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The Singapore-based SG-Star Fund Task Force (SFTF) has accredited and cited the AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital and PCR Laboratory in Intramuros, Manila as one of the services that can facilitate “successful crew changes in a safe and responsible manner.”

These accreditation and citation were based on “CrewSafe audit programme” SFTF developed, which endeavours crew source nations to bring a higher level of confidence and quality control checks into crew change processes such as quarantine/holding, medical and swabbing facilities.

The SFTF also made known these holding facilities whose processes and services meet the requirements for proper and tight practices (taking Singapore as the reference) in the entire operational process.

The holding/quarantine facilities whose processes have also been accredited are the ITF-IMEC’s St Giles Makati Hotel on Makati Avenue, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association/Norwegian Training Centre-Manila’s Marriot Hotel on 02 Resorts Drive, and the NYK-Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.

To propagate best practices of safe crew change, the industry that is led by Singapore as a hub port, Singapore Shipping Association, and the Singapore officers and ratings unions, work with stakeholders in seafaring nations on practices for crew holding facilities and PCR testing centres.

The ITF, IMEC and International Chamber of Shipping later joined and established a Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund for the same causes. To date, SG-Star said, a total of SGD$1.6 million has been committed to the fund to push ahead with these efforts.

Moreover, SFTF said it is looking at further enhancements of the CrewSafe audit programme, which could include the use of electronic tamper-proof smart wearable devices while the crew are in quarantine, as well as secure document processing for onboarding crew.

Given the endorsement by the auditors, the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said in a statement that it will streamline application procedures for sign-on crew from these accredited facilities boarding ships in the island state, in line with the objective of facilitating crew change in a safe and responsible manner.

“Singapore takes our responsibility to facilitate safe crew change seriously. We are pleased to work with our global tripartite partners to accelerate the development of practical solutions for crew change amid the pandemic,” MPA added. SF