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singaporeanchorageweb.jpg Photo: Marcus Hand
Singapore anchorage

Singapore to allow crew changes in ‘special circumstances’

Singapore is to allow crew changes under “special circumstances” recognising seafarers play a critical role in the global supply chain.

The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in circular to shipping that although crew changes had been suspended due to the recent heightened risk of imported cases of COVID-19 into the city state. However, in consultation with the industry and feedback from unions it said, “We understand there are special circumstances need to embark or disembark the ship.”

Such circumstances include a seafarer who is served their maximum time onboard and the flag state will not grant any further extension of the contract, compassionate grounds, and the crew member no longer being medically fit to work on board the vessel.

In such circumstances cargo vessels can submit their requests to the MPA for consideration providing documentary evidence. These include a travel itinerary, proof the seafarer is fit to travel, and the crew member has been well for the last 14 days and not in contact with any COVID-19 known or suspected cases in that period.

The move could help ease the global crew change crisis, however, flying international seafarers in and out of Singapore for crew changes could prove to be extremely challenging with hardly any flights currently operating out Changi Airport.

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