Accordingly, after the discussions around the matter of crew chanages peaked, MPA now allows crew changes for:

  • seafarers whose employment contract has expired
  • additional crewmembers on board whose sign-off would not affect the safe manning of the ship
  • change of crew due to the sale or purchase of ship
  • personnel who are not part of the ship’s crew, such as superintendents and service engineers.

In the meantime, crew movements are up to restrictions. This means that seafarers who are signing off must be able to confirm that they have not been off the ship within the past 14 days and have not been ill during that period.

Also, they must have a fit-for-travel medical certificate issued by a Singaporean doctor, and they must be able to show documentation proving the reason for their departure - e.g., the expiry of their employment contract or the sale/purchase agreement showing that their ship has changed hands.

Those who are signing on also face tough requirements prior to arrival. They must be able to confirm that they have been in quarantine in their home country for at least two weeks and have been well throughout the period. They also must take a COVID-19 lab test in their home country no more than two days prior to travel to Singapore, and they must have a local doctor issue a fit-to-travel medical certificate no more than 24 hours before their flight.

It is added that all arrivals and departures must transit directly between the airport (or other arrival point) and the ship, with no stops in between. If any ship disembarks seafarers, it cannot leave the dock until the former crewmembers have left the country - giving the ship manager a strong incentive to ensure that no seafarers stray from the plan.

The new policy expands on Singapore's existing allowance for critical crew change movements - like travel allowances for crewmembers who have served their maximum allowable time on board, compassionate grounds for seafarers who have lost a family member at home, or seafarers who are no longer medically fit to work.

To learn more about the policy click herebelow

Port marine circular no26 of 2020