Top Adsense

China Ports Crew Change Updates - Crew Replacement at Chinese Ports - Filipino Seafarers

Updates: posted 15 October 2020 

On 9th October, central Chinese government has issued instructions to 10 ports (Shanghai, Qingdao, Dalian, Xiamen, Tianjin, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Haikou) in an effort to facilitate shipping community with foreign crew changes.

However, this announcement is not open to public yet, as there are plenty of points to be clarified to local authorities and agents. In this respect, although forwarded to ports, neither local customs and immigration authorities nor agents are capable to implement them , having as a result crew changes still not be performed.

On the other hand, 12 new COVID - 19 domestic cases were found in Qingdao, creating more headache to Central government on this matter and actually putting more obstacles to overcome.

Here is the summary of some key points from the regulation: 

1) vessel should left last foreign port for more than 14 days, and there should be no crew change within the last 14 days.


2) the plan for crew change should be submitted to local port authorities for approval on case by case basis.


3) the off signer should pass the nucleic acid test (N.A.T) by Customs officer before disembarkation.


4) the off signer should be sent directly from vessel to airport to take the repatriation flight, no stay at local hotel is allowed.


5) Vessel cannot sail from port unless off signer has departed


6) The LOI for on signer should be issued by local government foreign affairs dept subject to their approval.


7) After on sig ner passes the quarantine at local airport, he could be transported to vessel point-to-point.


Although not specified in the regulation which vessels will be allowed to have crew changes, seems to be these ones calling at ports for cargo ops or repairs


Another issue Chinese government will have to overcome is the one of INTERNATIONAL flights. Currently there are very few which can not support this purpose for sure.

World Marine Corp. (As agents only)
2, Artemidos Str. 166 74, Glyfada,
Athens - Greece
Office: +30-210-8986334
Fax:     +30-210-8986338
Mob: +30 6951098600

Update as of October 13, 2020

China - Crew Change Information


Please be advised that China Ministry of Transport and other ministries have announced the following during the weekend. This announcement provides a framework and general rules for crew change for ten Chinese ports. However, details of the procedures and when they start will be announced by each port individually. We will keep updated on the situation once further announcements come out from port level.


The Ministry of Transport and other 7 ministries jointly issued a circular regarding to resume crew change services for foreigners at 10 China ports including Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Haikou. Shipping agency companies should pay attention to notices from relevant departments and carry out crew change services in strict accordance with local epidemic prevention requirements.


The circular puts forward the following requirements for crew change for foreigners and the shipping agency companies are requested to strictly abide by it:

For foreign crew members who are going to be changed and repatriated at China ports, they must


  • Comply with the regulation on entry and stay at China ports during Covid-19 period,
  • Hold confirmed departure air tickets, boat tickets or coach tickets,
  • Meet ‘point to point’ conditions from disembarkation location to port of departure in the same city,
  • Vessel has sailed from the last overseas port for 14 days and crews health record should be healthy for consecutive 14 days,
  • No anything abnormal after Customs quarantine inspection and crews NAT test results are negative.


Then the crews are allowed to disembark and be repatriated at these designated ports. And they must be transported from disembarkation location directly to exit port by chartered bus or other ‘point to point’ vehicle. Or the repatriated crews must take other vessels to exit at the disembarkation location. The repatriated crews are not allowed to be staying in China territory. Shipping agency company should make relevant arrangements for close-loop management in accordance with local epidemic prevention requirements.


The shipping agency companies should pay special attention to circuit breaker implemented in resuming crew change for foreigners -


  • If in the fleet running by the same shipping company/ ship management, a total of 5 positive cases are found, the shipping company/Ship management will be suspended to do crew change for 15 days
  • If in the fleet running by the same shipping company/ ship management, a total of 10 positive cases are found, the shipping company/ Ship management will be suspended to do crew change for 30 days.
  • If in the fleet running by the same shipping company/ Ship management, a total of more than 10 positive cases are found, the shipping company/ Ship management will be banned to do crew change.

Update as of October 6, 2020

Vessels are now allowed to enter into Chinese ports even if she had crew change within 14days.

Refer to below circular, this announcement shall apply to the vessel which the change of seafarers has been conducted within 14days before the vessel come to China;  

・the sign-on seafarers shall conduct NAT test for COVID-19 showing negative result within 3days(Date of Issue) before boarding the vessel.

・NAT test should be conducted in an institution designated or approved by the Chinese embassies or consulates overseas. – Please find below LICENSED COVID-19 TESTING LAB LIST.

・the copies of the COVID-19 NAT test certificates showing negative result shall be presented when the vessel is entering the first visiting port in China

・if violate the requirement, the vessel may be banned from departing or operating at the ports of China.

・for severe violations, the responsible persons may be liable to the administrative actions

Announcement on strengthening the prevention and control of spread of Covid-19 epidemic for seafarers on international sea-going vessels 

 Jointly issued by the Ministry of Transport, the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

 This is a free English translation of the Announcement jointly issued by the relevant Chinese authorities prepared by the ICS - International Chamber of Shipping (China) Liaison Office for the use of the members of the ICS. 

 For the original Chinese Announcement, please see


(Philippines) LICENSED COVID-19 TESTING LABORATORY LIST - China Accredited COVID Testing Centers 



See Also: Chinese Health Declaration Form


NOTE: The purpose of this post is for immediate information only when conducting crew change or replacement of Filipino crew / seaman at above mentioned Port / Country. This is also for guidance of crewing officers, crewing manager & crew operation staff, especially for ship manning agent in the Philippines. Above information is based on collected data only. Please send inquiry to your crew handling agent for updated information. Please also share your updated information on the comments section.

See Also: 

No comments:

Got Something to Say? Thoughts? Additional Information?

Powered by Blogger.