Floating Crew Facilitation Center part of new Singapore crew change procedures

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The Crew Facilitation Center uses an automatic mass temperature screening system with AI capabilities developed by MPA. [Image: MPA]

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is taking enhanced measures to further secure safe port operations and facilitate crew change.

Among the added precautionary measures for ships calling at Singapore is a requirement to inform the Port Master at least three days prior to arrival when ships intend to conduct activities such as repairs, servicing, surveys and inspections that require shore personnel to board the ship. Ships must also undertake additional measures that include disinfecting working areas.

MPA has also issued a notice to all harbor pilots on additional precautionary measures to take when conducting pilotage duties on ships.


With effect from September 1, MPA, with the support of port operator PSA Singapore, will use its existing floating accommodation to set up a Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) at the Tanjong Pagar Terminal. It is a self-contained facility with an onsite medical center, testing and holding facilities.

Dedicated to signing-on crew, the CFC will house the crew for up to 48 hours prior to their boarding their ships, if required, when their ship and flight schedule do not match. Signing-off crew, based on current procedures, will proceed to depart Singapore or stay at existing designated holding facilities Seacare Hotel or accommodation vessel “POSH Bawean” for up to 48 hours, and be strictly segregated from the community.

In line with the risk managed approach taken by Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce, crew members who have stayed at least 14 days from specific low-risk countries/regions to sign-on to ships in Singapore will either no longer be required to serve a stay-at-home isolation in the originating country/region or only serve a shorter isolation of seven days prior to departure for Singapore.

Crew members from other countries/regions will continue to be required to serve an isolation period of 14 days prior to departure.

To safeguard the crew change process, ship owners, managers and agents are to ensure that pre-departure COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests are carried out at government-approved or ISO 15189-accredited testing facilities.


MPA, Singapore Shipping Association, Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union, and Singapore Organization of Seamen, will establish an SGD 1 million (about US$ 756 million) Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund to work with stakeholders in seafaring nations on concrete solutions for safe crew changes, such as initiatives on best practices for crew holding facilities and PCR testing centers.

With the support of IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim and ILO General Director Guy Ryder, Singapore is inviting international partners to contribute to the fund so that actions can be scaled up.

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