China – Covid-19 nucleic acid tests compulsory for crew joining vessels calling at Chinese ports
Members are referred to the Club’s recent update advising of enhanced procedures at Chinese ports for testing crew members for Covid-19 and highlighting the issues owners would face ;if crew members were to test positive for Covid-19. On 24 September, the Chinese Ministry of Transport, General Administration of Customs, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly issued an Announcement (Announcement of the Ministry of Transport No. 78/2020) to further strengthen the measures for preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 from crews of international vessels calling at Chinese ports. In addition to the requirement to change crews prior to entering Chinese waters or at least 14 days prior to arrival at the vessel’s first port in China, the new measures announced require all crew members joining the vessel to have undergone a nucleic acid test for Covid-19 within 3 days prior to boarding the vessel, at institutions designated or recognised by the overseas Chinese embassies or consulates, with a negative result. A copy of the document showing the negative result of the test should be submitted as part of the vessel’s entry clearance procedures at the vessel’s first port of call in China. A failure to comply with the above measures may lead to delays to the vessel and her cargo operations. In serious cases where a copy of such a document is not provided or a falsified document is detected resulting in the spread or risk of spread of Covid-19 cases in China, criminal sanctions may be expected.
A summary of this latest Announcement, as summarised by the UK Club’s correspondents, Huatai Marine, in their Circular No. PNI11 may be downloaded below.
A list of the test institutions designated or recognised by the overseas Chinese embassies or consulates in the major crew supplying countries, may also be downloaded below. For test institutions in countries not appearing on this list, Members may consult the websites of the Chinese embassies or consulates in those countries or approach the UK P&I Club’s local Correspondents in those countries for assistance.
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UK Club Correspondent Huatai Marine have provided the below Circular (available in both English and Chinese).
Due to a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in China linked to vessels arriving at Chinese ports following crew changes, the local Customs Authority has introduced enhanced procedures for testing crew members for Covid-19 when vessels call at Chinese ports.
The UK Club’s Correspondents in China, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd, would like to alert Members to recent cases where crewmembers onboard ships were required to perform antibody testing in addition to NAT (swab) tests prior to entering shipyards in Shanghai and Zhoushan.
After the webinar on mooring a follow up bonus session was held with the industry to discuss the practical challenges and how these are overcome.