Malaysia – Coronavirus Disease Update

All ports

Effective February 17, all respective companies must provide face masks , hand gloves and sanitizer to all personnel.

Effective February 18, all foreigners from affected countries are required to fill declaration form provided by Immigration Department.

Effective February 28, Not to Land (NTL) for all crews provinces from Daegu , Cheongdon , Zhejiang , Hubei, Wuhan and Jiangsu, Lombardy, Veneto region. Crews that arrives at KUL Airport will be given a Health Alert Card which MUST be kept for the next 14 days. Health Alert Card (HAC) issued by the MOH for passengers to declare their current state of health.

Effective March 2, documents (maritime declaration of health, voyage memo & crew list) must be submitted to Port Health officer within 48 to 72 hrs before vessel arrival.

Effective March 18, all Customs service at seaports, airports and autogates will continue to operate with minimal personnel. However, operations in other parts of customs will continue to operate through online platforms.

Effective 20th March ( Review update from 19th March, Guideline from 19th March is no longer in effect and should be removed.

  • All seafarers regardless of nationality are PROHIBITED from carrying out any crew change activities (sign-on/off) in any Malaysia port, EXCEPT:
    – The seafarer on board needs medical evacuation.
    – The seafarer on board have developed explicit COVID-19 symptoms.
    – Approved sign-off port only upon confirmation from Marine Department.
  • For any crew-change activities due to the circumstances stated in paragraph (1), the replacement crew is ONLY ALLOWED if:
    – The affected vessel is operating not in compliance with the Safe Manning Document requirement.
    – Only Malaysian crew is allowed to sign-on.
  • Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA) which expires during this period may apply for an extension of additional one (1) month.

Effective April 1 Denmark has been added to Malaysia’s list of affected countries.

Effective April 3

Instructions For All Shipping Companies And Seafarers regarding crew change activities by Marine Department Malaysia as below:


  1. All seafarers are ALLOWED to carry out crew change activities (sign-off) in any Malaysia port, subject that the seafarer:
    a) is in need of a medical evacuation.
    b) medically unfit to continue his service due to his physical condition, health (including mental health) or other criteria as determined by the Director of Marine.
    c) has developed explicit COVID-19 symptoms.
  2. A seafarer who is signing-off due to the circumstances stated in paragraph 1(b) or 1(c) SHALL undergo a health screening and be subjected to any further instructions from the PHO.


For any crew-change activities due to the circumstances stated in paragraph (1), the replacement crew (sign-on) is ONLY PERMITTED for undergoing a health screening at port and cleared by the PHO prior to signing-on.

Master SHALL perform a daily COVID-19 symptoms monitoring and temperature checking to all newly-joined crew for at least 14 consecutive days after joining. Master is also encouraged to continuously monitor and keep the health record of the crew.

In order to maintain social distancing protocol, the maximum allowable industrial personnel on board at any time for a crew boat shall be limited to 70% of the maximum permissible number.

Regardless of any type of ships, strict social distancing protocol according to the MOH guidelines SHALL be practised by ALL newly-joined crew at least for 14 consecutive days after joining. These shall include, but not limited to, providing the newly-joined crew an individual and separate accommodation.


For the purpose of a supporting letter to apply for a Travel Permit to the Port of Embarkation, seafarers shall provide the following documents:

  • Letter of Employment
  • Company confirmation stating the name of ship, port of registry, and port of embarkation of the seafarer
  • Particulars of home address
  • Expected traveling and sign-on date
  • Valid seafarer documentation
  • Health Declaration

(Documents shall be submitted via email to the dedicated Port Office )


SEA which expires during the period of MCO may apply for an extension of one (1) month, as long as the total period of the SEA including the extension is not more than 13 months.

For seafarer who is currently on board Malaysia flagged-ship, and the Malaysian seafarer serving on board any ship, and his/her seafarer documentation such as Seafarer’s Identity Document, Certificate of Competency, or Certificate of Proficiency has expires during the period of MCO, may apply for an extension until 30th of June 2020.

For foreign seafarer who is currently on board Malaysia flagged-ship and his/her Certificate of Recognition (COR) has expires during the period of MCO, the extension of his/her Certificate of Competency or Certificate of Proficiency validity must first be approved by the Flag State of Issuance. The application for an extension period of his/her COR until 30th of June 2020 or any date determined by the Flag State of Issuance is recommended to be made through online system and using the exemption form provided in MSN 09/2019.

Any port of embarkation/disembarkation activity shall be determined by Marine Department Malaysia after consultation with MOH.

Final clearance of the crew change is subjected to the approval of the Port Health Officer/Ministry Of Health.

Effective by 4th April 2020

Ministry of Transport agreed to allow Freight Forwarders and hauliers another 4 days to expedite the movement of cargo from congested ports nationwide starting Saturday, 4 April 2020.

Client’s cargo/goods stored at Port Klang, ports in Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Melaka, Bintulu, Sarawak, Padang Besar bordering Thailand are advised to move goods out of those ports from Saturday, 4 April to Tuesday, 7 April 2020.

This is to reduce congestions to major ports worldwide to ensure smooth and continued flow of much needed daily essentials for households in regards to second phase of Movement Control Order which is in effect from 1 April to 14 April 2020.

This latest port clearing exercise is in line with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 which takes effect during the EMCO from 1 to 14 April 2020.

Pursuant to the amendments made to Regulations No. 2, port, dock and airport services and undertakings, and transportation by land, water, or air constitute essential services. This means that any activity and process in the supply chain of port, dock and airport services and undertaking and transportation by land, water or air are also deemed as essential services.

Movement due to special and particular reason

Crew movement from one place to another place within infected local area or from one infected local area to another infected local area must obtain prior written permission from police office in charge of the police station nearest at Crew’s initial location.

Requirement to undergo health examination upon arrival in Malaysia.

All crew whether citizen or expatriate returning form oversea are required to undergo health examination upon arrival in Malaysia before proceed to immigration clearance at any point of entry and must comply with any direction of an authorized officer.

Effective 14th April
Crew Change Procedures for Malaysian Nationalities

For Sign Off

  1. Owner/Agent must surrender Maritime Declaration of Health to Port Health officer.
  2. Vessel that visited / transited from any country that affected from covid-19 in 14 days listed by World Health Organization must proceed to quarantine zone and report to port health officer.
  3. Test for Covid-19 can be done at any lab / health center that approved by Ministry of Health to require test results swiftly.
  4. In case the Covid-19 test results came negative, home assessment tools will be given by port health officer to all the crews and crews will be given permission to return to their home and do their own self surveillance.
  5. If crew shows the Covid-19 symptoms, crew must report immediately to nearest health center. All the arrangements and test expenses shall bear by shipping company. Furthermore, any shipping company that doesn’t bear the costs , crews must be quarantined by port health officer for 14 days.

For Sign On

  1. Crew must complete Declaration of Health form from Marine Department and get endorsed by any recognized medical officer.
  2. Crew must undergo Covid-19 test in any labs / private health centers that recognized by Ministry of Health. All the arrangements for those tests to bear by shipping company.
  3. Crew with negative test results will be given home assessment tools to monitor while the crew onboard. Crews body temperature must be taken and recorded for 14 days continuously.

Sign on/off for foreign nationals, the procedures remains the same and all application must be directed to Chief Immigration Director for consideration.

As of July 3, a circular from the HQs of Immigration / Marine was released that crew change with foreign crew is now permissible. However, this has not been implemented at local level due to several reasons including but not limited to the following:

  • Authorities at state level still not completely on board with this and / or reviewing the situation
  • Local authorities still working out an SOP for potential crew change
  • Borders are still closed / the ‘Join ship crew visa counter’ at Kuala Lumpur international airport is still closed

The crew change with foreign crew is regrettably still not possible due to the above.


Refer to flow chart guideline below.

Effective 16th March

  • All visitors  (foreign and domestic) coming into Sarawak and returning  Sarawakians will be issued a 14 Day Stay Home Notice (SHN). 
  • Exemptions shall only be given by the  State Health  Department  to those required to travel  under special circumstances (official  and business duties).

Effective 27th April, list of infected country based on Ministry of Health is updated as below:

  • China (including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau)
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines

Johor (Pasir Gudang, Pengerang, Tanjung Pelepas, Tanjung Langsat)

Screening will be conducted at berth. Temporary stop for SIRE inspection on board vessel. If it is urgent and compulsory, it must be done at anchorage (SIRE inspector embark/disembark at anchorage).


Screening process will conducted at berth by the Port Health. Agent shall advise Medical Officer at least 48 hrs before arrival if vessel has a record visiting affected country within 14 days prior.

The vessel will undergo screening process at the anchorage or berth.

The ship crews including those who been screened will not be allowed to disembark without permission from the medical officer and authorities when vessel at berth. No ships crews sign on/off or shore leave through port entrance except with the permission of Medical Officer, Marine Department and other related authorities. Offshore personnel shall undergo temperature screening before being permitted to pass through port entrance.


Refer to flow chart guideline for Bintulu. Vessel with less than 14 days departure from affected country will be put on Status B (quarantine at berth) or status C (quarantine at anchorage). Ship shore leave will be suspended for vessels with status B & C.


Screening will be conducted at berth. No shore leave will be given until further notice by Port Health.


Screening will be conducted at anchorage.


All vessels that have called affected country in last 14 days will be quarantined on their arrival at alongside.

Port Dickson

Screening will be conducted at anchorage.

Port Klang

Screening will be conducted at berth. If any crew with fever over 38 degree celsius Port Health shall arrange to transport the crew for medical attention. For Northport, all personnel are required to go through body temperature screening before being allowed to enter Northport premises.

Sabah (Kota Kinabalu, Sipitang, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Tawau)

Health screening by Port Health is required for any vessel calling from a foreign country. Screening will be conducted at anchorage. Action Taken On Arrival will be issued by immigration to master via local agent before arrival of vessel. NTL for all crews if vessel had called affected country regardless of number of days.

Sarawak (Bintulu & Tanjung Manis)

Effective March 27, all agents must key in the crew details for non-Sarawakian and other pre-arrival documents of the upcoming ships into the SDMC (State Disaster Management Committee) system for their approval. While waiting for approval from SDMC, vessel need to anchor at anchorage area. Port Health Officer will not board the vessel until SDMC approval granted.

The crew details should be keyed in 7 days before ship’s arrival and applied for Bintulu, Samalaju, Miri, Tanjung Manis and Sibu port.

For Kuching, master must provide documents (ship particular, crew list, voyage memo, arrival notice, temperature list of crews and captain passport copy) 2 working days before arrival (not 7 days as per other Sarawak ports).

Effective April 6, all non-citizens that entering via air, sea and land are not allowed to transit in Sarawak.