Dispatches No. 497

Dear Members,

Maritime Champions Club-  50 143  as of today.

Please check your latest status and make sure we have your most up to date number of crew changes.


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Pooling resources for crew changes – message from last Wednesday:

Message No. 55

Dear Members


I am cautiously optimistic. Please find below message from fellow organisation: Intertanko regarding Singapore. Phil is very much involved and their efforts cannot be overstressed. This is very much result of a TEAM EFFORT of THE INDUSTRY COVID GROUP:


Dear all


It looks like we now have a successful resolution for the crew change and hopefully a solution to the shore leave in ‘a few days’. Below are the outcome from our discussions over the last 2 days with the MPA.



  1. Crew change for ships in Singapore’s shipyards for dry docking
  • Proposals:
  1.       Request for MPA to review the requirements for sign-ons to be carried out 48 hours before the vessel’s departure.

Proposal:  On-signers to be allowed to come on board at least 1 week before vessel’s departure OR at the earliest possible date

MPA’s response: MPA is prepared to allow on-signers to come on board at least 1 week before the vessel’s departure, subject to them meeting MPA’s requirements.


  1.       Off-signers to be allowed to disembark at anchorage

MPA’s response: MPA has no restriction for crew to either disembark at the yard or at anchorage. They noted that Sembawang Shipyard is located away from the two designated immigration facilities for seafarers.

iii.      MPA to consider allowing group crew changes to be done at anchorages prior to ships going in for dry-docking.

MPA’s response: MPA is agreeable to the idea, subject to both on-signers and off-signers meeting MPA’s requirements.


MPA shared the following:

  • Singapore has no restriction on sign-offs
  • Over 42,000 crew change applications have been approved to date, involving about 3,000 vessels
  1.       500 of the approved crew change involved 60 ships that were docked at shipyards
  • Recent tightened measures were due to three “imported” cases involving crew within a week. The affected on-signers did not observe the 14 days quarantine requirement, and the shipping company/ agents did not put in measures as required by MPA.



  1. Shore leaves for crew of ships that are in Singapore’s shipyards

MPA acknowledged that there is a gap in their plans. They have received similar feedback from the industry, including their local community (harbour craft, yacht/ pleasure craft/ domestic bunker tankers). Capt Segar is leading the discussion on this issue with other agencies in discussing possible solution. He will get back to INTERTANKO within the next few days. He acknowledged the following:


(i) ships’ crew can meet the 14 days quarantine requirements on board the vessels; and

(ii) the same requirements placed on contractors/ workers/ visitors entering/ leaving the shipyards could also be imposed on ships’ crew as a precautionary measures for shore leaves.


So thank you all for your pressure on Singapore as I am sure that pushed this forward quite a lot.


Will provide an update as soon as we have one on shore leave.





Dr Phillip Belcher
Marine Director
London office: St Clare House, 30-33 Minories, London EC3N 1DD, UK
T: +44 (0)20 7977 7033 (Dir)
M: + 44 (0)7885 975384
E: [email protected]


Message No. 54

Situation in Manila


Aa/ Please be advised of the current congestion in Manila. Average waiting time to have the vessel cleared by the authorities is now over a day. There is a severe shortage of water taxi/tugs to service over 40 ships deviating to Manila daily for crew changes.

If the vessel is on a tight schedule, Manila will not be a feasible option as total port stay can take over 2 days, weather permitting. Pls notify  Owners and Charterers accordingly to consider possible commercial implications.



Sharp Port Services, Philippines




Dear Valued Partners and Principals,


In reference to my last email regarding the situation in the country, Metro Manila, the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan is entering its second week under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) status. MECQ remains until 18 August and before that date, an update is expected to be given by the government. Other cities and provinces are under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), a milder form of lockdown.


Under the MECQ status, public transportation remains suspended in the areas mentioned above. However we have made arrangements for our offices to be staffed as we work with you in addressing the key concerns of Crew Management during these extraordinary times. We continue to be “all hands on deck” and please engage with us despite the limitations brought about by the circumstances.


Crew Changes at the Manila Anchorage area are allowed by the government. I understand that diversions and the length of diversion time to Manila bay adds more costs to your operations. As a company, the PTC Group is working with various government agencies to resolve the current congestion issues that causes crew change time to extend to days. Our Crewing teams will also give guidance on required documentation so that crew changes can be done in a more expeditious manner.


For Crew Changes in other countries, the daily flights quota from and to Manila has been reduced from 3000 passengers per day to 2000 effective 07 August 2020. The daily quota for Cebu and Clark remain the same at 1500 and 1000 passengers respectively.


I pray that you, your family, and your community continue to be safe and healthy during these times.


Best regards




Edgar Milla

Chief Operating Officer


Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.

First Maritime Place

7458 Bagtikan St., San Antonio Village, Makati City 1203


T: +63 2 7798 1111 Ext: 2130 M: +63 917 823 8345

E: [email protected].ph W: www.ptc.com.ph




Message No. 53

As usual latest info arrives just before Weekend:


Aa/  Sri Lanka – update


Dear Capt Szymanski

As I mentioned, we have had a great General election and we are confident that the management of COVID within Sri Lanka will continue to be a success.

We are ready to support our Industry with crew changes and our flyer is attached herewith.


We could arrange charter/scheduled flight options based on your requirements from/to the below points of origin/destinations. Cost can be provided on request.

▪ Chennai ~ Colombo ~ Chennai ▪ Dubai ~ Colombo ~ Dubai
▪ Manila ~ Colombo ~ Manila ▪ Frankfurt ~ Colombo ~ Frankfurt

Our processes will cover the following,


Flight arrangements if needed
Ensuring adherence of PCR testing as per airlines and local requirement Attending to formality at arrivals
Transferring to isolation center/ship


Flight arrangements if needed
Ensuring adherence to all health check requirement including PCR testing. Transferring crew from ship to safe house / airport.

For inquiries please contact : [email protected] with copy to, [email protected]
[email protected]

Contact telephone numbers :

Ruanthi De Silva – +94 77 613 4235 Chinthaka Jayaweera – +94 77 759 1662





Bb/ UAE – saga continues


We would like to update you that while speaking with Dubai Immigration Manager today morning, understand that there have been 2 POSITIVE cases reported at Jebel Ali port where the immigration officers allowed/cleared joining crew members on basis PCR – Negative reports issued in their home countries even though crew were RETESTED at Dubai Airport and were awaiting results.

This was done in order to expedite the process as vessels were on tight schedules.

After vessels departure from Port, immigration offices were notified that crew who were allowed to join vessel were certified as POSITIVE by Dubai Airports medical team when results arrived after 2 days.


Therefore in order to avoid above situations in future, Dubai Port Rashid / Jebel Ali immigration effective today will NOT accept PCR test certificates from crew members home countries and PCR test should be done at Dubai Airports for on signers without fail. We humbly request you to inform all crew joining vessels in Jebel Ali or Dubai anchorage to make sure they are retested at Dubai airport on arrival, to avoid delay in joining ship.


We do understand that there are some non-restricted Nationalities who are not required to do PCR RETEST at Dubai Airports but for All crew joining at Jebel Ali port and Dubai Anchorage/Port Rashid effective today are required to do PCR RETEST at Dubai airports in order to join vessels at Jebel Ali port or Dubai Anchorage.


Trust above clarifies and we will keep you closely updated of developments.


Our Man in UAE advises:

Hi Capt. Kuba,


That is affirmative. We have heard of some cases where crew has gone on board prior receiving their local test results and turned out positive. Immigration sent out a message to agents that local tests with result is mandatory.


There are a large number of passengers arriving at Dubai airport (Residents, Tourists and Business/Crew) and hence the Immigration officers are advising some passengers to go through basis their origin test results whereas others are asked to do another test at Dubai airport.


We have informed our customers to perform the Dubai airport test from the start and we keep the crew in local hotels overnight until the results come. There are cases where you get seven crew arriving with Origin Test (Negative) and then one of them turns out Positive and thereafter has to be quarantined so it is important to do the test locally on arrival and wait for the results before proceeding to vessel.


Best regards,



Ships Agency & Maritime Logistics Manager

Wilhelmsen Ships Service

Dubai, UAE


Message No. 51

Example of Letters sent to EU Heads of givernements:

Subject: Crew changes in Covid-19 times – Save our Seafarers, call for action

Dear President,

We, the European and international social partners for maritime transport together with our maritime partners, would like to thank you for the efforts Spain is making to facilitate crew changes, including recognising the key role of seafarers in several national measures. However, still more needs to be done to relieve seafarers and facilitate crew changes, which are currently happening at a rate of only 30% of what is needed.

Over a quarter of a million seafarers currently need to be relieved and this number rises with every week that passes. Some of these seafarers have now spent 15 months or more continuously on board. An equal number are awaiting to join ships.

This is a humanitarian crisis that must be solved in order to protect seafarers that have been on ships for far too long. We are also concerned that any interruption to the flow of trade could have devastating consequences for the recovery phase.

We acknowledge that all stakeholders in the industry as well as ILO, IMO and the European Commission have been working ceaselessly over the past months to ensure crew changes are able to happen. While we welcome all these actions, it is now time for the immediate involvement of Heads of State and governments.

We are, therefore writing to EU Member States at the highest political level in order to call for urgent action nationally and in partnership with other countries.

Spain is well placed to make a difference. Having one of the largest interests in international seaborne trade, it is an IMO Council member. It has important ports and some of the largest airports in the EU. It plays an important role in the global shipping industry both as a final destination and a transit hub. Its geographical

location makes it of critical importance for vessels operating in much of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Spanish airports are also important hubs for flights from South America and Africa to other parts of the world. We, therefore, respectfully request Spain to lead by example by signing the annexed ministerial statement concluded at the International Maritime Summit on Crew Changes, hosted by the UK on 9 July 2020, and taking the necessary measures to urgently implement its key commitments.

The smooth facilitation of crew changes in or through Spain is still being prevented by, amongst others, the difficulties in obtaining Schengen visas. We, therefore, request that in particular the following actions are undertaken urgently:
· Visa Waivers: introduce temporary visa waivers allowing visa-free entry and transit

through Spain in both directions for their purposes of crew changes. EU Regulation 2018/1806 allows for such a waiver to be implemented nationally for seafarers holding a seafarer’s identity document issued in accordance with the ILO Conventions No 108 or No 185 or the IMO Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic. Given the territorial limitation of such a waiver we also respectfully encourage you to show political leadership by seeking a cooperation agreement amongst Schengen countries. A visa-free transit area for seafarers in the EU will be an effective contribution by EU to substantially facilitating crew changes. It is important since the limited flight connections require last minute arrangements. Moreover, the current practice of issuing visas in the embassies and on arrival in sea/ airports, will clearly not cope with the forecasted two-threefold increase in demand for visas per month in the next weeks, in view of the backlog of crew changes.

As long as a temporary visa free transit for seafarers is not implemented:
o increase the visa processing capacity in Spanish embassies in all labour supplying states and at the border points in air/seaports and prioritise visas

for seafarers.
o issue visas on arrival to seafarers arriving at a Spanish border for crew changes

on any vessel in a Spanish port, as well as for seafarers transiting through Spain to join a vessel in another EU Member State or to fly to a third country when entry to Spain/Schengen is required before the connecting trip.

  • ·  In view of the difficulty in aligning flights with embarkation and disembarkation times, allow seafarers to stay in Spain for up to 10 days for the purposes of on- signing and repatriating, albeit with restrictions of movement to protect local communities.
  • ·  Create, in consultation with the aviation industry and other EU Member states, the necessary conditions for seafarer air corridors from the EU Member States and key labour supply countries so as to increase access, as soon as possible, to commercial flights to and from the principal countries of origin of seafarers.

We trust you will use your position to make a difference in practice both through concrete measures in Spain and by using your diplomatic influence to raise this matter at the highest level in meetings both with EU Member States and with governments around the world.

On behalf of all the signatories of this letter, your office will be contacted in order to set up a meeting with you, to discuss this urgent topic and how the actions can be facilitated further.


Yours respectfully,

Claes Berglund President ECSA

Stephen Cotton Secretary General ITF

Frank Moreels President ETF

Tom Boardley Secretary General

CLIA Europe

Capt. Kuba Szymanski Secretary General INTERMANAGER

Janet Strode General Manager IPTA

Jonathan C. Williams FICS General Manager FONASBA

Guy Platten
Secretary General ICS

John W. Butler

President and CEO World Shipping Council

Katharina Stanzel Managing Director


David Loosley
Secretary General & CEO


Margaret Fitzgerald

Head of Policy & Regulatory Affairs, IMCA

Francesco Gargiulo CEO

Kostas Gkonis Secretary General INTERCARGO

Mr. Yuichi Sonoda Secretary General ASA



Copied to:

Joint Ministerial Statement of the International Maritime Virtual Summit on Crew Changes, Thursday 9 July 2020

Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Fernando Grande-Markaska Gomez

Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Ms Arancha González Laya

Minister of Health, Mr Salvador Illa iRoca

Minister of Transports, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Mr José Luis Ábalos Director General for Merchant Marine, Mr Benito Nuñez Quintanilla

Director of the Emergency Unit and Coordination and Crisis Management, Mr Rubén Eladio López Martínez



Last week:

Working on COVID-19
Working on Enclosed Space Death project

Capt. Paddy McKnight reports from IMO: https://www.intermanager.org/2020/08/the-32nd-extraordinary-session-of-the-imo-council/



This Week:

Working on COVID-19
Working on Enclosed Space Death project
Maritime Champions Club

Quarterly Dispatch


Looking forward:

Working on Enclosed Space Death project – HEIG Enclosed Space subcommittee Workshop 30.07.2020
Working on COVID-19


Capt. Kuba Szymanski

Secretary General


Mob: +44 7624 498 266

e-mail: [email protected]

web: www.intermanager.org


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