Following the update of requirements concerning crew change operations for cargo ships in the port of Singapore in September, MPA has now further reviewed and revised its crew change requirements for sign off.
Through a new Port Marine Circular as of 9 November, MPA Singapore informs of the new requirements as follows:
(a) In general, all signing-on crew are required to serve 14-day Stay-HomeNotice (SHN) in the crew’s originating country/region in the period immediately prior to his/her departure flight/ferry to Singapore. The crew should be completely isolated in a room with a dedicated toilet with strictly no interaction with others (including family members) at his/her place of residence, or serve the SHN in a dedicated facility/hotel.
(b) Crew from specific low risk countries/regions will either no longer be required to serve the SHN or serve a shorter SHN of 7 days in his/her originating country/region prior to departure for Singapore.
(c) 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 72 hours prior to departure for Singapore.
(d) 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.
(e) During the entire crew change process, including during the journey to Singapore, the crew should not be in a group of more than five persons, and must remain in the same group. There must be no interactions between groups.
(f) The crew should only arrive Singapore to join his/her ship not more than two days before the ship’s departure from Singapore.
(g) 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.
- If the date of the positive PCR test result is between 22 to 90 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, the recovered crew need not serve the SHN at his/her originating country/region and take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore.
- If the date of the positive PCR test result is between 91 to 180 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she must serve a 14-day SHN at his/her originating country/region. The recovered crew need not take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore, but if he/she develops symptoms during the SHN period, he/she must be tested for COVID-19.
- If the positive PCR test result is more than 180 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she must serve a 14-day SHN at his/her originating country and take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore.
Sign-off (updates in bold)
- The 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 suspect case of COVID-19 throughout that period.
- The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship.
- MPA will facilitate COVID-19 pre-departure testing for sign-off crew in Singapore in accordance with the prevailing national policy. Ship owners/managers/agents will bear the cost of the COVID-19 tests of their crew, where applicable.
- Crew subjected to serology test shall remain onboard until production of a negative COVID-19 test result.
Stay at holding facilities
Sign-on and sign-off crew may stay at designated holding facilities for up to 72 hours.
Meanwhile, MPA will continue to consider the following circumstances for crew change applications:
- crew whose employment contract has expired;
- additional crew 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;
- compassionate grounds e.g. death of family member; or
- the crew is no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship.