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Japan Crew Change Updates : Entry and Departure of Foreign Seafarers Coming to Japan for Crew Changes



UPDATE AS OF 25 JANUARY 2021


Japanese Government enhance countermeasure against COVID-19, but foreign seafarers are considered “special & essential worker”, and allowed to enter Japan as exceptional case.

However, some airport staff do not know above fact, and some on signers' airplane boarding are being declined.

On this regard, The Japanese Shipowners’ Association issued a Letter Request for Issuance of Boarding Ticket, explaining this situation.

This will be useful if all on-signers (joining seafarers) will have a printed copy of this letter, in order to avoid such misunderstanding by airport / airline staff.




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UPDATE AS OF 24 JANUARY 2021

The International Mariners’ Management Association of Japan (IMMAJ) has shared the following IMMAJ circulars (translated in English). The circulars contain information relating to crew change in Japan.

 

 09 January 2021: Notification from Maritime Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan regarding the entry and departure of Foreign seafarers coming to Japan for Crew Changes (as sent with PJMCC Memo Circular No. 001-2021 issued last 11 January 2021 but with minor correction in the English translation)

 14 January 2021: Notification from Maritime Bureau (MLIT) regarding entry and departure of Foreign seafarers coming to Japan for Crew Changes (Additional Information), with Question-and-Answer section

 18 January 2021: Requirements for Seafarers’ Entry into and Departure from Japan, with a Question-and-Answer section

 

In view of the above, it is important to note the following:

 

1.  to read all the three memos issued on the 9th, 14th and 18 January 2021.

2. to note that the content of the Jan 9th memo is slightly changed on the 14th memo.

 

 Jan 9th: All the seafarers are required to be tested when entering Japan if “less than 14 days have passed after their departure from the previous port”. 

Jan 14th: There is an exception for this (please see Page 3 of 8 (of the translation))

 

3. to check with the local quarantine station in advance to conduct crew change, and to comply with the instructions from the local quarantine station.

 




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UPDATE as of 19 January 2021

The number of COVID-19 case in Japan is increasing, and Japan Government enhances regulation against COVID-19, however, basically, foreign crew change in Japan is still allowed.

On this regard, on signer should prepare attached “Letter of Pledge”, and submit it to quarantine when they arrive Japan airport.

On signer information must fill-up below information, and let on signer have it in advance, before coming to Japan.

1.       On signer name
2.       Nationality
3.       Passport No.
4.       Departure Country
5.       Age
6.       Address


See below copy of Japan Written Pledge Form for On-signers







The quarantine measures in Japan have been strengthened for seafarers as follows due to the state of emergency in Japan.

>From January 14th, all immigrants to Japan are required to submit a pledge to comply with Japanese quarantine measures. (See above)

According to information from JSA (Japanese Shipowners Association),
Clause (2) (a) is only in cases where the pre-departure inspection certificate or its copy is obtained, the contents are pledged.

Clause 2 (b),(c),(d) are not necessarily pledged because foreign seafarers only temporarily enter Japan and do not own smartphones with numbers in Japan.
Therefore, it is required to enter the telephone number of the company etc. in Japan for the telephone number entry field on clause 2.(b) that can respond when requested by the health center, etc.

The Pledge is to be used for 14 days after entry, but it is to be read as "14 days after entry (until someone leaves the country)" for seafarers.
If you have a crew member who is planning to enter Japan and boarding vessel, please make sure that they carry this pledge.
It is requested to prepare in advance to avoid any trouble/delay, although the pledge will be distributed at airplane/airport.

Reference Website (It is written in Japanese) :

・MOFA Overseas Safety Website

・New measures concerning the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare


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UPDATE AS OF 11 January 2021


The International Mariners’ ManagementAssociation of Japan (IMMAJ) received below notification from the MaritimeBureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) regarding the entry and departure of foreign seafarers coming to Japan for crew changes.


Even under the declaration of a state of emergency due to the spread of the new variant virus, there is no change in the operation of allowing foreign seafarers to enter Japan under "special circumstances".

 

However, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has informed us of the following changes in quarantine operations, which will take effect at midnight on January 9 (JST).

 

l     The following are the changes in quarantine operations taking place from midnight, January 9:

 

Foreign seafarers coming to Japan by plane

 

(1)          In case foreign seafarers coming to Japan by plane have been to the UK or the Republic of South Africa within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in Japan:

 

They are required to wait for 3 days at a facility prepared by the Japanese government.

 

(2)          All cases other than (1) above:

 

(a)         Those with a negative result of COVID-19 testing conducted within 72 hours (from the sampling time to the flight departure time) are not required to wait at a facility prepared by the Japanese government.

(b)         Those without a negative result of COVID-19 testing conducted within 72 hours (from the sampling time to the flight departure time) are required to wait for 3 days at a facility prepared by the government.

 

           For all cases under (1) and (2) above, foreign seafarers will be allowed to leave the facility during the waiting period, should the ship they are to board will set sail during the time of their stay at the facility.


Disembarkation of foreign seafarers at Japanese ports

 

Foreign seafarers from any country / region will be inspected when entering Japan, if they are to disembark at Japanese ports when less than 14 days have passed after their departure from the previous port. This is effective from midnight on January 9, 2021(JST). This is a change from previous cases where inspections for such seafarers were sometimes not conducted depending on circumstances, at the discretion of each quarantine station.

 

           As before, there will be no inspection when foreign seafarers, who are to disembark at Japanese ports, enter Japan, as long as 14 days or more have passed since their departure from the previous port. 

 

           As in the past, accommodation will not be designated on the condition that no public transportation will be used while foreign seafarers are in Japan.



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Source:

The Secretariat - Memo Circular No. : 001-2021

PHILIPPINE-JAPAN MANNING CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL, INC.

4th Floor, JSU-AMOSUP Mariners' Home,

1765 Vasquez corner Nakpil Sts., Malate, Manila

Tel Nos. +632-8526-0489 / +632-8524-8816 Fax No. +632-8526-0455



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