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Key protocols to support safe crew change updated

IMO has issued updated  protocols to ensure safe crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download: Circular Letter No.4204/Add.14/Rev.1 5 October 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Recommended Framework of Protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic


The Framework of Protocols was first issued on 5 May 2020 and has now been revised, with the principle purpose of emphasizing the need for compliance and strict adherence with COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements, reflecting that these are now a reality in many national jurisdictions.

The changes also reinforce the importance of seafarers not commencing or continuing to travel if they feel unwell or suspect that they may have COVID-19 symptoms.

Some additional recommendations have also been included to prevent infection on board when seafarers join their ship.

With the exception of a few minor editorials, no other substantive changes have been made.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim expressed his support for these Protocols and urged their implementation.

Member States and international organizations are invited to make use of the annexed Framework and to disseminate it among relevant national authorities with responsibility, inter alia, for maritime issues, health, customs, immigration, border control, seaport and civil aviation authorities; and to liaise with relevant national authorities with respect to its use and implementation, as appropriate.

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