situation at the time of the decision.

After the disinfection on board all crew and passengers are subject to the medical check. Doctor must check crew temperature and general condition of the crew. If everything is good and no risks or sick persons found on board the Sanitary Doctor will confirm possibility to make Inward Clearance and obtain a full free pratique. After inward clearance formalities the vessel is allowed to perform cargo operations.

Kavkaz and Taman
  • All ships are subject to risk assessment by Health authorities on an individual basis.
  • Focus is made on the 14-day incubation period and health condition of the crew.
  • Shore leave may be limited for all foreign citizens (crew and passengers) at any port and any time.
  • Screening on vessels arriving from any country is being conducted by Health authorities.
  • Certificates of disinfection from the other countries are no longer accepted.As of 11 March 2020, no special restrictions or measures have been announced yet.

Taman Immigration authorities have temporarily restricted shore leaves for the following persons:

  • Citizens of the People Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Italy and Iran arriving as crew members.
  • Crew members – foreign citizens, who visited ports of Italy, People Republic of China, Republic of Korea, and Iran during the last 14 days before arrival at Taman seaport.
  • In daytime the ships  are visited by the sanitary services for identification of the crewmembers or passengers displaying symptoms compatible with the disease by temperature screening and examination. There is no screening during the night shifts.
  • A list of the previous ten ports of call must be provided by Agents to Immigration authorities.
  • Although there is no official requirement for a 14-day quarantine at anchorage, at the beginning of March, a ship coming from one of coronavirus-affected countries was not allowed to proceed for berthing until the expected incubation period of 14 days had expired.
All ships  arriving at Tuapse port are subject to a temperature screening of the crew members before commencement of the inward clearance formalities. There are no any other special measures in force.
Crew members who arrived to Kaliningrad on the ships that departed from High Risk countries / ports less that 14 days before their arrival to Kaliningrad are demanded to stay on board at all times while the vessel is berthed; NOT to attend shops, pharmacies and/or any public places; NOT to use public transport; to avoid contacts with others; to comply with hygiene and sanitary protection requirements (body temperature screening twice a day and keeping temperature records).

Authorized representatives of Shipowners and their agents are held responsible for enforcement of the above requirements.

Murmansk and Kandalaksha
Starting from 00.00 on 16.03.2020 and until further notice all crew members returning to Russia from other countries, especially from Norway, are to undergo a compulsory medical examination through the established procedure, social withdrawal / self-imposed isolation is not considered sufficient.

Starting from 00.00 on 17.03.2020 and until further notice, disembarkation and shore leave is prohibited to crew members having arrived on the ships from foreign ports to the ports of Murmansk and Kandalaksha in cases where these ships had left foreign ports less than 14 calendar days before they arrived to Murmansk / Kandalaksha. Harbour Masters of the ports are to take adequate measures to ensure implementation of the said requirements.

On 16.03.2020 we became aware that one ship that arrived to the port Murmansk the same day failed to complete inward clearance and was reportedly put under 14-days quarantine. In fact, on 16.03.2020 there was some confusion within the port authorities in respect of applicable protective measures. The Ruling dd. 16.03.2020 contains no explicit order for a compulsory 14- days quarantine for the ships arriving to Murmansk; limitations are only be applicable to disembarkation / the shore leave of crew members. Clarifications were given to Murmansk port authorities and the vessel was finally given free practice, with the crew members shore leave limitation only.
St Petersburg
As of 31 March, in St. Petersburg only people aged 65+ are recommended to stay home, no further restrictions have been announced yet. Ports are operating with limitations: the vessels’ crew is not allowed to disembark while the vessel remains berthed at the ports; ship agents and surveyors are given access on board, always provided that they are properly protected by face masks and latex gloves.**

* Source: Neva-Delta S.A., ** North P&I Club

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Ports Authority issued Circulars 37(2020), 38 (2020) and 39 (2020) which provide mandatory instructions to ships arriving to Saudi Arabia:

  • Temporary suspension of voyages coming from coronavirus affected countries ( China, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Korea, Sultanate of Oman, Sudan, European Union countries, Swiss Confederation, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia and Philippines) with the exception of cargo vessels and evacuation. 
  • Suspend travel of citizens and residents from the above-mentioned countries or travellers who have been there within 14 days prior to arrival
  • Suspend the assigning in/off procedures for on board - seafarers to all types of ships that arrive at Saudi ports and those coming from the above-mentioned countries or who were in those countries within 14 days prior to arrival. 

For the latest updates, please refer to the Saudi Ports Authority's homepage/circulars


All  ships scheduled to call Dakar Port will now have to send by email to the port authority ( and the Health department (Sea border health control) (, latest 72 hours prior to her arrival the following documents:

  • The list of the 10 previous port of call
  • The maritime health declaration
  • The crew list clearly stressing the date and port where each crew member boarded the ship

Any ship coming from countries (areas) impacted by the COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) will be attended at anchorage by the Health department in charge Sea border sanitary control (Service de Contrôle Sanitaire aux Frontières Maritimes) who will grant the free pratique and the authority to proceed before the ship is allowed to enter to Dakar port.

Modified berthing procedures took effect 1 March:

72 hours before their arrival in Dakar, all ships must email the following documents:

  • List of the last ten (10) ports of call;
  • Maritime Health Declaration;
  • Crew list specifying joining date and port of each crew member.

To both:

  1. the Harbour Master at, and
  2. the Maritime Border Health Inspection Services (Service de Contrôle Sanitaire aux Frontières Maritimes) at

Original Port of Dakar circular and English translation

25 March: Immigration officers are now looking for clerical errors on the seaman books. The Immigration Officers indicate that the name of the ship and the date of the entry must be completed by the Masters of the ships under the decree dating from 1971 i.e. Article 5 of same i.e. (Crew-members of ships and aircraft calling at ports of call may be allowed to enter the territory on production of the crew’s book, License or certificate.)  This concerns the date of embarkation of the seaman on the ship as well as the IMO numbers of the particular ship on which he/she embarked. Failure to do so will result in the ship being fined. The amount of the fine has not yet been fixed.

26 March: The Port is operational for cargo ships only and all precautionary measures are taken to prevent the pandemic spread.

*Source: North P&I Club 

Sierra Leone

  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date and other documents requested by the agent.
  • Vessels will be cleared at alongside (unless vessel loading at anchorage) and checked by port health for temperature control on arrival as well as requested for implementing hand sanitizing measures while alongside. Also PPE will be requested to be used. Hereafter boarding authorities will proceed to board the vessel when port health have given green light to proceed and yellow flag lowered.
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • Vessels with suspected crew on board will not be able to lower the yellow flag and will be requested to proceed to anchorage for a period of 14 days. Hereafter vessel will be requested to carry out another check before proceeding with usual inward clearance unless suspected cases found on board.
  • All passengers flights has been suspended from 22.30.20 for a 90 days period or at least until further notice.

*26 March - State of emergency announced 24 March for 12 days. Port of Freetown is open. *

Source: OBT Shipping, * North P&I Club 


Since January 24, Singapore has been screening seafarers arriving at checkpoints. Please see the original release here.

MPA 16/2020 supersedes 14/2020 regarding requirements for submission to the Port Health Office. The requirements apply effective 23 March 2359 hrs and in essence, the following documents are required to be submitted to the Port Health Unit/Central Regional office 12 hours before arrival at Singapore port effective 23 March: 

  • Maritime Health Declaration Form; 
  • Crew list/passenger list;
  • Current copy of ship sanitation certificates;
  • Last 10 ports of call list;and 
  • List of all passengers & crew members with temperature above 37.5 degree Celsius. 

MPA 17/2020 supersedes  15/2020  and the restrictions are as follows: 

Border Restrictions

  •  All short-term visitors will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. This means that crew and passengers on short-term visits will NOT be allowed to disembark in Singapore for the time being.
  • Crew change in Singapore is also disallowed for the time being. 
  • With effect from 13 March 2020, Singapore has ceased port calls for all cruise ships.
  • The Port of Singapore remains open for cargo operations and marine services, including shipyard repairs.a. This means that ships are still permitted to enter Singapore port limits to carry out their intended operations such as cargo operations i.e. terminal loading, discharging, bunkering and storing of provisions/stores. Vetting inspectors and shore technicians from Singapore are also permitted to attend vessels at Singapore anchorage for inspection, servicing or repair of equipment on board but this is subjected to their own (inspector / shore technician) personal and companies discretion in view of the current global health situation.

Please see also MPA 18/2020 regarding advisory for shore personnel and ship crew visiting or working onboard ships alongside wharves, in shipyards and at anchorages. 

GAC also kindly provided the following information relating to restrictions for crew changes for vessels outside of Singapore harbour limits more commonly known as OPL.

  • No sign-off or medical evacuation is permitted while vessel is at OPL be it while on transit or anchor. If owners or vessel intend to sign off crew / personnel, vessel must be prepared to :
    • enter Singapore port limits and be subjected to the current port control measures.
    • submit the Maritime Health Declaration (attached here latest MHD).   
  • Personnel intending to visit or sign-on vessel at OPL is still permitted for passport holders that is able to clear the Singapore airport or land immigration entry checkpoints.
  • Delivery of ship spares, provisions, stores to vessel and off-landing of items/equipment from vessel at OPL is still permitted at this point of time.

27 March - Pursuant to MPA 19/2020, crew change is suspended for the time being. However, cargo ships can submit request to MPA for crew change consideration under special circumstances ; such as where a crew member needs to disembark or embark due to serving his maximum time on board and no further extension granted by the flag State on the employment contract; or on compassionate grounds like death of family member or the crew member is no longer fit to continue his duties onboard.

3 April - Additional measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 were announced by the Singapore authorities today, whereby all business, social, or other activities that cannot be conducted through telecommuting from home will be suspended from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 (inclusive). Notwithstanding such suspension, maritime-related activities as provided in MPA circular 20/2020 are exempted which include the following: 

  • Shipping e.g. ship operators and liner operators
  • Shipping-related services e.g. ship management and ship agencies
  • Safety and navigation services e.g. class societies, pilotage, salvage and towage
  • Port and terminal operations including construction
  • Port marine services e.g. ship chandlers, bunkering, ferry services

On 26 February, MPA issued a shipping circular 03/2020 providing instructions on how dispensations can be obtained for various shipping obligations ( e.g extension of seafarers' service agreements or mandatory surveys).

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and GovTech have jointly developed a " Trace Together (TT)" mobile app which helps to speed up contact tracing by using a community-driven approach to identify close contacts of users. The TT app receives a Bluetooth signal containing the phone number of other app users who are within close proximity. The phone numbers are encrypted and not visible to the user.  If a user is infected with Covid-19, MOH will seek permission from the user to access the phone number log that is stored and encrypted on the user’s app for contact tracing. This will greatly improve the accuracy and timeliness of contact tracing and help to contain the spread of the disease by notifying quickly the people whom had been in close contact with a COVID-19 infected person. 

The TT app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. 
More information can be found in the link :


All calls are subject to a screening based on a medical questionnaire. Depending on the outcome, ships might be directed to the anchorage for further medical examination, which might further place the ship in quarantine.

* Sources:  Navigo d.o.o. and Centralog

South Africa

The following Marine Notices have been issued from South African Maritime Safety Authority in response to COVID-19:

Marine notice 13/2020 Vessels and seafarers This marine notice serves to inform all stakeholders that any Survey, Audit and/or Inspection is to be temporarily suspended until 30 March 2020, in terms of the Presidents National Disaster Declaration.
Marine notice 14/2020 Information and Emergency Contact Details

Coronavirus public hotline:

  • Tel. 08 000 29999 

MRC contact details:

Transnet national port authority:

  • Tel: +27 (0) 83 378 8877
  • Tel: +27 (0) 83 306 1228
Marine notice 15/2020 Marine notice 13/2020
  •  Foreign nationals from high-risk countries will be banned from entering the country. Travel visas will not be issued and all previously issued visas will be revoked. High-risk countries include:
    • China
    • Germany
    • Iran
    • Italy
    • South Korea
    • Spain
    • UK
    • USA
  • Travellers from medium-risk countries will be required to undergo high intensity screening, including self-quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days. Medium-risk countries include:
    • Portugal
    • Hong Kong
    • Singapore
  • All cruiser liner ships into and out of any seaport within South Africa will be terminated.
  • Sign-on of crew from high-risk and medium-risk countries for commercial ships will not be permitted.
  • Applications for Off Port Limits services to be rendered to ships will be thoroughly assessed before permission is granted
  • Applications for Off Port Limits for crew changes will not be permitted
  • No ship arriving from an international port must be brought into any seaport in South Africa unless such has been communicated with the Port Health Authority
  • All ships that have undertaken an international voyage must apply for free pratique to Port Health 24 to 48 hours prior to arrival and Port Health to be kept updated of any changes on crew's health status whilst outside port or in the berth.
Marine notice 18/2020 21-Day Lockdown
  • Prohibition on cruise ships calling at any of the sea ports
  • Restricting movements of persons and goods unless strictly for the purpose of obtaining an essential good or service
  • All borders of the Republic are closed during the period of lockdown, except for transportation of fuel, and essential goods
  • Essential goods categories are as follows:
    • Food
    • Cleaning and Hygiene Products
    • Medical
  • Essential service categories are among others:
    • Cargo Shipping and dockyard services
    • Supply, logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance and repair
    • Transport and logistics in respect of essential goods
Marine notice 19/2020 Process for extension of Seafarers Certificates This Marine Notice seeks to advise seafarers, employers and crewing agencies of the process to obtain documents to extend the validity of certificates issued in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations 2013, as amended
Marine notice 20/2020 Process for extension of Statutory Certificates
This marine notice serves to inform all stakeholders on the process for obtaining an extension of statutory certificates, for those vessels that are required to be operational as considered forming essential services, that are due to expire during the lockdown period
Marine notice 21/2020 South African Ports Open for Cargo Operations

This marine notice serves to inform all stakeholders regarding Port Operations and the movement of Cargo through South African Ports during the lockdown period with the following notable highlights:

  • All South African ports remain open for port operations
  • Cargo operations will continue in all ports
  • Stevedore operations will continue in all ports
  • All types of cargo will be allowed to be loaded and off loaded

General: South Africa's government gazette dated 18 March 2020 regarding COVID-19 and port operations imposed restriction on crew mobility.

Transnet, the custodian for ports, rail and pipeline infrastructure in South Africa implements strict health measures and extra procedures for all ships entering South African ports, including all foreign ships entering the ports must receive free pratique by the Port Health department and details of the last 10 ports of call to be recorded. Transnet's Notice dated 16 March 2020 on the additional measures imposed, some are as follows: 

  • Masters of all vessels are required to display the “Q” Flag if all onboard are healthy and Free Pratique has not been granted by Port Health – means the master declares that all crew & personnel onboard are healthy and he/she requests Free Pratique. The "Q" flag to remain until Free Pratique has been granted
  • All waste removal from Off Port Limit vessels and vessels at anchorages are to cease immediately until advised otherwise. 
  • Galley waste will no longer be accepted at any ports and are to be incinerated on board the vessel.
  • Vessels from the following ports in China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, France, Germany, USA, Switzerland, UK, Norway or other high and medium risk area - No waste including galley waste will be disposed off in any South African port.
  • Shore leave for crew to be limited for essential services only with a limit on the number of crew leaving together. Visitors to vessels restricted to essential personnel only.
  • Limited interaction between bunker operator and vessels permitted. Crew to ensure gloves are provided and used when handling mooring lines & all preventative precautions are upheld – no crew changes permitted for bunker barges or vessel taking fuel from foreign countries.
  • Vessel passenger and crew transfers will not be permitted in any of the South African Ports.

*25 March: The President announced on 23 March  that South Africa will go into a state of lock down from midnight on Thursday, March 26 until April 16. Harbours and Ports of Entry will remain open as it is considered essential services however it will likely be a challenge getting to the port for ships agents, stevedores, surveyors etc – this being the case the work in Ports will likely slow down. The mandatory lockdown will however, impact on third-party suppliers such as the testing laboratories etc. All ports are open however, they are all operating at level 2 security in terms of ISPS.*

27 March - The following will apply to Bulk, Breakbulk and Automotive Terminals operated by the State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (“TPT”):

  • Operations at all Bulk Terminals (mineral mining commodities) will be scheduled as per demand from mining customers, subject to approval by the Department of Public Enterprises;
  • Mining customers will also have to obtain approval from the Department of Mineral Resources;
  • Should approval be obtained, TPT will request employees in the relevant Bulk Terminals to return to work;
  • Agri-Bulk products (grains, soya bean meal, fertiliser and woodchips) deemed an essential service will operate on a single berth operation at East London, Richards Bay and Durban Agri Terminals;
  • Breakbulk Terminals (“MPTs”) at Cape Town, Richards Bay and Durban Point will operate on a single berth operation to handle essential breakbulk goods and containers;
  • MPTs at East London, Saldanha Bay, Port Elizabeth and Durban will be closed;
  • All Automotive/Ro-Ro Terminals will be closed.

Essential goods and services will be prioritised as follows:

  • Essential goods will be prioritised over non-essential goods;
  • Each vessel will be required to provide a mandatory import evacuation plan prior to berthing;
  • Containers must be cleared and assigned prior to berthing and it will remain the responsibility of the shipping lines to evacuate containers to a suitable facility;
  • TPT reserves the right not to berth a vessel should these requirements not be met;
  • TPT reserves the right to prioritise the berthing of vessels on a first planned, first served basis at all Terminals;
  • TPT reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change the order of berthing in order to prioritise the handling of essential goods;
  • Refrigerated containers will be prioritised over non-essential exports.

The following will apply to the Container Terminals operated by the State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (“TPT”):

  • Operating staff at Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 will be reduced to two berths;
  • Durban Container Terminal Pier 1, Ngqura Container Terminal (Coega), Port Elizabeth Container Terminal and Cape Town Container Terminal will all operate a single berth operation with approximately half of the current staff complement;
  • Cape Town Multi-Purpose Terminal will handle containers on a single berth;
  • Durban Point will operate on a single berth for both containers and essential breakbulk goods;
  • East London will not handle containers.

Essential goods and services will be prioritised as follows:

  • Transhipments will be handled on an exception basis only with prior approval from TPT;
  • Essential containers will be prioritised over non-essential containers;
  • Each vessel will be required to provide a mandatory import evacuation plan prior to berthing;
  • Containers must be cleared and assigned prior to berthing and it will remain the responsibility of the shipping lines to evacuate containers to a suitable facility within the free period;
  • TPT reserves the right not to berth a vessel should these requirements not be met;
  • TPT reserves the right to prioritise the berthing of vessels on a first planned, first served basis in all Terminals;
  • TPT reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change the order of berthing in order to prioritise the handling of essential containers;
  • Landside, inclusive of rail, will remain open but on a reduced resource basis;
  • Acceptance of exports on rail will only be allowed if they can be physically exported through the applicable terminal;
  • Refrigerated containers will be prioritised over non-essential exports;
  • Import containers may be for cargo owners who have temporarily ceased operations during the lockdown period and therefore cannot receive the containers.  In this case, it is the responsibility of the shipping line/freight forwarder to remove these containers to a depot or bonded warehouse within the free period.

In respect of the port of Durban:

  • Port Control will be manned 24/7;
  • Tugs and berthing staff will be reduced to 4 tugs and 4 gangs;
  • All non-essential vessels that are not working cargo will be required to vacate the port by 22:00 local time tonight, 26 March 2020;
  • Durban Container Terminal Pier 1 will be reduced to a single berth operation;
  • Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 will be reduced to a two berth operation;
  • Island View berths will be limited to IV2 or IV4, IV3 and IV6 or IV7;
  • Point will have one berth available for essential cargo;
  • Maydon Wharf berths will be limited to three being MW1/2, MW3/4 and MW5 with vessels to dock based on the essential goods list.

In addition the following measures will be in force as ordered by the Harbour Master:

  • All vessels are required to obtain Port Health clearance 72 hours prior to arrival, even if the previous port was another South African port;
  • All vessels are required to obtain ISPS clearance prior to entering the port of Durban;
  • No crew changes will be permitted, either in the port or off port limits (“OPL”);
  • All bridges, gangways, hand rails and doors must be regularly sanitised;
  • The port will only allow disembarkation of returning South African citizens or permanent residents;
  • Masters are to enforce strict gangway watches in port;
  • No persons will be permitted to embark or disembark a vessel in port without approval from Port Health and Immigration Services;
  • No shore leave will be permitted, save in exceptional circumstances, and approved by the South African Police Services and Immigration Services once the Harbour Master has been engaged;
  • OPL operations for the supply of stores and equipment will only be permitted subject to the presentation to the Harbour Master, and his approval in writing, for each and every operation, of a Standard Operating Procedure, a comprehensive risk assessment of the operation and a detailed mitigation plan;
  • No waste/slops, particularly galley waste and dunnage, may be removed from a vessel;
  • No diving activities will be permitted save in an emergency and approved by the Harbour Master;
  • Intensive measures are encouraged to be taken for hygiene control including but not limited to: washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol, sanitising of all work surfaces and self-isolation of any crew member when sick;
  • Masters are encouraged to conduct relevant risk assessment/s and ensure that all crew members and persons boarding vessels wear the appropriate PPE;
  • Masters are to discourage non-essential third parties from boarding their vessels;

Bunkering to be approved in writing by the Harbour Master and such operations will be permitted subject to limited interaction between the bunker barge and the receiving vessels.  The Masters of both the barge and the receiving vessel are to conduct a risk assessment to ensure adequate mitigation measures are put in place, particularly the donning of the correct PPE.*

*Source: North P&I Club 


*17 March - The Spanish Government has implemented the “State of Alarm” in Spain for fifteen (15) days – extendable depending on the evolution of the situation. Thus, the Spanish Government has established measures that can limit the circulation or presence of persons or vehicles at certain times and in certain places, amongst others.

Port and logistic activities related to cargo vessels will continue.

However, personal interaction with personnel from local companies (agents, stevedores, suppliers, etc.) can have certain restrictions; all in views to prevent the spread of the COVID – 19 and guarantee the health of local personnel and crew on board

All procedural deadlines, hearings and trials, as well as time bars, are suspended during the period of emergency declared back on 14 March 2020 until at least mid-April 2020.

19 March: Port Authorities have informed that they have maintained with normality the operations that were previewed at their ports. Sanitary measures have been taken in order to minimize any risk of contagious by COVID -19. Crew changes are not allowed during the State Alarm period, at any of the Spanish Ports.  If a change of crewmember has to be carried out due to medical reasons, immediate notification shall be made to agents so that the corresponding protocol be put in place by the Authorities.

23 March: Spain to prolong the State of Alarm two more weeks up and until 11 April 2020.  There are restrictions to citizens’ movement who have to remain confined in their homes.  Border controls have been resumed with France and Portugal. International flights restricted and only Spanish residents and nationals are allowed in the country.  Cruise and passenger ships are restricted.

Ports are operating, loading and discharge of goods is on-going.  Stevedores and personnel attending on board vessels have to take basic precaution such as the use of masks and keep a safety distance of 1.5 metres from each person in contact.*

*Source: North P&I Club

Sri Lanka

16 March: "Authorities have imposed a ban on embarking/disembarking crew, passengers and armed guards as from 1200 hrs LT (GMT + 5.5) today 16 March, and Crew shore leave too would not be permitted. These restrictions have been imposed for 14 days and the situation would be reviewed thereafter. *

There is no restriction on ships that have called China, but if the period is less than 14 days – then crew may be subjected to additional medical checks by the Port Health."

Shore pass depends on evaluation of travel history. Please find the original release here

*18th March   - Authorities have imposed restrictions that no persons would be permitted to enter/disembark in Sri Lanka from any vessel or aircraft as of 0400hrs on the 19 March 2020 to midnight of 25 March 2020. Furthermore ship’s crew of vessels calling into ports will not be permitted with any shore leave. All international airports in Sri Lanka have also been shut for a period of 14 days from 18th March 2020. In case of any on board medical emergencies, we feel that this may be dealt with a case by case basis and will be subject to review and discretion of authorities. The government has also declared public holidays this week in order to curtail the spread of the virus.

31 March: The current curfew in the districts Colombo, Gampaha, Kaluthara, Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna will continue until further notice. For the rest of the country (including the ports of Galle, Hambantota and Trincomalee), was in force until 0600 on 30 March and re-imposed at 1400 hours. During the hours of curfew, movement from one district to another is completely banned except for essential services.*

*Source: North P&I Club

St. Lucia

27 March -  Restricted travel for arriving individuals who have travelled to, from or through China within the last 14 days, as well as Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Singapore. Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday 18 March, the restrictions expand to Spain, France, Germany, Iran and the United Kingdom. The Government of St. Lucia is working with the authorities from Martinique in defining the terms of the commute between the two countries. Persons who have travelled from the U.S. within the last 14 days and who develop respiratory signs and symptoms will be isolated and tested for COVID-19. Effective Monday, 16 March  cruise vessels are also banned. 

*Source : North P&I Club 


Masters must deliver a 'fever' report to the Port authorities prior to arrival at Sudanese water. Please find the original release here (in Arabic)

Information received from one of our members on 5 February 2020 regarding Port Sudan: 

"As per new regulations from port health department, any ship arriving from any Chinese port or infected ports worldwide, must be inspected by port health team upon arrival @ outer anchorage via port tug, for "health green light" to berth.

In which below is required before arrival to be submitted into port health dept:

  1. A letter from the Master confirming all crew members are healthy and no one is affected with NOVEL CHORONA VIRUS 
  2. Daily temperature / health report of each crew member's temperature for the last 20 days.
  3. Crew List 
  4. Vaccination list
  5. 10 last port of calls must be submitted to port health team before ship's arrival indicating any Chinese ports. (if found any Chinese port or infected ports within 20 days, ship is subject to health inspection upon arrival @ anchorage area)." 

*31st March - curfew announced 1800 hours to 0600 hours next day until further notice.  The daily working hours have been adjusted from 08:00 -13:00 hours so a reduction in discharge rates to be expected. 

*Source: North P&I Club 


Closed all its land and sea borders from 13 March to all persons and flights. Currently in lockdown for 3- 4 days except for key people like police, doctors nurses etc.  The government is also keeping the port open as goods (foodstuff) need to come into the country and a limited number of port staff will be allowed to travel to the port to load/discharge vessels, although vessel time in port may be extended due to limited work force.

*Source: North P&I Club


The Government decided on 17 March to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except those in the EEA and Switzerland so as to mitigate the effects of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and reduce the spread of the disease. This is applicable from March 19 and initially up to 30 days.

The Swedish Coast Guard is the national point of contact for shipping. Before a ship's arrival, the ship must submit information regarding the health situation on board. Please refer to their website for more details. 

The Swedish Maritime Administration is following recommendations from their Public Health Authority. Services like pilot operations, ice breaking services except Seaman clubs are operating as normal. To view updates, please refer to their website.


18 March update from North P&I Club - Any ships from China, H K, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, France, Italy and Iran will be monitored by health control Master of all ships must report temperature of crew on board every day, 7 days before arrival in Thai waters.Authorities will attend on board to perform quarantine screening. All crew must have thermal scans and fever condition checked If any crew have fever or a suspected symptom, s/he will be placed under 14 days of quarantine and further check by hospital If individual is found to be infected with Covid 19 on board, that vessel is prohibited to enter the port until health authorities ensure that vessel is free from infection

According to Spica International, Thai office, the Port Authority of Thailand requires the Master to complete and submit information 24 hours prior to the ship’s arrival;

  • Information of conveyance
  • Maritime information of health via radio telegram
  • Maritime declaration of health
  • Last port of call / port clearance
    In case, the last port of call is China and departure was within 14 days, Quarantine Office shall also require the Master to complete their questionnaire prior to berthing of the vessel.

If crew has experienced any illness, fever or respiratory problems, quarantine officer may attend on board for investigation.

Please see Spica for updates.


  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date and maritime health declaration to their agents at least 72 hours before arrival.
  • All trade vessels will go through temperature check and screening by port health before inward pilot embark the vessel.
  • Persons will only be quarantined in cabins or nominated hospital if master reports any illness on board which give reason for checking of suspected cases. Period 15 days.
  • All persons coming from affected countries will not be allowed to Togo.
  • Airlines connections to Europe has been suspended and government recommend to postpone all travel to Togo until further notice.
  • All persons entering the airport will be screened
Source: OBT Shipping

Trinidad and Tobago

According to circulars issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Health travel restrictions are applied to travellers from the following countries:

  • Chine
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Singapore

All persons who are not citizens in Trinidad and Tobago and "have visited [the above mentioned countries] within a fourteen (14) day time period of their arrival in Trinidad and Tobago will not be allowed entry at any of Trinidad and Tobage's ports of entry". While the above list covers the countries with the most significant number of cases as per 6 March, additional countries may be applied unnoticed by the Secretariat if there are further negative developments in the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please find below information from the Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet:

For the most recent news from Trinidad and Tobage, we kindly refer to news from the Cabinet.

Source: Twin Island Shipping


19 March: All maritime borders in Tunisia have been closed. However, commercial activities related to import and export of commodities continue to operate.

Local Port Authority has informed that in application of the restriction of entrance to the country in order to minimize the spread of COVID – 19, crew changes are prohibited and that any disembarkment of crew members will be strictly related to sanitary reasons, and will be carried out with the authorization of the Health Border Authority.

Free practice would be done at roadstead prior to vessel’s entrance and all persons involved in the commercial operations, such as stevedores, agents, suppliers; should take all the necessary precautions (the use of antiseptic gel, gloves, mask) while providing commercial vessels.

Since Tuesday March 17th, the preventive measure of curfew has been applied in the country. The curfew is from 18h00 LT until 06h00LT, and therefore, the port shifts will be modified. Working hours at ports will be in two shifts distributed as follows: 1st shift from 07h00 LT until 13h00 LT and 2nd shift from 14h00 LT until 17h00 LT.

Rades Merchant Navy has issued a Circular on preventive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19:

  •  All vessels bound for Rades port will be submitted to health service checks on the roads before berthing in the port;
  •  Crew members are forbidden to leave the vessel and circulate in the port unless there is an emergency;
  •  Shipowners must specify a disinfected area on the vessel where the crew, the authorities, the local agents, and the stevedores may exchange documents.
  •  No-one should go on board if there is no necessity.
  •  All people working in Rades port shoud be provided with the preventive equipment necessary to guarantee their safety and protect their health.

27 March: Lock down is mandatory with a curfew as from 6 p.m.

The port is open but with some preventive measures that extend the length of the calls. Stevedores’ working time has been shortened, medical controlling is performed upon vessels’ arrival.
Flights and maritime connections for passengers have been postponed.

All offices are closed except for services deemed essential for the functioning of the country.

Tunisian stevedoring companies have introduced a new requirement for vessels berthing in Tunisian ports. Before commercial operations, professional disinfection is required for all vessel surfaces which stevedores are likely to touch, e.g. hatch covers, gangways, ramps, external container walls, doors etc. The stevedores have threatened to refuse to intervene on vessels which do not meet this requirement.

*Source: North P&I Club 


According to local members, outbound flights from Turkey to the following countries have been suspended:

  • Austria 
  • Belgium
  • China
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden

For Iran and Iraq border crossings have been closed as well.

In addition to the above, our members have informed that the below restrictions have been imposed by the Turkish General Directorate of Coastal Health Office:

  • All international crew member disembarkation has been prohibited, if the ship called one of the listed ‘’contaminated countries’’ ports in last 14 days. Starting from 15th day of call, all crew change operations is permitted  by providing below document.
  • Turkish nationality crew or international crew that has a Turkish working permit  called  during last 14 days to 1 of the above mentioned ‘’contaminated countries’’ ports, all crew changes  can be granted by providing the following documents:
  1. Last 10 ports of call
  2. Maritime Health Declaration
  3. Crew List
  4. The latest body temperature report of crew members (should be sent latest 24hrs before ships arrival and must contain temperature recordings for last 3 days)
  • If the Health Office is certain that there are no sick crew members on board and all health requirements have been met, the crew may be allowed to disembark and final body temperature readings are checked at shore.
  • Any technician visit to ship is permitted once ship provides above set of documentation for Coastal Health Office control and if no risk is recognised, permission to technicians is granted subject to the use of facial masks

**22 March -All husbandry services have been suspended at the Tupras Terminals at Tutunciftlik and Aliaga until further notice, due to the outbreak of Covid-19. 

Due to congestion at sanitary inspection in the Izmit region, customs control will not performed between the hours of 00:01 to 08:00 local time. Depending on terminal programmes, vessels can drop anchor at the Izmit anchorage area or berth at terminals upon arrival. However, if they arrive between 00:01 LT and 08:00, they will have to wait until 08:00 for customs control.

28 March - all crew changes and attendance of technicians/visitors in the Turkish Straits have been suspended until further notice. Only stores spares can be delivered without any contact between vessel and agency boats.**

Please find the digital Maritime Declaration of Health at the Ministry of Health

31 March - According to the New York Times, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on 27 March that Turkey had suspended all foreign flights. The Turkish government has also closed its land borders with Iran and Iraq, as well as the Dilucu border crossing with Azerbaijan and the Sarp border crossing with Georgia.

* Sources: Eksay Shipping and Trading Inc., BAC ShippingMMS Ltd, GAC (Turkey) and Sark Ekspres Shipping Agency Co. Inc., ** North P&I Club


*13 March -Sanitary authorities inspect all ships calling at Ukrainian ports, including Pivdenniy (ex-Yuzhny) port due to risks of COVID-19, i.e. not only ships from China, Hong-Kong, Far East region or Italy.

Temperature screening/measurements from crew members to be taken. Master should submit crew list and all crew members should complete the special health list in order to confirm his state of health. Sanitary inspection onboard takes about 1,5-2 hours  and if no sick persons onboard and no risk of COVID-19 the free practice is granted. Otherwise ship proceeds on anchorage and wait further sanitary decision.

All visitors (stevedores, agents, surveyors) should be informed in due course about precautionary measures during work onboard and it is prohibited to board the ship before the completion of sanitary inspection of crew, passengers onboard.

All visitors should use a protective disposable mask, latex protective gloves,  while onboard which should be remained onboard and ship’s administration should store them at special waste box for hazardous waste.

All visitors should use a disinfection liquids for washing the hands. In case of any suspect sick person will be found visitors, agents, crew, Masters should immediately notify Sanitary inspection about this fact for appropriate measures.

Removal of ship wastes should be discussed with the ship’s agent and will be possible after preliminary disinfection treatment only.

18 March - National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine closed the state border of Ukraine for foreign citizens, effective March 16, 2020 at 00:00 and continues for two weeks with an option of prolongation. Air connection to Ukraine to be closed from 17th of March.

In the meantime, the cargo customs stations, including ones located in Ukrainian ports, will operate in the ordinary regime, which territory is considered as the customs control zone with a limited access. Whilst the port clearance control all seafarers shall undergo an obligatory medical examination. Crew members will not be allowed to visit the cities.

Signing off of seafarers from and further repatriation of crew with foreign passports from the vessels at Ukraine ports will be prohibited by local Immigration Authorities.*

Extensions of seafarers certificates and SEAs
23 March - Ukraine announced via letter to the IMO that seafarers' documents issued by them expiring in March, April and May 2020, shall be deemed to be extended for no more than 3 months from the date of expiry of their term of validity. For extension of SEAs, the shipowner is obliged to inform the Maritime Administration and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine at the following email:, with the following information: name of shipowner, name and IMO number of the ship, seafarer's full name, position on board the ship, details of the qualification documents or scanned copies of it, a copy of the extended employment contract. 

*24 March: All the Ports in Ukraine are operating in usual manner. Crew are not allowed to go ashore. No crew changes allowed in Ukrainian ports

25 March: Government of Ukraine extended the period of quarantine in Ukraine until 24 April 2020. Thus all quarantine restrictions remain in force until 24 April 2020 and any seafarers’ repatriation to and from Ukraine before this date would be not possible due to quarantine restrictions (closed airports in Ukraine, absence of flights) , all precautionary quarantine measures for the vessels calling at Ukrainian ports remains in force as well.*

*Source: North P&I Club

United Arab Emirates


With the issue of circular 2/2020 the federal Transportation Agency are imposing the following restrictions>

  • Suspend Ferry services with Islamic Republic of IRAN until further notice from FTA.
  • Ship masters should send health declaration
  • 72 hours before arrival to UAE to the port authorities irrespective of their last port of call, with undertaking from the master that no crew member is suffering from any symptoms suggestive of Corona Virus illness.
  • Symptoms may appear after vessel arrival during the vessel stay at anchorage or at the berth, therefore port authorities should remind Master of the vessel to report any suspected cases after her arrival.
  • Suspected cases should be reported immediately by the port to the FTA and the Heath authorities.

Update to the above: 11 March

  • All UAE ports must ensure that any ship that has visited a Chinese port in previous 30 days must provide a Master’s statement that crew are free from symptoms. This must be provided at least 3 days prior to arrival.
  • Ferry services to and from Iran suspended until further notice
  • Masters to submit health declaration 72 hours before arrival.
  • Report  to the FTA and health authorities any suspected cases that may occur during vessel’s stay.

Abu Dhabi

According to circular 2/2020 Ports and terminals under the administration of Abu Dhabi Port Authority will be subject to the following restrictions:

  • Crew changes (Signing On/Off) are strictly prohibited for all calling vessels arriving from outside the Emirate of Abu Dhabi waters limits
  • No any crew member is allowed to disembark the vessel during its call at Abu Dhabi Ports. This include access to the berth/jetty. No shore leave is permitted including access to the seaman club.
  • No shore leave is permitted, including berth and jetty unless in case of emergency and subject to the Port Harbour Master's approval

Update to the above : Abu Dhabi Ports announced on 10 March that the following will take effect for three months:

  • Crew changes are prohibited for vessels arriving from outside Abu Dhabi.
  • No shore leave is permitted, including berth and jetty unless in case of emergency and subject to approval from harbour master.


For vessels calling Dubai all suspected cases - which includes sickness with relevant travel history or close contact with confirmed cases - must be reported to Dubai health authorities. Please find the original release here


With NTM 274 Fujairah follows the federal circulars and restriction regimes. Crew disembarkation is regulated by NTA 35/2020 according to which all disembarkation is suspended.

**30 March update  Crew change is strictly prohibited for vessels arriving from outside the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi
 Abu Dhabi Ports announced on 10 March that the following will take effect for three months:

  • Crew changes are prohibited for vessels arriving from outside Abu Dhabi
  • No shore leave is permitted, including berth and jetty unless in case of emergency and subject to approval from harbour master

Operational vessel movements are regular at all ports managed by Sharjah Ports Authority, but the following measures have been introduced for vessels at Sharjah ports to prevent/control the spread of COVID-19:

  • Masters of all vessels to provide IMO health declaration duly signed and stamped 72 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival, along with port required pre-arrival information including last 10 port of vessel call details and crew list.
  • Upon arrival of vessel into port, all crew must undergo health screening at designated facility located in ports.
  • If any crew indicate any symptoms of Covid 19, authorities will take necessary actions to quarantine and further medical interrogation.
  • Until completion of health screening and clearance from Port (verbal approval) no crew is permitted to go onshore (except health screening) nor any personnel are permitted to go onboard vessels.

Since 17 March, the issue of all types of visas (tourist, visit visa, mission visa & seaman visa) for embarking/disembarking crew members has been suspended/deleted from the online immigration system.  As an additional precautionary measure, effective from today (19 March), the UAE has suspended entry of residency visa holders who are currently out of the country, for a renewable period of two weeks. The issuance of all types of labour permits, including for drivers and domestic workers, has also been temporarily suspended until further notice. This decision excludes intra-corporate transfer permits and employment permits for Expo 2020.

Crew embarkation/disembarkation and shore leave passes are strictly restricted.

Offshore attendance at Khor Fakkan port has been temporarily suspended until further notice due to COVID-19

Boarding on any vessel by vessel agents/owners/representatives and surveyors will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances and will be subject to prior approval from the Port Authority.  Therefore note at present no surveyors are being allowed to board vessels in Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi ports.  Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have not yet restricted the surveyors attendance.

No crew will be permitted to disembark for medical assistance. Any medical assistance should seek boarding of medical team from the Fujairah Port Medical Centre.**

* Source: Gulf Agency Company (Dubai) LLC. , ** North P&I Club

United Kingdom

The UK authorities have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate but have not imposed any restrictions on sea transport. Please click on the following links to assess the situation in UK :

20 and 18 March March - Port of London-River Thames and Peel Ports issued "Pilot Embarkation Additional Procedures" applying to all ships; namely UK Government's virus alert of mentioned countries, countries where crew member was from a country subject to the virus alert within 14 days prior to arrival or subject to information received by the local Port Health Authority after receipt of the mandatory Maritime Declaration of Health of suspected cases. Please see the respective notice issued by the ports. See also "Pilotage operations during COVID-19" issued by the UK Maritime Pilots' Association and Maritime Pilot Transfer Arrangements - Suggested Procedure at UK Ports, issued on 30 March by UK maritime trade associations.

*Milford Haven – Dragon LNG have the following procedures in place with immediate effect:

  • Ships agents to only board ships if they need to have a face to face conversation with Master or for Cash to Master deliveries.

The following personnel will not be allowed to transit the terminal or board the ship:

  • Company staff from shipping company
  • Surveyors, Class, P&I etc.
  • Service engineers attending non-critical ships equipment
  • Sire Inspectors and Auditors
  • No crew changes will be allowed at Dragon LNG. Personnel will be allowed to sign off the ship but no personnel will be allowed to join.
  • Service engineers who need to attend for repair of critical ship systems will require a risk assessment to be carried out in conjunction with marine manager at Dragon LNG and the shipping company.
  • Shore leave will be allowed.
  • Ship welfare visits will not be allowed unless in an emergency and the Marine Manager will decide whether the Port Welfare Chaplin may visit onboard or will arrange a convenient location for a confidential meeting.
  • Government agencies visiting the ship will only be allowed in an emergency or after completing a Coronavirus questionnaire.*

*Source: North P&I Club 


12 Feb - Ships should report if they have on board crew members or passengers who are Chinese nationals or that have embarked in China, clearly specifying the date of embarkation.

It is reminded that the Health Declaration is an affidavit for which the Master of the ship is responsible. In case of misdeclaration, even if unintentional, the Master could face criminal charges for endangering the public health.

When the vessel has on board crew members or passengers who are Chinese nationals or that have embarked in China, then:

  • Before berthing, the Master will be requested to report whether there have been any crew members or passengers with fever during the last 48 hours. If affirmative, he will also be required to mention any other additional symptoms that may be present.
  • If the Surveillance Service concludes that there may be an infectious transmissible disease, the steps to be taken will be informed, and no access to the vessel will be granted until all requirements have been met.

17 March: Flights from Europe will be cancelled until further notice, effective from next Friday, 20th March. People coming from countries defined as high-risk (i.e. China, South Korea, Iran, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and United States), are obliged to remain in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

24 March: A new Presidential Decree was issued, with the following main aspects affecting the maritime industry:

  • Passengers and crew members of cruise ships and commercial vessels coming from “high risk areas”, as well as symptomatic ones from any origin port (presenting fever and one or more respiratory symptoms: cough, sore throat or respiratory difficulty), will not be allowed to disembark in the country.
  • “High risk areas” are those areas determined by the World Health Organization Health in its daily updates, being included to date Spain, Italy, France, Germany, People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  •  As a consequence of the above, no crew shifts in our ports are allowed from said countries.
  •  For reasons of public order and health nature, all borders with Argentina and Brazil have been closed and the entrance of non-nationals coming from those countries will not be allowed, whatever the modality of transport.

The international transport of goods, merchandises, correspondence, supplies and humanitarian and health assistance, is exempted from the prohibition on entry into the country.

See circular 02/20 

*Source: North P&I Club 


With the issue of  Presidential proclamations for 9993 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-immigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures To Address This Risk), 9992 ( Iran), 9993 ( Schengen Area),  9994 ( UK and Ireland) - all immigrants and non-immigrants with a recent travel history coming from the below mentioned countries - prohibited from entering the USA:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, and the Republic of Ireland

Persons with a recent travel history to China are not allowed to enter the USA. Please see the original release here

USCG requires ship representatives to report on sick or deceased crew/ passengers within the last 15 days. Please find the original release here.

USCG has provided an update 16 March ( MSIB 02-20 (Change 3)) 9 March 2020, establishing amongst others, the following important measures:  

  • Non-passenger commercial ships that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crewmembers from the countries noted above within the last 14 days, with no sick crew members,
    will be permitted to enter the U.S. and conduct normal operations, provided that crewmembers remain aboard the vessel except to conduct specific activities directly related to vessel cargo or provisioning operations.U.S. citizens or any other persons listed in Section 2 of Presidential Proclamation “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus”, for example crewmembers with a transit and/or crewmember visa, may be permitted to disembark the vessel to conduct vessel operations pier side or for the immediate and continuous transit through the U.S. to another country.
  • Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crewmembers from the countries noted above within the last 14 days, and do have sick crew members should expect delays and need to work with local health and port officials prior to entry. 
  • On March 13, 2020, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that member companies were voluntarily suspending cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call for 30 days. The CDC issued a No Sail Order on March 14, 2020 to all cruise ships that had not voluntarily suspended operations. The Coast Guard will closely coordinate with CDC to facilitate a safe and expeditious return of passengers onboard cruise ships that are underway and bound for U.S. ports. 
  • All persons that have been in or through a country listed above may be subject to CDC screening prior to disembarkation.

30 March - USCG issued MSIB 08-20, Change 1 on extension of Merchant Mariner Credential Endorsements and Medical Certificates. 

30 March - USCG issued MSIB 09-20 advising on the current protective measures regarding commercial ship compliance activities like ship inspections, exams and documentation. 

31 March - USCG issues MSIB 11-20 clarifying which categories of the workforce in the maritime sector would constitute essential marine transportation system (MTS) workers. This is to enable such workers to continue to work during periods of COVID-19 restrictions, access management, social distancing, or closure orders/directives. This list is not exhaustive.

Useful links:
The US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also updated their interim Guidance for ships on managing suspected coronavirus disease.
CDC - Maritime Resources.
USCG Marine Safety Information Bulletins


*17 March - The National Institute of Aquatic Spaces (INEA) INEA issued Circular No. 04 (Special Notice-02 COVID-19), dated 13 March 2020 – a number of preventive measures, among them (see Pandi circular):

  • Once the arrival notice is made, the Captain of the ship will be asked for the list of the last three (03) destination ports.
  • A sanitary inspection upon arrival of a ship to port. This visit will be applied to all national and foreign flag ships, either in transit or engaged in cabotage.
  • In the event that any member of the crew showing symptoms of the COVID-19, the ship will be directed to a quarantine area. Sanitary authorities will carry out the respective medical evaluation of the entire crew.
  • Measures will be taken to restrict or control the crews of ships that arrive at Venezuelan ports from overseas so that they do not go ashore.
  • Instructions will be given to the Captain of the ship, so that during stay in Venezuelan waters the crews use protective masks.
  • The Captain of the ship should be suggested to follow all the preventive measures that have been made public to avoid contagion, such as the use of protective masks, antiseptic gel and frequent effective washing of hands.

The Circular No. 04 does not imply militarization nor delay in port activities.

Additionally, the INEA has suspended until further notice the “physical visit” to the ship by its personnel in order to verify the validity of the ship´s documentation, what it will be now done via e-mail in coordination with ship agents.

*Source: North P&I Club 


18 March from North P&I Club:

"Immigration office has announced below information which is applied from 15 March until further notice:

1. China, Hong Kong, Macau, Korean, Italian, Iran are not allowed to entry Vietnam.

2. Visa exemption of Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, French, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland are not accepted.

3. Stop issuing visa for United Kingdom & Schengen countries.

4. Visa on arrival at airport of all nationalities are not accepted. Exit visa at port are not accepted either.

5. All nationalities will apply visa at Vietnam embassy of their countries. Condition for visa application will depends on requirement of Vietnam embassy at each country.

6. The rest of nationalities who can enter Vietnam by exemption visa or valid visa, if immigration officer finds out they have visited areas like UK, Schengen countries, China, Korea, they have two options:

OPTION 1 Continue Vietnam entry, then they are isolated for 14 days, after 14 days if they are negative of covid 19 they are allowed into entry Vietnam.
OPTION 2 Fly out of Vietnam.

7. Upon arrival airport, if quarantine officer finds out someone has a symptom of covid 19 they will isolate everyone on this flight, all guests on flight will have two options:
OPTION 1 Continue Vietnam entry, then they are isolated for 14 days, after 14 days if they are negative of covid 19 they are allowed into entry Vietnam
OPTION 2 Fly out of Vietnam

8. For shipping line related to crew change attending vessel, send below info for checking with immigration quarantine office:

  • List of 10 last port call
  • nationality of crew technician superintendent, etc

9. If the vessel called China, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea, EU Ports, crew change cannot be arranged crews on board are not allowed to go on shore for all purposes.

10. For vessels that have not called the listed ports, crew change can be arranged with some conditions Quarantine officer at port will:
On signer: check temperature or health condition before allowing enter port.
Off signer: they may check temperature daily and or the date of repatriation." 

Vinamarine, which is the authority assigned under the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam, has  on 30 January, given some general advice as this link ( unfortunately in Vietnamese) on this outbreak. From our internal sources, this appears to say that a mandate is given to individual Vietnamese ports to implement measures as appropriate to combat the outbreak at their ports. 

As a follow-up to the above, Hai Phong Port , with effect from 4th February, has taken some steps whereby all ships  travelling from Chinese ports to Hai Phong within the last 14 days have to be subject to quarantine. See link here.

Also, according to Spica International, Vietnam office, the Vietnamese maritime authorities have imposed a quarantine period of 14 days that apply to ships that have called a “Coronavirus epidemic area”. This means that a ship which has called China before calling Vietnam is subject to the quarantine rules. The quarantine period as based on Spica's understanding, starts from the time the ship arrives at the port of destination in Vietnam.

Ships intending to call at Vietnamese ports are highly recommended to liaise very closely with their agents as the agents will have the most recent information about measures implemented and the enforcement of same at their respective ports.


25 March : For one month from 24 March, Yemen’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Yemen has ordered private sector institutions and companies to minimize business hours and suspend all meetings and workshops.

The port of Aden remains open and operational with the below regulations in effect:

  • Ships shall be inspected at anchorage to ensure that they are free of Covid-19.
  • Ship’s crew shall not be permitted to disembark until they are certified free of Covid-19 by port health representatives.
  •  No person will be permitted to board ships at anchorage until they are inspected by port health representatives.
  •  Arrival of passengers from other ports is prohibited.
*Source: North P&I Club

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Based on WHO's recommendations, the IMO has issued advice on precautions to be taken to minimize risks to seafarers, passengers and others on board ships from COVID-19. An addendum has also been issued by IMO advising flag State authorities, port State authorities and relevant stakeholders to co-operate and ensure that the principles of avoiding unnecessary restrictions or delays to port entry of ships, persons or property are held as well as respecting the implementation and enforcement of relevant IMO instruments caused by this outbreak.  The circular also includes a communication received from the International Labour Organisation reminding flag States' obligation during this outbreak, to protect seafarers' health and medical rights under the Maritime Labour Convention.   

A further addendum has been issued. This time it is jointly by the Director-General of World Health Organisation ( WHO) and the Secretary-General of IMO to assist government states in ensuring that health measures are implemented in ways that minimise unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade; in particular respecting the requirements of "free pratique" for ships under the International Health Regulations ( ref: IHR 2005, article 28). 

Addendum no. 3 was issued on 2 March 2020 attaching WHO's guidance on operational considerations for managing this outbreak on board ships. 

Addendum no. 4 was issued on 5 March 2020 providing guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers. 

Addendum no. 5 was issued on 17 March 2020 giving guidance on the certification of seafarers, advising Administrations and Port State Authorities to take a pragmatic and practical approach in relation to extension of the necessary certificates and endorsements required.

Communication by the IMO Secretary General on tackling corona virus as well as sustainability of sea transport for the vital delivery of essential goods and services. (Circular letter No. 4224 dated 19 March 2020)

Addendum no. 6 was issued on 27 March 2020 advising of a preliminary list of recommendations to assist governments and relevant national authorities to take a pragmatic and practical approach to the facilitation of maritime trade during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations were proposed by a large group of NGOs including BIMCO. 

IMO Coronavirus (COVID-19) information section 

World Health Organization (WHO) - interim guidance/operational considerations on board ships

WHO has issued interim guidance to assist with management of the coronavirus outbreak on board ships, which includes amongst others; an outbreak management plan and information on pre-boarding, pre-disembarkment and pre-board screening.  

WHO maintains also a travel and tourism page giving guidance amongst others, on public health preparedness and response for the maritime sector and management of ill travellers at points of entry.

Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses

Members should note that BIMCO has two clauses (see below) that address contractual issues in relation to severe cases of virulent diseases, such as Ebola. The implications for shipowners and operators due to such outbreaks can be significant. Delays may occur and costs arise not only when the ship is in an area where the risk of infection is high, but also at a later date when the ship calls at ports far outside the region where restrictions may be imposed to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

The Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses for Voyage and Time Charter Parties have been developed for use in response to any severe outbreak of a virulent disease. The decision to take a generic clause approach to the Ebola outbreak reflects BIMCO's view that there have been a number of virulent diseases, such as SARS, that have also had a significant impact on the industry in the past and that it is likely that other severe virulent diseases may well occur in the future. The generic solution offered by BIMCO avoids having to write specific clauses to address individual outbreaks each time they occur.

Click here for general information on this virus and the latest WHO situation report or reach out to Maritime Information for more information.


Management of Public Health Events on Board Ships - WHO Handbook

A wide variety of events ranging in severity may occur on ships, requiring different responses or even no response. The World Health Organization (WHO), in this document, addresses events which have the likelihood of adversely affecting health of the human population through its course of spreading internationally or simply posing a serious and direct danger to health. Following an all-hazard approach, this document aims to provide technical advice to competent authorities at the port level for management of public health events on board ships and is also useful for shipping companies, ship masters, officers and crew.

Port State Control Inspection Regimes - Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 

Please find below the various press releases issued by the following MOU regimes regarding guidance on the impact of COVID-19: 

European Union - Implementation Measures

The European Union (EU) in support of the shipping industry, trade and seafarers during this coronavirus outbreak, has the European Commission (EC) adopting on 16 March 2020, the "Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services". These guidelines request that Member States implement them in order for all EU internal borders to stay open to freight and supply chain of essential products like food and medical supplies is guaranteed for quick delivery without any delays. The  introduction and implementation of green lanes to assist Member States with this would help to avoid delays which also includes any checks and health screening of transport workers. Member States should act immediately to temporarily suspend all types of road access restrictions in place in their territory (week-end bans, night bans, sectoral bans, etc.) for road freight transport and for the necessary free movement of transport workers. Hence exemptions apply to transport workers under the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU. 

The related documents are as follows: 

Flag State Instructions on COVID-19 

US and Canada issue Bulletin to combat Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) invasion

More AGM detections have been reported lately resulting in delayed entry to ports in the United States and Canada. According to reports received, this is due to high population levels of AGM in some countries regulated for AGM.

To combat this AGM invasion, the US and Canadian authorities have jointly issued a bulletin to advise vessel operators of what they can do to avoid potential delays at ports, bearing in mind that possessing a valid AGM certificate does not mean that the vessel cannot be ordered out of the port if AGM is detected.

Click here to read the joint-bulletin. Please also read BIMCO news piece of 27 June 2019 advising members of AGM dangers, precautions and usage of AGM clauses. 


Asian gypsy moth season strikes again

The Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) season has struck again. It starts from late May to September which is considered the high risk AGM period.  So a vessel which has called at a port in the regulated AGM area during the specified risk period of the current or previous year will be considered a vessel of high AGM risk. These vessels are required to comply with the relevant AGM regulations ( for example, a so-called AGM approved certificate) issued by the regulating countries, namely, Australia, Canada, Chile, USA and New Zealand. 

Members are advised to refer to our AGM section for information and guidance. 

Canadian Asian Gypsy Moth regulations

Current regulations

  • Asian gypsy moth notice issued February 2017 jointly by the CFIA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • CFIA Policy Directive D-95-03: Plant protection policy for marine vessels arriving in Canada from areas regulated for Asian Gypsy Moth - Revised October 2013
  • Clarificaton on bunkering location exemptions and Korean concession issued by CFIA on 23 January 2017 and modified on 2 February 2017


Joint notice issued by CFIA and USDA

Asian Gypsy Moth

February 2017

Asian gypsy moth (AGM) is a serious pest that can be carried on ships and cargo. AGM populations are prevalent in some seaport areas in Far East Russia, Japan, Korea, and Northern China. If introduced, AGM would have significant negative impacts on North American forestry and agriculture, the natural environment, the commerce that relies on those plant resources, and market access.

Vessels must arrive in North American ports free of AGM and with required pre-departure certification. It is vital that the maritime industry and authorities in the United States (U.S.) and Canada collaborate on measures to minimize the risk of AGM incursion. Although the plant health and agricultural agencies of the U.S. and Canada are independent and have differences in their legislation, AGM risk mitigation and exclusion efforts are a joint effort and a high priority.

When vessels arrive without the required AGM certification, or when AGM is detected, significant delays in cargo loading or discharging activities as well as in routine clearance can occur, resulting in loss of revenue to the shipping line and associated parties.

The shipping industry is now more aware of necessary quarantine compliance for AGM. This has been vital to maintaining shipping schedules. Both countries are committed to working with industry partners on measures to reduce AGM risk at origin.


For vessels that have called on areas regulated for AGM during the specified periods, as outlined in Table 1, the following measures are required:

  1. Vessels must be inspected and must obtain pre-departure certification from a recognized certification body. A copy of the certificate, stating that the vessel is free of AGM life stages, must be forwarded to their U.S or Canadian agents. The certificate must be issued from at least the last port of call in a regulated area that was visited during the specific risk period.
  2. Vessels must arrive in North American ports free from AGM. To avoid facing inspection delays, re-routing and other potential impacts associated with mitigating the risk of entry of AGM to North America, shipping lines should perform intensive vessel self-inspections to look for, remove (scrape off) and properly dispose of or destroy all egg masses and other life stages of AGM prior to entering U.S. and Canadian ports.
  3. Vessels must provide two year port of call data, at least 96 hours prior to arrival in a North American port, to the Canadian or U.S. agent. The agent is to ensure that this information is provided to U.S. and Canadian officials.

Table 1. Regulated Areas and Specified Risk Periods 

Country Port or Prefecture Specified Period
Russian Far East Nakhodka, Ol'ga, Plastun, Pos'yet, Russkiy Island, Slavyanka, Vanino, Vladivostok, Vostochny, Zarubino, Kozmino 1 July to 30 September
People's Republic of China All ports in northern China, including all ports north 31o15' 1 June to 30 September
Republic of Korea All ports 1 June to 30 September
Japan – Northern Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima 1 July to 30 September
Japan Western Akita, Yamagata, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa 25 June to 15 September
Japan - Eastern Fukui, Ibaraki, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie 20 June to 20 August
Japan - Southern Wakayama, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime, Kochi, Fukuoka, Oita, Saga, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima 1 June to 10 August
Japan - Far Southern Okinawa 25 May to 30 June

In addition, vessels are reminded to ensure they are in good repair and decks are clear of debris and unnecessary obstacles to allow for thorough inspection both in AGM regulated areas and upon arrival in North America. While in regulated ports during moth flight periods and where port operations and safety allow, reducing lighting and keeping exterior doors and curtains closed may reduce the number of moths being attracted to the vessel.  Requesting inspection and certification services as far in advance as possible and providing two-year port of call history at the time of that request allows the inspection and certification body to better plan for delivery of the service in a timely manner.

Upon arrival in North America, there have been detections on vessels that obtained predeparture certification.  If certification is issued many days prior to ship departure from an area regulated for AGM, re-infestation can occur. Therefore, it is important that inspection and certification be conducted as close to time of departure as feasible during flight periods.

It is the responsibility of the shipping lines to meet all requirements for entry to the U.S. and Canada, including freedom from AGM and other pest concerns. We strongly urge maritime interests to take all possible precautions.

Please be advised that, although the U.S. and Canada are in full agreement on the requirement for AGM pre-departure certification and vessels arriving free from all AGM life forms (egg masses, pupae, adults), due to sovereign regulations and policies, there are differences in portof-entry processes between the two countries.  Please contact local inspection authorities in the port of entry if you have any questions regarding AGM import requirements or clearance procedures."


CFIA Policy Directive

D -95-03: Plant protection policy for marine vessels arriving in Canada from areas regulated for Asian Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar, Lymantria albescens, Lymantria postalba, Lymantria umbrosa)

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 2013

(15th Revision)


This directive prescribes measures to prevent the entry of Asian gypsy moth (AGM) (Lymantria dispar, Lymantria albescens, Lymantria postalba, Lymantria umbrosa) on vessels and establishment of AGM in Canada

The regulated area in China has been clarified with the addition of latitude co-ordinates demarcating the southernmost extent of the regulated area. Appendix 1 has been amended to reflect this clarification. Appendix 4 has been amended to add three third party inspection bodies in Japan as recognized sources of pre-departure inspection certificates.


This directive will be updated as required. For further information or clarification, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).


Approved by:

Chief Plant Health Officer

Amendment Record

Amendments to this directive will be dated and distributed as outlined in the distribution below.


1. Plant Health Directive listserve
2. Other government organizations (Federal, Provincial, Municipal) (determined by Author)
3. National Industry and stakeholder Organizations (determined by Author)
4. Internet


Moths in the genus Lymantria are pests of a broad range of coniferous and deciduous trees in temperate and subtropical parts of the world. These insects feed on the foliage of a wide range of hosts of agricultural, forestry, horticultural or environmental importance. The species of concern are those that are absent from Canada including Lymantria albescens, Lymantria umbrosa, Lymantria postalba and the Asian strains of Lymantria dispar, together commonly called Asian gypsy moth (AGM).

Asian gypsy moth is not known to occur in North America, although incursions have occurred and populations have been eradicated in the past. Primarily, these entries have been the result of AGM larvae emerging from egg masses laid on ships and dispersing to land areas surrounding ports in North America. Port areas in infested countries sometimes experience high population levels of AGM. Females frequently fly at night and are known to be attracted to the lights aboard vessels and in the port areas. As a result, eggs may be laid on ship structures and cargo. These eggs are long-lived, tolerant of extremes in temperature and moisture, and can easily survive ocean crossings on vessels. When an infested vessel enters Canada, there exists the potential for the pest to be discharged along with the cargo or for the larvae of the insect to disperse onto surrounding vegetation through a natural process called "ballooning". Ballooning occurs when the larvae suspend themselves on a silken thread and are then carried by the wind to host trees where they feed. In the past, entry of this pest by vessels has necessitated a number of expensive and often intensive eradication programs. The CFIA's AGM policy has been in place since 1992 to mitigate future introductions.

Life stages of suspect AGM arriving in Canada on vessels from regulated ports in far eastern Asia where AGM is known to occur, as listed in this Directive, represent a risk to the Canadian plant resource base and the Canadian economy. The measures prescribed in this directive are intended to prevent incursions of AGM by requiring that AGM life stages, including egg masses, are eliminated from vessels arriving in Canada from regulated ports. Phytosanitary action may be taken on any suspect AGM life stage.


This directive is intended for use by any individual or company responsible for or acting on behalf of marine vessels wishing to enter Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Coast Guard (Department of Fisheries and Oceans), Transport Canada and the CFIA. This directive outlines the entry requirements for marine vessels arriving in Canada which have previously called upon ports in areas regulated for AGM.


ISPM No. 5: Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms, FAO, Rome (updated annually)

This directive supercedes D-95-03 (13th Revision) and any other policy documents on this subject.

Definitions, Abbreviations and Acronyms

Definitions for terms used in the present document can be found in the Plant Health Glossary of Terms.

1.0 General Requirements

1.1 Legislative Authority

The Plant Protection Act, S.C. 1990, c. 22
The Plant Protection Regulations, SOR/95-212
Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice, Canada Gazette: Part I
Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, S.C. 1995, c. 40
Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations, SOR/2000-187

1.2 Fees

The CFIA is charging fees in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. For information regarding fees associated with imported product, please contact the Import Service Centre (ISC).

Anyone requiring other information regarding fees may contact any local CFIA office or visit our Fees Notice Web Site.

1.3 Regulated Pests

The species and sub-species referred to as Asian gypsy moth, (AGM), Lymantria albescens, Lymantria umbrosa, Lymantria postalba, Lymantria dispar japonica and Lymantria dispar asiatica.

1.4 Regulated Areas
Regulated areas are listed in Appendix 1.1.5 Regulated Commodity

This policy applies to any marine vessel entering Canada that has called on a port in a regulated area during a specified risk period when AGM is likely to be deposited on marine vessels. A list of the specified risk periods for each of the areas regulated for AGM is provided in Appendix 1.

2.0 Specific Vessel Entry Requirements

A summary of requirements is provided in Appendix 2

All marine vessels entering Canada must be free from all life stages of AGM.

All marine vessels entering Canada are subject to inspection at any time of the year to verify freedom from AGM.

The Canadian agent is responsible for ensuring that a marine vessel which has visited a port in a regulated area, during the specified risk period (as per Appendix 1) in the current year or in the year immediately preceding the current year, notifies the applicable CFIA officer (as listed in Appendix 3) at least 96 hours prior to the vessel's arrival in Canadian waters.

The Master of a marine vessel which has visited a port in a regulated area during the specified periods listed in Appendix 1, in the current year or in the year immediately preceding the current year, must provide a summary of the ports called upon by the vessel for the past two years, to CFIA, either directly or via the vessel's Canadian agent. The vessel may be required to report at a designated inspection site at a time mutually agreed to by the agent and the CFIA.

2.1 Marine vessels entering Canada during the AGM risk period for Canada

The AGM risk period for Canada begins in Western Canadian ports on March 1 and in Eastern Canadian ports on March 15. The end of the AGM risk period in Canada ends on September 15 for all Canadian ports.

The Master of a marine vessel arriving during the AGM risk period for Canada which has visited a port in a regulated areas during the specified risk periods listed in Appendix 1 in the current year or in the year immediately preceding the current year must provide to CFIA, either directly or via the vessel's Canadian agent:

- a summary of the ports called upon by the vessel for the past 2 years; and

- a copy of a Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) (a list of recognized sources of phytosanitary certificates and pre-departure inspection certificates is provided in Appendix 4).

Prior to the vessel entering Canadian waters, the Canadian agent is responsible for ensuring that the CFIA is notified. At the time of notification, a summary of ports of call and copies of an approved Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) must be provided to the CFIA. Contact information for CFIA offices in Eastern and Western Canada can be found in Appendix 3.

The Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) must be issued by a National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) or recognized certification body, as specified in Appendix 4. The certificate must state that the vessel was inspected and found free from AGM. The certificate must be issued from at least the last port of call in a regulated area (as specified in Appendix 1) that was visited during the specified risk period prior, or anytime afterwards, prior to entering Canadian waters.

The vessel may enter a Canadian port upon written confirmation by the appropriate CFIA office. The vessel remains subject to inspection by the CFIA during its stay in Canada. The original Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) must be made available to the CFIA for review upon request.

Vessels that fail to meet this requirement for a certificate will be considered non-compliant. A certified vessel for which an inspection reveal the presence of AGM will be non-compliant and actions taken in accordance with Section 4.0.

2.2 Marine vessels entering Canada outside of the AGM risk period for Canada.

Subject to the requirements outlined in section 2.0, all marine vessels arriving in Canada outside of the AGM risk period for Canada, which have visited ports in regulated areas will be permitted to enter Canadian ports without interruption. These vessels are subject to inspection at any time during their stay in Canada.

A Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) for the vessel is not required for entry into Canada during this period.

Should an inspection reveal the presence of AGM, the vessel will be considered to be non-compliant and actions taken in accordance with Section 4.0.

3.0 Inspection Procedures

CFIA inspection staff will determine the frequency of inspection and geographical location of the inspection prior to entry into Canada. CFIA inspection staff will thoroughly inspect all areas of a marine vessel at a designated inspection site. Inspections normally occur during daylight hours. The CFIA will notify the vessel in writing of the inspection results.

Marine vessels which have visited a regulated area and present a valid Phytosanitary Certificates or other approved certificate(s) (as per Appendix 4) and that are found free of AGM after phytosanitary inspection by authorities in the United States (U.S.) may enter a Canadian port without inspection, provided that the original confirmation of inspection carried out by U.S. authorities is presented.

4.0 Non-Compliance

4.1 Certification

A vessel without the required certification under Section 2.1 may not be permitted entry into Canada unless:

- an inspection by the CFIA at a designated offshore inspection site is conducted, and

- the inspector is satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated.

If the vessel is permitted entry, the vessel will be considered non-compliant during the entire stay in Canada and vessel movements will be regulated by the CFIA while the vessel is in Canadian waters. The vessel may be subject to additional enforcement action. A vessel calling on a Canadian port for a second time without the required certification may be refused entry to Canada.

4.2 Infestation

Upon inspection, if an inspector is not satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated, the vessel will be ordered out of Canadian waters and refused entry for up to two years during the AGM risk period for Canada or until the ship meets the requirements specified in Section 2.1. The vessel may also be subject to additional enforcement action.

At a CFIA inspector's discretion, a vessel that has been ordered out of Canada or the U.S. due to the presence of AGM may be permitted to conduct a thorough cleaning of all life stages of AGM outside Canadian waters. Once cleaning is complete, the vessel may be allowed to return to Canadian waters for re-inspection at a designated offshore inspection site. If an inspector is satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated, the vessel may then be allowed to proceed to a Canadian port. The vessel's movements will be regulated by the CFIA while in Canadian waters. During subsequent visits to Canada, a vessel found infested with AGM may be required to be inspected at a designated off-shore inspection site prior to entry into Canada, unless the vessel meets the entry requirements specified in Section 2.0. The vessel may also be subject to additional enforcement action.

Upon re-inspection of the vessel, if an inspector is not satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated, the vessel will be ordered out of Canadian waters and refused entry for up to two years during the AGM risk period for Canada or until the ship meets the requirements specified in Section 2.1.

Notifications of non-compliance will be issued in accordance with D-01-06: Canadian Phytosanitary Policy for the Notification of Non-compliance and Emergency Action.

5.0 Appendices

Appendix 1: Regulated Areas and Specified Risk Periods

Appendix 2: Summary of Entry Requirements

Appendix 3: List of CFIA Contacts and Designated Offshore Inspection Sites, for Asian Gypsy Moth, in Eastern and Western Canada

Appendix 4: List of Recognized Sources of Phytosanitary Certificates and Pre-departure Inspection Certificates

Appendix 1: Regulated Areas and Specified Risk Periods

Country Ports Specified period
Russia Far East Nakhodka, Ol'ga, Plastun, Pos'yet, Russkiy Island, Slavyanka, Vanino, Vladivostok Vostochny, Zarubino, Kozmino July 1 to September 30
People's Republic of China All ports in northern China, including all ports north of Shanghai (defined as all ports on or north of 31°15’ north latitude) June 1 to September 30
Republic of Korea All ports June 1 to September 30
Country Prefecture Specified period
Japan - Northern Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima July 1 to September 30
Japan Western Akita, Yamagata, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa June 25 to September 15
Japan - Eastern Fukui, Ibaraki, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie June 20 to August 20
Japan - Southern Wakayama, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime, Kochi, Fukuoka, Oita, Saga, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima June 1 to August 10
Japan - Far Southern Okinawa May 25 to June 30

Appendix 2: Summary of Entry Requirements 

Marine Vessels two year port  of call history Arrival date
in Canada
Quarantine Action
Marine vessels that have called on AGM regulated areas during the specified risk period as outlined in Appendix 1 during the current year or the preceding year  Arriving during the AGM risk period for Canada

Western ports:
March 1 to September 15

Eastern ports:
March 15 to September 15
A valid Phytosanitary Certificate or recognized pre-departure inspection certificate (a list of CFIA recognized certificates is provided in Appendix 4) verifying that the vessel is free of AGM must be presented.

The vessel is subject to inspection for the presence of AGM on arrival in Canada. Vessels without valid certification will be considered non-compliant, and held at a designated off-shore inspection site for CFIA inspection. If a CFIA inspector is satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated, vessels may be permitted to enter Canada, but their movements will be monitored while in Canada.
Marine vessels that have called on AGM regulated areas during the specified risk period as outlined in Appendix 1 during the current year or the preceding year  Arriving outside the AGM risk period for Canada

Western ports:
September 16 to February 28 (or 29)

Eastern ports:
September 16 to March 14
A Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) for the vessel is not required. Marine vessels may be inspected at berth for presence of AGM. If AGM is detected during inspection, the vessel will be considered non-compliant.
Marine Vessels which have not visited an area regulated for AGM in the current year or the preceding year OR visited an area regulated for AGM outside of the specified risk period for this area as outlined in Appendix 1 in the current year or the preceding year
Year round, all ports
A Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) for the vessel is not required. Any marine vessel may be inspected for the presence of AGM. If AGM is detected during inspection, the vessel


Appendix 3: List of CFIA Contacts and Designated Offshore Inspection Sites, for Asian Gypsy Moth, in Eastern and Western Canada

Eastern Canada

CFIA AGM Vessel Monitoring Unit Contact Information:

Dartmouth Sub-District Office
Phone: 902-426-3874
Fax: 902-426-5147

Designated Offshore Inspection Sites:

Chedabucto Bay
Halifax Harbour

Western Canada

CFIA AGM Vessel Monitoring Unit Contact Information:

Vancouver Harbour Sub-District Office
Phone: 604-666-3837
Fax: 604-666-1156

Designated Offshore Inspection Sites:

Constance Bank
Hecate Strait

Appendix 4: List of Recognized Sources of Phytosanitary Certificates and Pre-departure

Inspection Certificates

Phytosanitary Certificates issued by the NPPO of Russia.

A Pre-departure Inspection Certificate is an approved certificate if issued by the International Plant Quarantine Accreditation Board (IPAB) in the Republic of Korea.

A Pre-departure Inspection Certificate is an approved certificate if issued by the China Certification and Inspection Company Ltd. (CCIC) in the People's Republic of China.

A Pre-departure Inspection Certificate is an approved certificate if issued by the following recognized third party inspection bodies in Japan:

  • All Nippon Checkers Corporation (ANCC)
  • The Japan Cargo Tally Corporation (JCTC)
  • Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center Co., Ltd. (JEVIC)
  • Japan Grain Inspection Association (JGIA)
  • Hokkaido Bouekikunjyo Co. Ltd. (HBKC)
  • Hokuriku Port Service Co., Ltd. (HPS)
  • Intertek Testing Services (Australia) Pty Limited – Japan Branch (INTERTEK)
  • Kanto Fumigation Co. Ltd. (KFCO)
  • Kobe Plant Quarantine Association (KOBEPQA)
  • Keiyochiku Plant Quarantine Association (KPQA)
  • Kyoritsu Sanitary Co. Ltd. (KRS)
  • Muroran & Tomakomai Plant Quarantine Association (MTPQA)
  • Navrex & Corporation (NRX)
  • Nikkun Co. Ltd. (NCL)
  • Nippon Kaiji Kentei Kyokai (NKKK)
  • Okayama-Ken Plant Quarantine Association (OKYPQA)
  • Osaka Plant Quarantine Association (OPQA)
  • Osaka Timber Quarantine Association (OSKTQA)
  • Shin Nihon Kentei Kyokai (SNKK)
  • Techno Kasei Co. Ltd. (TKL)
  • Tokai Plant Quarantine Association (TOKAIPQA)
  • Tokyo Plant Quarantine Association (TPQA)
  • Yokohama Plant Protection Association (YPPA) 

Clarificaton on bunkering location exemptions and Korean concession

The CFIA has received questions from the shipping industry regarding the inclusion of bunkering locations in the areas regulated for AGM. This memorandum clarifies that inspection and certification for AGM is required if vessels have called on those areas during the specified risk period. The Canadian AGM policy does not exempt bunkering locations – including those at anchorage sites – from this requirement.

While the AGM policy does not exempt bunkering locations, a concession was provided to ships bunkering at anchorage in a few regulated ports in Korea where there had been reports that AGM inspection services could not be obtained at certain times of the year. This concession was provided to vessels visiting a port in Korea exclusively to bunker at anchorage. The CFIA has confirmed with the NPPOs in all areas regulated for AGM that inspection and certification services can be delivered at all locations regulated for AGM, including bunkering sites at anchor.

Vessels should obtain inspection and certification from all locations in the regulated area, including when bunkering at anchorage within these areas.

  • For vessels which called on Korean bunkering sites at anchorage in 2016 and did not obtain certification, an exemption will be granted if these vessels arrive in Canada during the 2017 season and appropriate certification has been obtained from all other required locations.
  • However, vessels calling on bunkering locations at anchor in 2017 are expected to be inspected and certified if they will be calling on Canada during the Canadian high risk period.
  • Vessels that call on bunkering locations at anchor in 2017 and arrive in Canada during the high risk period without required AGM certification will be considered non-compliant.


Trading restrictions (Canada)

Trading restrictions imposed against Canada

Trading restrictions imposed by Canada

 In addition to the United Nations sanctions Canada has imposed the following:

Canadian sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

 The Special Economic Measures (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations which entered into force on 31 August 2011, subject to certain exceptions, include:

  • A prohibition on any ship that is registered in the DPRK to dock in Canada or pass through Canada unless such docking or passage is necessary to safeguard human life.
  • A prohibition on financial services to, from or for the benefit of or on the direction or order of the DPRK or any person in the DPRK by any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada.
  • A prohibition on all imports or shipment of any goods that are exported, supplied or shipped from the DPRK, whether the goods originated in the DPRK or elsewhere, by any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada.
  • A prohibition on all exports or shipment any goods, wherever situated, to the DPRK or any person in the DPRK or to deal in any goods destined for the DPRK or any person in the DPRK, by any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada.

Canadian sanctions against Myanmar

Sanctions are specified under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations which entered into force on 13 December 2007.

The current sanctions include:

  • a freeze on assets in Canada of any designated Myanmar national connected with the State of Myanmar and prohibitions on several categories of transactions, services and dealings involving property of designated persons, wherever situated
  • an arms embargo, including prohibitions on exporting and importing arms and related material to and from Myanmar, on communicating technical data related to military activities or arms and related material, and on financial services related to military activities or arms and related material. Exempt are certain protective or non-lethal military clothing and equipment when intended for use by media, humanitarian, human rights or other listed personnel.

Canadian sanctions against Iran

Canada imposed new sanctions on Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). These sanctions were in addition to existing sanctions passed by the United Nations Security Council and entered into force on 22 July 2010.

On 29 May 2013 Canada announced an immediate ban on all imports to and exports from Iran, subject to certain exemptions; and added a further 30 individuals and 82 entities to Canada's list of designated persons with whom dealings are prohibited under the Special Economic Measures Act. With these new measures, the total number of designated persons rises to 78 individuals and 508 entities.

Except where designated individuals and entities are involved, exemptions are provided for activities that safeguard human life, provide disaster relief, food or medicine and the new exemptions for equipment, services and software that facilitate secure and widespread communications via information technologies; goods used to purify water for civilian and public health purposes, and for the provision of listed medical equipment; and expand the existing exemptions for the provision of legal services.

Canadian sanctions against Syria

Sanctions are specified under the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations which were last amended on 28 November 2012.

Some of the sanctions include:

  • a prohibition on the import, purchase, acquisition, or transportation of goods, other than food for human consumption, that are exported, supplied or shipped from Syria after 23 December 2011
  • a prohibition on the import, purchase, acquisition, or transportation of petroleum or petroleum products, excluding natural gas, from Syria;
  • an asset freeze on designated individuals and entities
  • a prohibition on new investment in the oil industry in Syria; and
  • a prohibition on providing financing for the activities described above.
  • a prohibition on the export, sell, supply or ship to Syria or any person in Syria any of the goods set out in Schedule 2 of the Act.

For a complete list of sanctions please see Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations below.

Bunker prices: sourced from

Current bunker prices Last Updated: 11:19 (GMT) - 5 April 2020

Rotterdam 170 ↑ (+20) 235 ↑ (+20) 300 ↑ (+20)
Singapore 192 ↑ (+11) 263 ↑ (+4) 278 ↑ (+8)
Fujairah 200 ↑ (+15) 270 ↓ (-5) 432 ↓ (-2)
Copenhagen 188 ↑ (+20) 253 ↑ (+20) 308 ↑ (+20)
Gothenburg 185 ↑ (+20) 250 ↑ (+20) 305 ↑ (+20)
St. Petersburg 165 ↑ (+20) 200 ↑ (+10) 260 ↑ (+10)
Tallinn 180 ↑ (+20) 259 ↑ (+10) 340 ↑ (+10)
Gibraltar 221 ↑ (+5) 255 ↑ (+8) 332 ↑ (+22)
Pireaus 208 ↑ (+4) 269 ↑ (+4) 307 ↓ (-1)
Istanbul 295 ↑ (+5) 320 ↑ (+5)
Houston 180 ↑ (+8) 240 ↑ (+20) 335 ↑ (+13)
Panama Canal 222 → (+0) 273 → (+0) 337 → (+0)
Santos 265 ↓ (-7) 265 ↓ (-7) 453 ↓ (-2)
Buenos Aires 345 → (+0) 580 → (+0)
Hamburg 195 ↑ (+30) 245 ↑ (+40) 308 ↑ (+26)
Riga 177 ↑ (+20) 251 ↑ (+10) 370 ↑ (+10)
Antwerpen 172 ↑ (+20) 237 ↑ (+20) 302 ↑ (+20)
New York 195 → (+0) 277 ↑ (+37) 355 ↑ (+30)
Philadelphia 198 → (+0) 282 ↑ (+37) 360 ↑ (+30)
Hong Kong 210 ↑ (+5) 265 ↓ (-5) 278 ↑ (+6)
Genoa 200 ↑ (+20) 294 ↑ (+4) 371 ↑ (+4)
Augusta 185 ↑ (+20) 296 ↑ (+4) 354 ↑ (+4)
Rio de Janeiro 290 ↓ (-7) 290 ↓ (-7) 423 ↓ (-2)
Bremerhaven 190 ↑ (+30) 288 ↑ (+40) 333 ↑ (+26)
Paranagua 302 → (+0) 302 → (+0) 488 → (+0)
Rio Grande 295 ↓ (-7) 295 ↓ (-7) 487 ↓ (-2)
Salvador 303 ↓ (-7) 303 ↓ (-7) 468 ↓ (-2)
Fortaleza 281 ↓ (-7) 281 ↓ (-7) 476 ↓ (-2)
Fremantle 450 → (+0) 460 ↓ (-20)
Belem 324 ↓ (-7) 324 ↓ (-7) 500 ↓ (-2)
Tubarao 290 ↓ (-7) 290 ↓ (-7) 476 ↓ (-2)
Curacao 533 → (+0) 658 → (+0)
New Orleans 220 ↓ (-15) 270 ↑ (+20) 330 ↓ (-5)
Manaus 304 ↓ (-6) 304 ↓ (-6) 464 ↓ (-2)
Niteroi 290 ↓ (-7) 290 ↓ (-7) 423 ↓ (-2)
Praia Mole 290 ↓ (-7) 290 ↓ (-7) 476 ↓ (-2)
Vila do Conde 324 ↓ (-7) 324 ↓ (-7) 500 ↓ (-2)
Vitoria 290 ↓ (-7) 290 ↓ (-7) 476 ↓ (-2)
Itaqui (XP) 334 → (+0) 334 → (+0) 496 → (+0)
Miami 227 ↑ (+8) 388 ↑ (+13)

Maximum Size

In metres
In feet
Max. LOA
Max. beam
Max. draft - at chart datum
Max. DWT

The maximum dimensions mentioned above do not necessarily apply to all berths, quays or areas within the port.

The draft is depending of the water level above chart datum, for information contact Harbour Master's office or local agents. Channel dredged to 37.0 ft below chart datum. Water level usually fluctuates from around 6.0-8.0 ft in spring to 2.0-3.0 ft in the fall thus giving an available depth of 44.0-38.0 ft.

Underkeel regulations provide a clearance of around 3.0 ft in the navigation channel, depending of the width of the vessel. Underkeel clearance regulations can be obtained from the Harbour Master's office or via agents.

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