- Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, various guidelines have been issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Govt. of India that are being implemented as a control measure while dealing with COVID-19.
- Change of onboard seafarers is an important measure for operation of ship. The Ministry of Home Affairs, vide order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I (A) dated 21/04/2020 has provided revised guidelines under clause “Movement of persons” in addressing this issue.
- The order provides a Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) to be followed in order to streamline the Sign-on and Sign-off of Indian Seafarers at Indian Ports and their movement for the purpose.
- SoP provides guidelines outlining the role of individual seafarer, ship owner/Recruitment & Placement Services (RPS) as well as State Government/ Union Territory where seafarer resides during Sign-on and Sign-off.
- The SoP during Sign-on contains verification of travel and contact history of seafarer, examination of seafarer by DGS approved medical examiner, COVID-19 test at port of embarkation and procedures related to social distancing, hygiene norms, transit pass and other documentation.
- The SoP during Sign-off contains information from master regarding health of seafarers onboard, undergoing COVID-19 test, stay in quarantine period till result of test is received, and procedures related to transit pass and other documentation to the place of seafarer’s residence.
- The detailed protocol with regard to sign-on and sign-off will be prescribed by DG Shipping, India in due time. In the meantime, ship owners/operators, Masters and RPS providers are advised to take note of above and be guided by the attached MHA order for detailed information.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.