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Singapore – Coronavirus Disease Update

The Port of Singapore remains open for cargo operations and marine services, including shipyard repairs.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is enhancing safety measures in the Port of Singapore, in view of the heightened risks of importing COVID-19 cases into Singapore.

Given the increasing number of crew change applications, MPA will need to prioritise new crew change applications. MPA is also working with the industry taskforce to provide more detailed guidelines to safeguard the crew change process. These will include the need for signing-on crew to self-isolate for the 14 days before departing for Singapore, shipowners, managers and agents ensuring accurate COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, and direct transfers to the ship upon arrival in Singapore.

As an added precaution in the Port of Singapore, all shore personnel in contact with ship crew are advised to don face shields or goggles in addition to face masks and gloves when working on the ships. For ships which have conducted crew change in the past 14 days, shore personnel are advised to ensure that there is no contact with the ship crew. Additionally, these are the measure and requirements for vessels calling Singapore:

  1. Before leaving the last port of call (before calling at the port of Singapore), the vessel’s master, owner, manager or agent should ensure that any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infected crew on board the vessel received proper medical treatment before leaving the port and starting its journey to Singapore.
  2. All ships scheduled or intending to call at the Port of Singapore must immediately notify and seek approval to enter the Port of Singapore if there are suspected COVID-19 cases on board or if it had conducted crew change in the past 14 days before arrival in Singapore.
  3. All vessels arriving in the Port of Singapore must submit the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) to the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Port Health.

MPA has also separately provided guidance to all Singapore-registered ships on the best practices that they can adopt. MPA circulars are available here for more details

Due to recent positive cases of signing on crew tested upon their arrival in Singapore Airport, MPA is tightening the measures & will only allow crew change under the following circumstances/conditions:

  1. Crew has completed their seafarer’s contract with flag state letter stating that they’re unable to allow them to further extend their seafarer’s contract & henceforth required to be signed off from ship on the next convenient port.
  2. Compassionate grounds (immediate family members at home on critical condition & require crew to attend on urgent basis – must provide documentary proof as supporting document).
  3. Medical ground (to get doctor to go on board to certify that crew is not fit for work – final approval depending on crew’s condition & MPA’s final no objection approval)

Cargo ships meeting this criteria and circumstances may submit their applications to MPA by filling up the online form at least 14 days before the planned crew changes, at www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/port-ofsingapore/operations/crew-change.

MPA will give priority for Singapore registered flag ship (applies only for signing off seafarers), MPA may consider to allow the crew to sign off if they’ve completed their seafarer’s contract (subject to MPA’s final approval/changes). Only when sign off crew request is approved, sign on crew request will then be considered.

Panama flag vessels are allowing seafarer contracts of up to 17 months