The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has announced it will be taking enhanced measures to secure safe port operations, facilitate crew changes and ensure trade.
The MPA said its actions will allow essential goods to continue to flow through the Port of Singapore, and Singapore to play its part in the global supply chain.
Among the measures are a requirement for a ship’s crew to inform the Singapore Port Master three days in advance if it needs servicing or repairs.
They also include use of its Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) at the Tanjong Pagar Terminal from 1 September 2020.
The CFC is a self-contained facility with an onsite medical centre, testing and holding facilities. Dedicated to sign-on crew, the CFC will house the crew for up to 48 hours prior to them boarding their ships, if required, when their ship and flight schedule do not match.
It enable more crew changes to take place in Singapore and keep both the ships and local community safe, according to the MPA.
Additionally, crew members who has stayed at least 14 days from specific low-risk countries/regions to sign-on to ships in Singapore will either no longer be required to serve a stay-at-home isolation in the originating country/region or only serve a shorter isolation of seven days prior to departure for Singapore.
Crew members from other countries/regions will continue to serve an isolation period of 14 days prior to departure.
“This has been a trying time for seafarers,” said Ong Ye Kung, Singapore Minister for Transport.
“They have been working tirelessly to keep goods flowing around the world. But due to health and safety concerns, many have encountered difficulties to call on ports and undergo crew change, and that has severely affected their well-being.
“It is therefore very important for all stakeholders to come together to ensure safe port operations and safe crew changes.
“This dedicated facility for crew change and the Fund are the results of the collaboration between MPA, industry associations and seafarer unions.
“As shipping is a global business, we hope that more ports and stakeholders will join us in such initiatives, so that seafarers can continue their work and keep the supply lines of the world open.”