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China Eases COVID-19 and Crew Change Restrictions

News & Insights 23 January 2023


Written by

From 8 January 2023, China has downgraded the designation and management of COVID-19 from a Class A infectious disease to Class B. This has resulted in changes to the prevention and restriction policies on port entry formalities, crew changes and onboard surveys at the country’s ports.

Cargo container ship

Crew Changes

Since early December 2022 China has been easing COVID-19 restrictions and on 26 December 2022 an Overall Plan for Measures Against COVID-19 Infection was issued which cancelled the following restrictions which had been in place: 

  • Isolation of infected cases 

  • Tracking of close contacts 

  • Classification of at-risk areas 

  • Control measures for people arriving in China including COVID-19 testing 

  • Control measures for imported cargoes arriving in China 

On 27 December 2022, the Ministry of Transport together with other administrative bodies including the National Administration of Disease Prevention and other Control, issued the Notice on Effectively Conducting Crew change for International Vessels after Management of the COVID-19 Disease Downgraded to Class B (“The Notice”). 

The Notice, which came into effect on 8 January 2023, made the following alterations, effectively lifting COVID-19 restrictions for crew changes: 

  • Examination and approval procedures for crew changes of ships sailing on international voyages at domestic ports removed 

  • Ban on entry permits and disembarkation for foreign crew lifted 

  • Nucleic tests and isolation in designated facilities no longer implemented for crew members signing off in China 

However, the following prevention measures are required: 

  • For ships sailing on international voyages and scheduled to change crew at Chinese ports, nucleic tests of crew members required 48 hours prior to leaving the last overseas port 

  • If crew members are unable to declare the results of the nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to entry into China due to travel reasons, antigen results may be accepted instead 

  • If the health declaration of crew members is abnormal or crew members have a fever or other symptoms, Customs will impose measures they see fit, depending on the individual situation 

Ship requirements to enter ports

On 8 December 2022, the Ministry of Transport of the PRC issued Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in Ports and Their Frontline Personnel (the 12th edition). The guidelines state: 

  • Seafarers’ COVID-19 test information no longer required to be submitted to port Authorities before berthing 

However, ships are still required to provide the following: 

  • Ports of call, berthing/unberthing information within the preceding 14 days before the vessel’s arrival 

  • Crew’s general information and health condition, information on crew changes, embarkation and disembarkation personnel, materials and supplies deliveries, and personnel contact during berthing 

  • Ship’s quarantine and epidemic prevention measures 

  • Information on sewage treatment plant and ballast water management system 

  • Information on reefer containers and refrigerated cargo in bulk 

  • Information on disinfection and transfer of garbage from ships 
     

While the above changes have been announced, members will no doubt be aware that ports in China have sometimes imposed different restrictions and requirements from one another. 

With the assistance of Shanghai P&I Services Ltd and their contacts the club has provided the below summary of COVID-19-related measures in place at Chinese ports. We would like to thank Shanghai P&I Services Ltd for their assistance. 

Please be aware that the following is a guide only and is accurate as at 13 January 2023. Members are advised to contact the local agent or correspondent for the latest port requirements before their ship calls at a Chinese port. 

The club's recent posts on this topic can be found here 

Chinese Ports – Epidemic Prevention Measures – As at 13 January 2023 

 

Area 

 

Name of Port 

Any COVID-19 testing requirements 

Whether the disembarkation of crew is allowed 

 

Whether surveyor can attend on board vessel 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dalian and nearby ports 

 

Dalian 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

No, crew disembarkation is still restricted for the time being, but situation may change in near future 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Yingkou (Bayuquan) 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Dandong 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

No, crew disembarkation is still restricted for the time being, but situation may change in near future 

No, the surveyor is still not allowed to attend on board for the time being 

 

Jinzhou 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

No, crew disembarkation is still restricted for the time being, but situation may change in near future 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tianjin and nearby ports 

 

Tianjin 

 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, the crew need to declare his health status before disembarkation, and no nucleic acid test is required if there is no abnormality 

 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

Caofeidian 

 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, the crew need to declare his health status before disembarkation, and no nucleic acid test is required if there is no abnormality 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office, but some terminals still prohibit the surveyor's attendance on board for the time being 

 

Huanghua 

 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, the crew need to declare his health status before disembarkation, and no nucleic acid test is required if there is no abnormality 

 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Jingtang 

 

No specific requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, the crew need to declare his health status before disembarkation, and no nucleic acid test is required if there is no abnormality 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office, but some terminals still prohibit the surveyor's attendance on board for the time being 

 

 

Qinhuangdao 

 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, the crew need to declare his health status before disembarkation, and no nucleic acid test is required if there is no abnormality 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office, but some terminals still prohibit the surveyor's attendance on board for the time being 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qingdao and nearby ports 

 

Qingdao 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Weihai 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Yantai 

 

No specific requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Lanshan 

No specific requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Rizhao 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

No, crew disembarkation is still restricted for the time being 

No, the surveyor is still not allowed to attend on board for the time being 

 

Lianyungang 

 

COVID-19 testing is no longer required 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shanghai and nearby ports in Yangtze River 

 

 

Shanghai 

 

No specific requirement for COVID-19 testing 

 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office, but a few private terminals still prohibit the surveyor's attendance on board for the time being 

ports in Yangtze River (Nantong, Zhangjiagang, Jiangyin, Zhenjiang, Nanjing etc.) 

 

 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office, but a few private terminals still prohibit the surveyor's attendance on board. For the time being, there is no restriction at public terminals 

 

Ningbo 

 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office, and the surveyor is not allowed to stay on board overnight 

 

 

Zhoushan 

 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

 

Yes, only need to go through the immigration formality to obtain the temporary entry permit 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office, but a few private terminals still prohibit the surveyor's attendance on board for the time being 

 

Xiamen and nearby ports 

 

Fuzhou 

COVID-19 self-testing 48 hrs before arrival 

Yes, but the details of applying procedures have not been established 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Xiamen 

COVID-19 self-testing 48 hrs before arrival 

Yes, but the details of applying procedures have not been established 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

 

 

 

Guangzhou and nearby ports 

 

Guangzhou 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, crew disembarkation can be applied by normal procedures 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

Shantou 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, crew disembarkation can be applied by normal procedures 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

Shenzhen 

 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

 

Yes, crew disembarkation can be applied by normal procedures 

 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

Zhanjiang 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, crew disembarkation can be applied by normal procedures 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

Fangcheng 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, crew disembarkation can be applied by normal procedures 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

Qinzhou 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, crew disembarkation can be applied by normal procedures 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

 

 

Hainan 

 

Yangpu 

No requirement for COVID-19 testing 

Yes, crew disembarkation can be applied by normal procedures 

Yes, the boarding permit can be applied by normal procedures of immigration office 

Category: COVID-19

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