​China reopens 10 ports for international crew change

According to a recent update by BIMCO, a new 'circuit breaker' mechanism will be implemented to allow 10 major Chinese ports to resume foreign crew change operations.

As many as seven Chinese governmental bodies, including the Ministry of Transportation (MOT), had announced the action a week prior, owing to the prevalent COVID-19 situation in and around the world.

Most of the famous Chinese ports are there on the list, as it handles some of the greatest volumes of cargo on the planet. These include Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningo, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Haikou.

Of the prerequisite requirements for foreign crew change, a set of guidelines has been laid out by the Chinese Ministry that manning agencies and shipping companies have to follow strictly. These include having the basic documentation of valid departing tickets and a clean slate of health and quarantine records for the crew.

Additionally, the said ship in question must have left the last foreign port in more than 14 days, and the shipping company is required to rent a car to transfer the foreign crew from the disembarking point to the outbound gate point directly within the same city, or to embark another outbound ship upon disembarking.

The said notice introduces a quarantine circuit-breaker mechanism. It operates in the following manner; a shipping company’s foreign crew change operations will be suspended for 15 days if there were 5 tested positive cases detected in their ship aggregate; or suspended for 30 days if there were 10 tested positive cases in their ship aggregate. More than 10 tested positive cases found, the shipping company will not be allowed to operate until they pass a fresh assessment conducted by the relevant authorities.

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