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Singapore extends Covid-19 relief package by 6 more months

Photo: Duy Nguyen - Unsplash Singapore gardens bay.jpg
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has extended its support for companies, individuals and seafarers through a MaritimeSG Together Package initiative, for the affected sectors in the maritime industry to tide through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The MPA will extend the relevant measures under the package to 30 June 2021, bringing the cumulative amount of support to SGD33m ($25m).

The package was first introduced in May 2020 and the various relief measures in the package are set to expire after 31 December 2020.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented disruption to the global economy, affecting businesses, jobs and individuals. MPA recognises the continued challenges faced by some in the maritime industry, and is committed to support maritime companies, individuals and Singaporean seafarers through the extension of our relief measures so that Maritime Singapore can continue to remain resilient,” said Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA.

MPA said the support measures that are being extended include support for passenger-carrying vessels and passenger terminal operators, support for offshore vessels operators, extension of credit terms, manpower and productivity support schemes, and support for local seafarers.

Under the support for passenger-carrying vessels and passenger terminal operators, a 50% port dues concession for passenger vessels and 50% rebate on counter rental and overnight berthing for regional ferry service operators have been extended. There is also a 100% waiver of public licence fees for passenger terminal operators.

Offshore vessels operators will continue to get 50% port dues concession for MPA-approved OSVs carrying out certain activities.

MPA will also continue to extend credit terms of up to an additional 45 days (beyond existing 30 days standard credit terms) until 30 June 2021 for companies facing challenges in managing their cash flows and meeting financial obligations.

To strengthen longer term capabilities and encourage more individuals to take up upskilling and reskilling opportunities, MPA will extend the Internship Reimbursement Scheme and increase in co-funding provided under selected Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) programmes until 30 June 2021.

Under support for local seafarers numbering some 500, MPA, together with the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS), will extend the Seafarers Relief Package for eligible Singaporean seafarers who are unable to secure shipboard employment between 1 January and 30 June 2021. They can apply to receive up to SGD700 per month in financial assistance, for a maximum of six months.

MPA, the Employment and Employability Institute, SMOU, and SOS, will also extend the Achievement Award scheme to reward eligible Singaporean and Singapore Permanent Resident seafarers up to SGD10,000, for successfully obtaining their Singapore-issued Certificate of Competency (CoC) 1 and thereafter, accumulating at least six months of working experience on board vessels in the capacity of senior shipboard management.

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