China allowed to resume the change of foreign crews in ten seaports – in Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Haikou.

The Shanghai government is reported to have issued a circular defining the rules for changing foreign and Chinese crews, as well as the rules for organizing the disembarking of the seafarers to get medical assistance and for other reasons (for example, if the ship needs some repairs).

It is known that foreign crew changes may leave the vessel in case of termination/ expiration of the contract. Whereby, the ship had to leave the last foreign port of call at least 14 days prior to it, and since that moment none of the crew members changed.

Moreover, the shipowner company should make up a crew change program in advance and approve it at the city anti-epidemic headquarters, as well as to book outbound flights and transfers to the airport in advance.

48 hours prior to arrival of the vessel at the port, the company must submit information about the health of the seafarers. Upon arrival at the port, if the test results are negative, the crew members who are discharged from the vessel must immediately leave the country just after going ashore, they are prohibited from staying in the city. Until they leave the country, the vessel must remain in port, whereas she can move to anchorage at the direction of the port authorities. In case of container ships or other vessels operating on a rigid schedule, they can leave the port with the permission of the anti-epidemic headquarters. In this case, the company must provide seafarers with accommodation at special isolated locations where they can wait for departure to their homeland.

As Seanews note, the similar requirements are applied in the opposite direction (upon arrival of the seafarers on the ship) – a replacement plan, organization of delivery and, if necessary, provision of isolated accommodation by the company, health information and a ban on using public transport for seafarers.

We shall note that if it is necessary to go ashore for a long time during repair works or for other reasons, such an opportunity is provided to seamen from Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland, as well as countries with which the People’s Republic of China has visa-free agreements, provided that the ship left the last foreign port of call more than 14 days ago and during those 14 days none of the crew changed. Other foreign seafarers can disembark in Shanghai if they have already spent more than 14 days in the port.