In an opening address to the International Safety@Sea webinar series Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Chee Hong Tat, reiterated that the city state’s port was handling around 500 – 600 sign-ons or sign-offs of seafarers from vessels, with more than 60,000 crew changes from 3,500 vessels facilitated since March.
The Minister revealed that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic Singapore had handled around 800 crew changes, meaning that current numbers are up to 75% of pre-Covid-19 levels.
“We are prepared to handle more crew change if the number of applications increases,” Chee said. “Singapore will continue to do our part to facilitate crew change safely. It is the right thing to do and we will do it right.”
He announced that Singapore would be moving to phase 2 of its Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) which will test-bed emerging technologies that support safer crew change procedures. Singapore has also developed the CrewSafe audit programme to assist crew source nations with pre-departure protocols at medical and holding facilities.
“MPA will also be reaching out to our fellow members of the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) to encourage them to join these efforts. This will help ensure that consistent safety standards for crew change are met across the various ports, increasing the confidence of countries to conduct crew change,” Minister Chee said.
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