Philippines relaxes crew change restrictions for both Filipino nationals and foreigners effective 1 February 2021


The Philippines government has issued new guidelines on the arrival of both Filipino nationals and foreigners. The government has ended its temporary ban (effective until January 31 2021) on international crew change for seafarers from vessels which had called at a list of 36 banned countries.

In a press release issued by the Bureau of Immigration, available on the right, the authorities state that they fully support the government in pursuing its goal to make the Philippines a major international hub for crew change.

Effective 1st February 2021 with reference to the Resolutions Nos. 96 & 97 of the Philippines Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), the new guidelines basically see crew change procedure reverting to position as it was prior to 30 December 2020 (POEA Circular on Green Lanes 2nd July 2020 available on the right) when the temporary ban was introduced.

Off-signing seafarers will have to quarantine for seven days at facilities designated under the One Stop Shop (OSS) for Seafarers until testing negative in PCR Covid-19 test which is taken on the sixth day after arrival. It is important that a ship’s agent is appointed and that clear communication is established if crew change is requested.

In the Advisory issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) on the 30th January 2021, seafarers; under vias category 9(C) would be allowed to enter the Philippines.

More information is available for download on the right.

The club would like to thank Pandiman Philippines for this information.