Standard Club has warned members that various ports were placing restrictions on crew changes, forcing ships to retain the same crew for unusually long periods of time. As a consequence, shipowners were likely to face issues relating to crewmember wellbeing during the long or extended contracts, and an increased demand for onboard decontamination and cleaning services.
The United Arab Emirates government has undertaken steps restricting crewmember transfers and shore access in order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and to safeguard the wellbeing of all the port users and workers, and has adopted the following measures:
- Crew changes are strictly prohibited for vessels arriving from outside the UAE.
- No crewmember will be allowed to disembark the vessel during its call at DP World’s Ports. This includes access to the berth/jetty. No shore leave is permitted, including access to the seafarers’ club.
- A crewmember will only be allowed to disembark in case of emergency, and with the prior approval of the Port Harbour Master.
- Boarding of any vessel by vessel agents/owners/representatives and surveyors will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances and will be subject to prior approval from the Port Authority. At present no surveyors are being allowed to board vessels in Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi ports. Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have not yet restricted surveyors’ attendance.
- Implementation of the Abu Dhabi directive took immediate effect on March 10th and will apply for a period of three months.
Gulf Agency Company Ltd. at Dubai provided the information relating to the ports of UAE.