Accordingly, GOJ is encouraging ship owners to make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible to safely repatriate seafarers whose Seafarers Employment Agreement has expired and has implemented measures to support the repatriation of seafarers and crew changes via Jamaica.

Yet, in special cases, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica will consider extending SEAs to facilitate trade continuity, where the circumstances warrant and there is mutual agreement between the owner and the seafarer.

Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, MAJ Director General stated that

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica is cognizant of the crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and its debilitating impact on the global community. There has been some improvement as some ports across the world have re-opened, and seafarers are being repatriated in some instances.

According to Jamaica's statement, seafarers wishing to transit Jamaica to join a ship or to return home are required to complete the following two-step process:

#1 Visit the MAJ website at www.maritimejamaica.com, download and complete the “Jamaica Crew Change Form” and submit by email, along with the required supporting documentation to [email protected]

This should be submitted at least 48 hours before the intended date of arrival in Jamaica. Approved applicants will be issued with an electronic certificate by the MAJ via email. 

#2 The second step requires application for actual travel authorization. The seafarers should visit www.visitjamaica.com website, follow the steps outlined for all non-residents seeking to visit Jamaica. On arrival in Jamaica, the unique number on the Certificate should be provided to the Immigration Authorities to activate the expedited transit status.