The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has enhanced crew change requirements, effective from 27 October 2021.
- Signing-on crew are required to serve Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) in the crew’s originating country/region in the period immediately prior to their departure flight/ferry to Singapore. They should be completely isolated in a room with a dedicated toilet with strictly no interaction with others (including family members) at their place of residence, or serve the SHN in a dedicated facility/hotel.
- Fully vaccinated crew from specific countries/regions under the Vaccinated Travel Lane may sign-on without serving SHN.
- The crew must have a negative result from a COVID-19 test (polymerase chain reaction (PCR) type) taken at a government-approved or ISO 15189-accredited testing facility at his/her originating country not more than 48 hours prior to departure for Singapore.
- The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor at his/her originating country not more than 24 hours prior to departure for Singapore.
- Signing-on crew shall have MPA’s Final No Objection email prior to departure from his/her SHN location.
- During the entire crew change process, including during the journey to Singapore, the crew should not be in a group of more than 5 persons, and must remain in the same group. There must be no interactions between groups.
- Unvaccinated crew or fully vaccinated crew should only join their ship not more than 2 days or 3 days respectively before the date of the ship’s final departure from Singapore. For ships departing for sea trial and returning to Singapore, the date of departure for sea trial will not be considered the date of the ship’s final departure.
- Unvaccinated crew shall only join the ship in Singapore after all high-risk shore-based personnel have completed their work on board and disembarked the ship.
- Meet-and-greet services must be arranged for sign-on crew arriving at Changi Airport, to escort the crew from the moment they disembark the plane to the point where they are handed over to the agent for the direct transfer to the ship or designated holding facility.
- Crew who have recovered from COVID-19 must submit documentary proof of his/her past diagnosis of COVID-19 based on the earliest positive PCR test result. If the date of the positive PCR test result is 21 days or fewer before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she will not be approved for crew change.
- Crew must not have gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking the ship, must have remained well and not had contact with any known or suspected case of COVID-19 throughout that period.
- The crew must refrain from interacting with shore-based personnel at previous ports of call in the last 14 days.
- The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship. Tele-medicine can be used to obtain a fit-to-travel assessment and certification. MPA will accept fit-to-travel certificates issued by Singapore Medical Council-fully registered doctors.
- During the entire crew change process, the crew should not be in a group of more than 5 persons, and must remain in the same group. There must be no interactions between groups.
- Crew subjected to serology test shall remain onboard until production of a negative COVID-19 serology test result.
DESIGNATED CREW CHANGE HOLDING FACILITIES
Unvaccinated sign-on crew and sign-off crew may stay at the designated holding facilities in Singapore for up to 24 hours. Fully vaccinated crew can stay up to 72 hours.
The Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience Fund Taskforce (SFTF) has developed a CrewSafe audit programme that endeavours to assist crew source nations to bring a higher level of confidence and quality control checks into crew change processes such as quarantine/holding, medical and swabbing facilities.
The following concessions may be given on the applications of signing-on crew who undergo the protocol under these CrewSafe accredited facilities located overseas:
(a) Submission of crew change application must be made at least 7 days in advance, instead of 10 days.
(b) If a sign-on crew undergoing the CrewSafe protocol is cancelled, direct replacement for this crew will be allowed if the replacement has been undergoing CrewSafe protocol for the same required duration, instead of having to re-submit a new application and re-start the process.
(c) At Singapore, sign-on crew who had undergone the CrewSafe protocol may stay at the designated holding facilities for up to 5 days, if required.
All crew that utilise Marina South Pier (MSP) or West Coast Pier (WCP) shall remain at the designated holding areas while waiting to clear immigration. If full, crew shall remain in their private transportation.
For signing-off crew, private transportation shall be ready and waiting so they can depart MSP/WCP immediately upon clearing immigration.
At no time should crew loiter outside the holding area and interact with the general public.
Service providers that facilitate crew change in Singapore shall comply with the minimum level of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Land transport drivers and launch boat operators shall be on 3-Day Fast and Easy Testing RRT regime using Antigen Rapid Test.
Crew shall be transferred directly from the airport/ferry terminal to the vessel/holding facilities/vaccination centre and vice versa without any detour.
Land transport drivers and launch boat operators shall keep all windows open when ferrying sign-on/off crew, as far as practicable. They shall always maintain safe distancing and shall not handle the crew’s belongings at any time. The seats and other frequently touched surfaces shall be disinfected after each trip.
The agent shall charter a dedicated launch boat for conveyance of sign-on/off crew between the pier and vessel. No other personnel shall take the same launch boat as the sign-on/off crew.
COVID-19 PRE-DEPARTURE TESTING
- MPA has been facilitating COVID-19 pre-departure testing for sign-off crew in Singapore on a case-by-case basis. MPAs approval shall be sought for signing-off crew to take PDT in Singapore.
- For crew change applications where the sign-off crew requires PDT before departing, signing-off crew shall produce a negative test result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken at the vessel’s last port of call before Singapore provided no crew change has been carried out in the last 14 days before the vessel’s last port of call. The test results shall be submitted to MPA as soon as available before the vessel arrives in Singapore. If crew change has been carried out in the last 14 days before the vessel’s last port of call, all crew on board (not only signing-off crew that require PDT in Singapore) shall produce a negative test result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken at the vessel’s last port of call. Test results shall be submitted to MPA as soon as available before the vessel arrives in Singapore.
- COVID-19 PCR test(s) should be taken not more than 48 hours prior to departure from its last port before heading to Singapore. The test shall be carried out by a government-approved or ISO 15189-accredited testing facility.