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seafarers.jpg Photo: Marcus Hand

Oman allowing crew changes in ‘special circumstances’

Oman has joined a number of other states in allowing crew changes in “special circumstances” in a slight easing on restrictions at ports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a similar move to states such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Oman is allowing crew changes in special circumstances ship agents GAC reported.

The special circumstances are that the crew member has come to the end of their contract and the flag state will no longer grant extensions; compassionate grounds such as the death of a family member; and being no longer medically fit to work onboard ship.

In addition companies will need to be able to fly the crew involved out of Oman for repatriation.

“Further, vessel owners should be able to provide flights out of Oman to ensure departing crew fly out of the country immediately. As normal flights are not available out of Oman, special flights should be arranged by the vessel owner. In cases where crew do not fly out immediately, they will be kept under quarantine in accordance with Ministry of Health regulations and procedures until they fly out of the country,” GAC said.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in a crew change crisis with 150,000 seafarers now stuck on vessels past the expiration of their contracts.

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