Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)-Singapore updated requirements for crew change for cargo ships

26 June 2020 No.1081
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We have been kindly advised by International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) that as Singapore moves into Phase Two of re-opening, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has updated their crew change requirements for cargo ships. MPA issued Port Marine Circular No.27 on 18th June 2020, and Singapore Crew Change Guidebook was also updated. The summary of the Circular is as follows:


  • Designated holding facility

MPA is aware of the need to cater to some crew members who are not able to transfer directly to their vessel or flight. MPA will approve such crew change under special circumstances, should they meet the criteria stipulated in Port Maritime Circular 26 of 2020, and subject to a booking in a designated holding facility (accommodation vessel “POSH BAWEAN” or Seacare Hotel). The stay at the designated holding facility is for up to 48 hours.


  • Ship departure upon crew sign-off

Ships, after signing off its crew and obtaining port clearance, need not remain in port until the sign-off crew have departed Singapore. Ship managers/agents shall be responsible for ensuring that the crew change is effected according to MPA’s requirements.


  • Tele-medicine consultation for issuance of fit-to-travel certificate

Ship owners/managers/agents can now use tele-medicine (i.e. real time video consultation) to obtain a fit-to-travel certificates issued by doctors meeting the MPA’s requirements for crew signing off in Singapore.


  • Meet-and-greet service at Changi Airport

With effect from 26 June 2020, ship managers/agents must arrange meet-and-greet services for sign-on crew arriving at Changi Airport, to escort the crew from the moment they disembark the plane to the point where they are handed over to the agent. The list of meet-and-greet service providers include Certis, SATS and dnata.


  • Ship owners/managers/agents should apply for crew change in Singapore by filling up the online form at

    As a high volume of applications is expected, MPA urge ship owners/managers/agent to submit applications at least 14 days before the planned crew change, especially if the application includes sign-on crew.


For more information, please see the attached MPA Circular and Singapore Crew Change Guidebook.