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News: ICS issues new protocols to mitigate COVID-19 onboard. Singapore MPA enhances crew change procedure.

01 September 2020

Latest reports suggest that there are over quarter of a million seafarers stranded at sea, waiting to be repatriated. 

Stemming from the recent concerns over COVID-19 infections on board ships, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), along with the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) and the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), have issued new protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 cases on board. 

The protocols aim to safeguard the health of seafarers and guarantee the safe operations of maritime trade – offering governments and the public reassurance that seafarers can embark and disembark ships safely.

Newly issued protocols will provide shipowners and operators with the tools to safely manage cases on vessels. Building on previous health guidance released by ICS, the new protocols equip ship operators with two useful instruments:

• A flowchart to help identify the process to follow when managing a larger number of suspected cases on vessels; and
• A PCR testing procedures matrix to help identify what to do and when, prior to boarding and if a suspect case is identified on ships.

The ICS press release along with the protocols are available for download on the right.

Singapore MPA has released a new circular (PMC 36) enumerating the enhancements to crew change procedures in Singapore. The new requirements come into effect from 1 September 2020. MPA has also established a Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) comprising of three floating accommodation units at Tanjong Pagar Terminal to facilitate more crew changes in a sustainable manner.

The circular is available for download on the right.