BIMCO Covid 19 Weekly Report

This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 12 November covers Argentina, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Myanmar, Singapore, USA and the latest from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Every week, BIMCO summarises measures imposed by governments for sea transport, including for crew change, as well as updates from United Nations bodies such as the IMO, World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO).

1. IMO

The below circulars represent the latest information to-date from the IMO.

  • Addendum no. 35/rev. 8, issued on 13 October 2021, provides a consolidated list of the IMO members that have so far notified IMO on their designation of seafarers as key workers to-date with the latest additions of Bulgaria and Pakistan. The full list is shown below:
  • Addendum no.42 to IMO circular no. 4204 “Coronavirus (COVID-19)” issued on 17 September 2021 relating to joint IMO/ILO statement on upholding medical assistance obligations to seafarers and accelerating seafarer vaccination programmes.
  • Addendum no. 43 to IMO circular no 4204 “Coronavirus (COVID-19)” issued on 1 November 2021 offering a list of global ports offering vaccinations for seafarers.

2. IMO Crew Change – National Focal Point for Crew Change and Repatriation of Seafarers

According to GISIS today, the list of countries (46) informing the IMO of their national focal point of contact for crew change and repatriation of seafarers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Libya (new), the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore , Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.

3. Government States


BIMCO has received the following information from VEGA & CO – Marine Risk & Insurance Solutions:

Health authorities stated that:

  • Off signers are not allowed to disembark at Argentina`s ports and disembarkation can only be carried out through safety channels designated by government which are at:
    • Buenos Aires port BuqueBus and Colonia Express terminals; and
    • Ushuaia port for cruises only.
  • On signers are allowed to embark complying with complete vaccination schedule and negative PCR test issued 72 hrs prior to arrival at Argentina.


Transport Canada has issued the following ship safety bulletins (SSB):

  • SSB No.16/2021 (replacing SSB No.11/2021) on updated guidelines regarding the mobility of seafarers in international crew changes, shore leave and exemption from quarantines. Note that with effect from 29 October 2021, seafarers, when departing outbound from Canada to
    • be a fully vaccinatedFootnote1 traveller; or
    • provide a pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test result,
    • If the test result is negative, it must be dated within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure time from Canada.
    • If the test result is positive, it must be dated at least 14 days before but not more than 180 days prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure time from Canada (e.g., the traveller would be eligible to travel on day 15 after their test was administered, since 14 days have passed). This accounts for those that had contracted COVID-19, have recovered, but may still be testing positive due to lingering amounts of the virus in their system.

Note: Although a seafarer’s entry into Canada may be permitted, there are also certain travel restrictions and exemptions, which may vary from time to time, when moving between or within certain provinces and territories.

Note also that shore leave is allowed only to asymptomatic, presumed non-COVID19 seafarers and not to exceed 6 hours in length per interval.

  • SSB No. 17/2021 in respect of measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread on Canadian and foreign passenger ships operating in Canadian waters, in particular where effective 15 November 2021, all persons, aside from passengers, who wish to board a vessel, will be required to show evidence showing receipt of their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the testing requirements needed.
  • SSB No.08/2021 modified on 1 November 2021 relating to measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread on passenger vessels and ferries.


Guidance for cross border travellers, including foreign crew signing on and off through sea transportation modes has been issued by the Indonesian Transportation authorities in the form of a circular letter no. SE 84/2021. In general, all crew members signing on, will need to present COVID19 vaccination certificate as a minimum requirement of entry; otherwise to be quarantined and vaccinated at the quarantine place following RT-PCR test taken on the 4th day of quarantine. Signing-off crew are required to take RT-PCR test and undergo quarantine for 5×24 hours at quarantine accommodation places recommended by their COVID-19 National Task Force. Another RT-PCR test is required on the 4th day of the quarantine. Please refer to the IMO circular letter no. 4268/Add.4 dated 9 November enclosing the said circular letter for full details.


Via an IMO circular letter no. 4231/Add.24 dated 3 November, the Italian Coast Guard provides an updated list of their ports where COVID-19 vaccination is available to seafarers.


The Myanmar’s department of Marine Administration issued Marine instruction 10/2021 allowing for an extension of validity of certificates of Myanmar-registered ships to another 3 months for those expiring between the period of 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021. For full details, please refer to the said marine instruction.


The Singapore vaccination (SEAVAX) centre for seafarers has just improved their vaccination programme for seafarers making the requirements less stringent in terms of eligibility and better operational flow. For full details, please see message from SEAVAX team today as well as the Guidebook on COVID-10 Protocol for vaccination of seafarers.


BIMCO has been provided with an extensive Q&A document dated 25 October with information on:

  • Testing regime for different categories of travellers, hereunder:
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated
  • Non-US citizens or immigrants as well as US citizens
  • Validity of COVID-19 Vaccination Cards
  • Seafarer identification

Source: Hellenic Shipping News


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