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China’s Ministry of Transport tightens crew change regulations

China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) has tightened regulations of crew changes involving Chinese nationals and vessels and barred all international crew changes.

China’s MOT issued notice on 1 April to strengthen the crew change management onboard ships sailing international routes for further prevention and control of COVID-19 spread.

As a part of COVID-19 prevention and control measures for crew members on vessels, all overseas registered vessels cannot arrange for foreign crew member changes in China.

According to the notice, the shipping companies and crew agencies must carry out a  risk evaluation on crew changes in advance and confirm the seafarers health condition is normal 14 days before they go on board.

The ships planning to call at Chinese port will need to submit crew member health condition reports to Chinese maritime authority 48 hours ahead of berthing; the ships with less than 48 hours sailing period will need to submit the report once they left the last berthed port. If any of the crew members are in abnormal health condition crew changes must be ended immediately.

On 30 March, Li Yang, an official from Ministry of Transport said at a press conference that currently China is receiving around 500 foreign ships per day with around 7,000 crew members at its ports.


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