Crew change procedures in China during Covid-19

Since the beginning of April the China Ministry of Transportation has been implementing updated crew change procedures for Chinese crew in China.

Crew changes of foreign national crew members on foreign flagged ships in Chinese ports are still suspended.

Since April 1st MOT has required the following:

Embarking crewmembers

The ship owner needs to declare the embarking crewmember’s health condition in the past 14 days to the local authorities where the crew change is going to take place and submit a Health Record Form together with the application. If the application is approved, then the ship owner can proceed and arrange embarkation. If the travel from the crewmember’s living place to the ship is all in low risk areas, he can embark the vessel directly; otherwise he may need to be quarantined at the port for observation.

Disembarking crewmembers

The ship owner also needs to submit a Health Record Form to the local authorities for any disembarking crewmembers together with the application.

If the crewmember is reported to be in good health condition and health authorities’ boarding inspection confirms so:

  • if 14 days or more have elapsed since the ship departed the last foreign port, he can disembark the vessel without restriction or isolation.
  • if fewer than 14 days have elapsed the crewmember will be quarantined upon disembarkation until 14 days have elapsed since the ship departed the last foreign port, either at home or at a designated place for observation in line with requirement of the local authorities.

If the crewmember shows any suspected symptoms, then the crew change should be suspended immediately, and virus prevention and control protocols shall be followed.

If the crewmember is found to be asymptomatically infected, the prevailing protocol made by the relevant authorities shall be followed.

Apart from the above Chinese crew change procedures MOT will:

  • continue to suspend crew changes of foreign national crew members on foreign flagged ships in Chinese ports.
  • strictly forbid internationally trading cargo ships which are carrying people onboard, other than its crew, from entering into Chinese ports.

Before entering into Chinese waters, following departure from a foreign port of call, the master should submit a statement to local maritime authorities at the port of destination to confirm that the ship is not carrying any person other than its crew.

https://www.skuld.com/contentassets/95b54ca5293946f7bb1e70152fde8c36/oasis-circluar-2006.pdf