Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)-Singapore updated requirements for crew change for cargo ships (No.2)

25 September 2020 No.1093

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) issued Port Marine Circular No.38 on 22nd September 2020 in relation to crew change procedures for cargo ships in Singapore. This news updates our previous news No.1081 dated 26th June 2020 regarding Port Marine Circular No.27.


The summary of the Circular is as follows:


(1) Sign-on
  • In general, signing-on crew are required to serve 14-day Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) in the crew’s originating country/region. The crew should be properly isolated (individual room with dedicated toilet) with strictly no interaction with others (including family members) at his/her place of residence, or serve the SHN in a dedicated facility/hotel.
  • Crew from specific low risk countries/regions will either no longer be required to serve the SHN or serve a shorter SHN of 7 days.
  • The crew must have a negative result from a COVID-19 test [polymerase chain reaction (PCR) type] taken at a government-approved or ISO 15189-accredited testing facility not more than 72 hours prior to departure for Singapore.
  • The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor at his/her originating country not more than 24 hours prior to departure for Singapore.
  • During the entire crew change process, the crew should not be in a group of more than 5 persons.
  • The crew should not arrive Singapore to join his/her ship more than 2 days before the ship’s departure from Singapore.
  • The crew who had a positive COVID-19 PCR test result before will not be approved for crew change or required to take a COVID-19 PCR test again after SHN for a certain period, depending on the date of the positive PCR test result.


(2) Sign-off
  • The crew must not have gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking the ship and has remained well throughout that period.
  • The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship.
  • MPA will facilitate pre-departure COVID-19 PCR testing for sign-off crew in Singapore. The cost of the tests will be borne by Ship owners/managers/agents, where applicable.


(3) Stay at holding facilities
  • Sign-on and sign-off crew may stay at designated holding facilities for up to 72 hours.


(4) General

  • Ship owners/managers/agents must apply for crew change in Singapore by filling up the online form.
  • MPA urges ship owners/managers/agents to submit applications at least 14 days before the planned crew change, especially if the application includes sign-on crew.
  • MPA continues to expect all owners, agents, ships and individuals to ensure that the COVID-19 preventive measures are followed strictly.


For more information, please see attached MPA Circular No.38.