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Revisions to crew change for cargo ships under circumstances in the port of Singapore, to minimise risk of community spread of the COVID-19 in Singapore

Crew changes in the Port of Singapore have been carried out under the requirements in Port Marine Circulars No.s 26 and 27 of 2020.

In view of the recent cases of crew members who are tested positive for COVID19 upon arrival in Singapore, which posed a health risk to the crew that travel with them, to the ships they were to join, and to the local community, MPA is working with the industry taskforce to provide more detailed guidelines to safeguard the crew change process. These will include the need for signing-on crew to self-isolate for the 14 days before departing for Singapore, shipowners, managers and agents ensuring accurate COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, and direct transfers to the ship upon arrival in Singapore.

With immediate effect, MPA will give priority to applications from Singaporeregistered ships and applications for sign-off crew only (i.e. without signing-on new crew). For all other cases, MPA will consider the following circumstances for crew change applications:
(a) the crew has served his/her maximum time on board and no further extension
of the employment contract is granted by the flag State; or
(b) compassionate grounds e.g. death of immediate family member; or
(c) the crew is no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship.

Cargo ships meeting paragraph 3 criteria and circumstances may submit their applications to MPA by filling up the online form at least 14 days before the planned crew changes, at www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/port-ofsingapore/operations/crew-change.

Pending other further revisions of the crew change requirements or related guidelines, ship owners, managers and agents planning for crew change under special circumstances should continue to abide by the crew change requirements in Port Marine Circular no.26 and 27 of 2020.