SPRO[2020]05--China MSA issued “Guidance on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 on board (V2.0)”on March 29th, 2020

Circular Ref No.: SPRO [2020] 05

Date: 15 April 2020

Subject: China MSA issued “Guidance on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 on board (V2.0)”on March 29th, 2020

Dear Sirs or Madam,
Please refer to our Circular (Huatai Circular PNI[2020]03) in respect of the Guidance on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 on board (V1.0) dated March 17, 2020.
China MSA has nowissued “Guidance on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 on board (V2.0)”, which is a revision of the previous V1.0. The main amendmentsare forcrewchangeand precautions againstoverseas epidemic. We hereby summarize thoseamendments of Guidance (V2.0) as follows for your easy reference.
The newly added terms are as follow:
1.6 Crew changing system
The shipping company should clearly define the management responsibility on crew changing with the recruitment and placement agency, formulate a crew changing plan clarify the requirements for epidemic prevention and control during the crew shift, and effectively implement these preventive measures. The shipping company should be aware of the epidemic situations in both the last and the next ports of call based on the information of the updated epidemic situations there. The shipping company should carry out risk assessment with a view to minimizing the risk of epidemic transmission. Special personnel should be designated to be responsible for timely updates of the transit route information of the crew before boarding the ship to make sure the crew stay in good health and help the ship to prepare for the crew changing later on. The personnel should also supervise the crew to take their personal protection measures before the changing happens, so as to ensure that changing is carried out in a safe and orderly manner. The shipping company should also strengthen communications with the authorities of next port of call to timely address the epidemic prevention problems encountered by both the ship and the crew.
Crew change operations
2.8.1 Crew on domestic ships are suggested to be replaced within low- and medium-risk areas, avoiding high-risk areas if possible. Ships on international voyage are suggested to change the crew at domestic ports whenever possible, on condition that severe outbreaks hit overseas. The crew should always take corresponding preventive and control measures in accordance with the requirements of the local authorities.

2.8.2 Measures including PPE (personal protective equipment) wearing and temperature monitoring should be taken during the whole process of crew changing. In case of abnormal health conditions, the changing operation should be suspended immediately and the cases shall be handled properly as required.

2.8.3 If any confirmed cases, suspected cases, close contacts, or those running fever and/or with respiratory symptoms who need to be isolated are found during the screening, the affected crew member shall strictly abide by the relevant isolation requirements and their health conditions shall report daily to the shipping company from the beginning date of quarantine to the date of its ending.
2.9 Precautions against overseas epidemics

2.9.1 Ships to berth at overseas ports shall check the list of countries, regions, and regions with high-, medium-, and low- risk of epidemics provided by their companies, formulate corresponding prevention and control strategy based on the information and prevention&control requirements of relevant ports, and comply with the requirements of the port of call for cargo operations, ship repairs, ship replenishment, and crew disembarkation.

2.9.2 After arriving at the quarantine anchorage of a foreign port, the ship shall immediately notify the port sanitary authority through its agent. Before the quarantine procedure is completed, nobody other than quarantine officials is allowed for embarkation/disembarkation.

2.9.3 Ships should do the declaration in advance, keep the communication open, and prepare relevant documents according to the requirements of the sanitary authority at the next port of call. including:
-crew health surveys
-ship sanitation control exemption certificates
-crew and passenger lists
-ship medical records; and
cooperate with the inspection according to the requirements of the port sanitary authority

2.9.4 The master of the ship should immediately alert the shipping company and the port sanitary authority if anyone on board shows symptoms such as fever, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. Under the guidance of local sanitary authority, active prevention and control measures shall be taken to reduce the risk of epidemic spreading on board.

2.9.5 If any confirmed cases, suspected cases, close contacts, or those with fever or/and respiratory symptoms onsets are identified by the port sanitary authority, the ship may be considered as infected. In such case, the ship shall give active cooperation to the sanitary authority.

2.9.6 When berthing at a port in a high- or medium- risk country or region, the crew on board should protect themselves and reduce their direct contact with shore personnel to the minimum. The number and area of activity of the people from the shore should be strictly controlled. Crew shall not be sent ashore unless it's essential to the ship's operation.

2.9.7 The ship shall provide necessary protective gloves, masks and other necessary PPE for pilots and other essential personnel who needs doing their job in ship's bridge cabin. At the same time, crew members who need to be in contact with such personnel should take protective measures properly. Areas occupied by such personnel and their movement area should be cleaned and disinfected after their disembarking
Adequate crew for watchkeeping shall be ensured for ships' safety. When in shortage, crew changing shall be properly and timely arranged to make the necessary complements.

While the following term is deleted:
2.4.3 In high-risk areas, crew replacement should be suspended. In other areas, a replacement of seafarers can only proceed when the port authorities' requirements pertaining epidemic prevention and control are met, and should be reported in accordance with regulations.
For more details, please kindly refer to the MSA’s full version of the Guidance (V2.0)in Englishas attached.

Best regards,
Yu Limin 
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