NEWS NEWS
July 8th, 2020

Philippine Government Opens Green Lanes for Seafarers

The Philippine government establishes a ‘green lane’ for seafarers in a bid to speed up the crew change processing. The special lane allows safe travel of seafarers subject to health protocols. It began operating last week, 02 July 2020.

 

Filipino Crew with Philippine Coast Guard

“The Philippine green lane (aims) to facilitate the speedy and safe travel of seafarers including their safe and swift disembarkation and crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr.

“We are aware the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions have caused thousands of seafarers to be stranded at sea and they have to extend their service after many months at sea, unable to be replaced after many long hours of duty… With these guidelines we are answering the call of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the maritime industry to put in place a framework to ensure safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are doing more,” added Locsin.

The Green Lane covers seafarers, licensed manning agencies, shipping companies, airlines and other entities involved in facilitating the travel of seafarers for purposes of crew change and repatriation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

Crossworld Philippine Green Lane Guidelines for Filipino Seafarers

GUIDELINES FOR FILIPINO SEAFARERS JOINING A SHIP DOCKED IN THE PHILIPPINES OR OVERSEAS (OUTBOUND)

1. Licensed manning agencies shall identify the Filipino seafarers who will be signing on a ship, ensure their proper documentation in accordance with the POEA Rules and Regulations, and provide for the appropriate land and/or air transportation from the point of hire to the seaport where the ship is docked, including to the COVID-19 testing site

2. The Filipino seafarer shall undergo COVID-19 testing, the cost of which shall be borne by the licensed manning agency.

3. Pending release of the COVID-19 testing, the Filipino seafarer shall undergo a facility-based quarantine in a DOH-accredited facility. The accommodation, meals and transportation of the Filipino seafarer shall be at the expense of the licensed manning agency.

4. Upon receipt of a negative test result, the licensed manning agency shall arrange for the land and/or air transportation of the Filipino seafarer joining the ship. Appropriate coordination with the DOTr and OWWA must be made by the licensed manning agency.

5. Licensed manning agencies must provide a list of embarking or departing seafarers to the respective government agencies having supervision and regulation over authorized international gateways.

GUIDELINES FOR FILIPINO SEAFARERS LEAVING A SHIP (INBOUND)

1. Licensed manning agencies shall identify the Filipino seafarers who will be signing off the ship and submit the list to the respective government agencies having supervision and regulation over authorized international gateways,

2. The Filipino seafarer must undergo an RT-PCR testing aboard the ship or at a special area designated in the seaport, the cost of which shall be borne by the PhilHealth.

3. Pending release of the RT-PCR testing, the Filipino seafarer shall undergo quarantine either on board the ship or in a DOH-accredited facility, with his/her accommodation and meals to be at the expense of the licensed manning agency. The results of the RT-PCR testing shall be distributed electronically or by the BOQ, as the case may be.

4. Upon receipt of a negative test result, the BOQ shall provide the appropriate clearance to the Filipino seafarer or licensed manning agencies, which in turn shall submit the same to the PPA and other respective government agencies having supervision and regulation over authorized international gateways, for the purpose of disembarkation.

5. The licensed manning agency shall arrange for the land and/or air transportation of the Filipino seafarer to the point of destination.

GUIDELINES FOR FILIPINO SEAFARERS TRANSITING IN THE PHILIPPINES (AIRPORT/TERMINAL TO AIRPORT/TERMINAL)

1. Filipino seafarers shall be allowed to transit in the Philippines, whether from airport to ship, ship to airport, or airport to airport, provided the following are complied with:

(a) The Filipino seafarer does not exhibit any sign or symptom of COVID-19;

(b) The Filipino seafarer transiting to another terminal within the same airport complex shall be allowed; provided that such transfer shall only be done, airside by the concerned airline company; and shall, from the airport of origin, proceed directly to the destination airport, within six (6) hours from arrival, and may not leave the same upon embarkation;

(c) The Filipino seafarer transiting from the arrival airport to another departure airport shall be allowed to proceed directly to such destination/departure airport, within six (6) hours from arrival; and

(d) The Filipino seafarer shall not be allowed to stay anywhere else in the Philippines outside the port of origin and destination.

2.Licensed manning agencies shall identify the Filipino seafarers arriving for the purpose of transit and submit the list to the respective government agencies having supervision and regulation over authorized international gateways.

3. Upon arrival, the Filipino seafarer must comply with the requirements for immigration and customs clearances, using the special lane for seafarers at various ports. For this purpose, the Filipino seafarer must possess a medical certificate stating that he/she has tested negative of COVID-19 within the last seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival at the port. This is without prejudice to the right of the Philippine Government to the conduct of 

(a) confirmatory and random testing;

(b) re-testing when the seafarer has undergone a lengthy stopover in another jurisdiction; or

(c) re-testing when there are apparent symptoms or signs of possible infection upon arrival in the Philippines.

4. Licensed manning agencies shall provide for the land and/or air transportation of the Filipino seafarer to the destination port and should directly transport him/her within six (6) hours from arrival.

5. In case the Filipino seafarer has, for any other reason, not been able to pursue his/her flight within six (6) hours from arrival, he/she shall be subjected to the same health and quarantine protocols as with inbound Filipino seafarers, i.e. required to undergo RT-PCR testing and quarantine, the cost of which, including meals and accommodation in a DOH-accredited facility, to be borne by the licensed manning agencies.

6. Upon arrival at the port of destination, the Filipino seafarer shall comply with the requirements for immigration and customs clearances, using the special lane for seafarers.

7. In case of emergencies, licensed manning agencies or shipping principals or their agents should, in line with their obligations, find arrangements with Philippine ports to ensure the Filipino seafarer’s access to adequate medical care, including access to hospitals, clinics and other emergency medical equipment, to prevent any outbreak while awaiting repatriation. The licensed manning agencies, shipping principal or their agents should furnish the relevant government agencies on the status of the seafarers on board ships who were given emergency care or response. For this purpose, the BOQ shall identify the appropriate isolation facility for the Filipino seafarer.

 

Crossworld Philippine Green Lane Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers

GUIDELINES FOR FOREIGN SEAFARERS JOINING A SHIP DOCKED IN THE PHILIPPINE SEAPORT FROM THE AIRPORT (AIRPORT TO SHIP)

1. Foreign seafarers shall be allowed to leave an aircraft landing in the Philippines for the purpose of boarding a vessel docked in Philippine seaports, provided the following are complied with:

(a) The foreign seafarer does not exhibit any sign or symptom of COVID-19;

(b) The foreign seafarer shall, from the airport, proceed directly to the ship docked in the Philippine seaport within six (6) hours from arrival at the airport, and may not leave the same upon embarkation; and

(c) The foreign seafarer shall not be allowed to stay anywhere else in the Philippines outside the airport or ship.

2. The licensed manning agency or shipping principal of the foreign seafarer shall identify the foreign seafarers arriving in the aircraft and submit the list to the respective government agencies having supervision and regulation over authorized international gateways.

3. Upon arrival, the foreign seafarer must comply with the requirements for immigration and customs clearances, using the special lane for seafarers at the airport. For this purpose, the foreign seafarer must possess a valid 9(c) Philippine-issued visa and a medical certificate stating that said foreign seafarer has tested negative of COVID-19 within the last seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival at the airport. This is without prejudice to the right of the Philippine Government to the conduct of

(a) confirmatory and random testing;

(b) re-testing when the seafarer has undergone a lengthy stopover in another jurisdiction; or

(c) re-testing when there are apparent symptoms or signs of possible infection upon arrival in the Philippines.

4. The licensed manning agency or shipping principal of the foreign seafarer should submit to the DFA a written request for exemption from the Temporary Suspension of Visa Issuance, pursuant to Foreign Service Circular No. 29-2020 dated 19 March 2020. Once the written request is approved by the DFA, the DFA shall authorize the concerned Foreign Service Post to issue the visa and the foreign seafarer, his/her authorized representative or licensed manning agency, may then apply for 9(c) visas at the Philippines’ various Foreign Service Posts. The DFA shall advise the BI upon issuance of the visa.

5. The licensed manning agency or shipping principal of the foreign seafarer shall provide for the land transportation of the foreign seafarer to the designated ship for embarkation, and should directly transport him/her within six (6) hours from arrival at the airport.

6. In case the foreign seafarer has, for any other reason, not been able to embark in the ship within six (6) hours from arrival at the airport, he/she shall be subjected to the same health and quarantine protocols as with inbound Filipino seafarers, i.e. required to undergo RT-PCR testing and quarantine, the cost of which, including meals and accommodation in a DOH-accredited facility, to be borne by the licensed manning agencies.

7. In case of emergencies, the licensed manning agency or shipping principal of the foreign seafarer or shipping principals or their agents should, in line with their obligations, find arrangements with Philippine ports to ensure the foreign seafarer’s access to adequate medical care, including access to hospitals, clinics and other emergency medical equipment, to prevent any outbreak while awaiting repatriation. The licensed manning agencies, shipping principal or their agents should furnish the relevant government agencies on the status of the seafarers on board ships who were given emergency care or response. For this purpose, the BOQ shall identify the appropriate isolation facility for the foreign seafarer.

GUIDELINES FOR FOREIGN SEAFARERS LEAVING A SHIP DOCKED IN PHILIPPINE SEAPORT TO AN AIRPORT IN THE PHILIPPINES (SHIP TO AIRPORT)

1. Foreign seafarers shall be allowed to leave a ship docked in the Philippine seaport for the purpose of boarding an aircraft in Philippine seaports, provided the following are complied with:

(a) The foreign seafarer does not exhibit any sign or symptom of COVID-19;

(b) The foreign seafarer has a confirmed outbound flight within four (4) hours from disembarking from the ship;

(c) The foreign seafarer shall, from the ship, proceed directly to the airport, and may not leave the same upon arrival; and

(d) The foreign seafarer has a confirmed outbound flight within four (4) hours from disembarking from the ship;

(e) The foreign seafarer shall not be allowed to stay anywhere else in the Philippines outside the airport or ship.

2. The licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer shall identify the foreign seafarers who will be signing off ships and submit the list to the respective government agencies having supervision and regulation over authorized international gateways.

3. The foreign seafarer must comply with the disembarkation protocols of the PPA, BOQ and BI at the Philippine seaport. For this purpose, the foreign seafarer must possess a valid 9(c) Philippine-issued visa and a medical certificate stating that said foreign seafarer has tested negative of COVID-19 within the last seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival at the seaport. This is without prejudice to the right of the Philippine Government to the conduct of

(a) confirmatory and random testing;

(b) re-testing when the seafarer has undergone a lengthy stopover in another jurisdiction; or

(c) re-testing when there are apparent symptoms or signs of possible infection upon arrival in the Philippines.

4. The licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer should submit to the DFA a written request for exemption from the Temporary Suspension of Visa Issuance, pursuant to Foreign Service Circular No. 29-2020 dated 19 March 2020. Once the written request is approved by the DFA, the DFA shall authorize the concerned Foreign Service Post to issue the visa and the foreign seafarer, his/her authorized representative or licensed manning agency, may apply for 9(c) visas at the Philippines’ various Foreign Service Posts. The DFA shall advise the BI upon issuance of the visa.

5. For foreign seafarers who are already on board ships docked at Philippine seaports prior to the effectivity of this Joint Circular, the licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer should submit to the DFA a written request for exemption from the Temporary Suspension of Visa Issuance, pursuant to Foreign Service Circular No. 29-2020 dated 19 March 2020, at least three (3) working days before the outbound flight of the seafarer. Once the written request is approved by the DFA, the DFA shall advise the BI of the visa issuance.

6. The licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer shall provide for the land transportation of the foreign seafarer from the ship to the airport, within four (4) hours from leaving the ship.

7. In case the foreign seafarer has, for any other reason, not been able to pursue his/her flight within four (4) hours from leaving the ship, he/she shall be subjected to the same health and quarantine protocols as with inbound Filipino seafarers, i.e. required to undergo RT-PCR testing and quarantine, the cost of which, including meals and accommodation in a DOH-accredited facility, to be borne by the licensed manning agencies.

8. Upon arrival at the airport, the foreign seafarer shall comply with the requirements for immigration and customs clearances, using the special lane for seafarers at the airport. 9. In case of emergencies, the licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer or shipping principals or their agents should, in line with their obligations, find arrangements with Philippine ports to ensure the foreign seafarer’s access to adequate medical care, including emergency medical equipment, to prevent any outbreak while awaiting repatriation. For this purpose, the BOQ shall identify the appropriate isolation facility for the foreign seafarer.

GUIDELINES FOR FOREIGN SEAFARERS TRANSITING IN THE PHILIPPINES (AIRPORT/TERMINAL TO AIRPORT/TERMINAL)

1. Foreign seafarers shall be allowed to disembark from an aircraft landing in the Philippines for the purpose of transiting to another country through another aircraft also in the Philippines, provided the following are complied with:

(a) The foreign seafarer does not exhibit any sign or symptom of COVID-19;

(b) The foreign seafarer transiting to another terminal within the same airport complex shall be allowed; provided that such transfer shall only be done, airside by the concerned airline company; and shall, from the airport of origin, proceed directly to the destination airport, within six (6) hours from arrival, and may not leave the same upon embarkation;

(c) The foreign seafarer transiting from the arrival airport to another departure airport shall be allowed to proceed directly to such destination/departure airport, within six (6) hours from arrival and

(d) The foreign seafarer shall not be allowed to stay anywhere else in the Philippines outside the airport.

2. The licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer shall identify the foreign seafarers arriving in the aircraft and submit the list to the respective government agencies having supervision and regulation over authorized international gateways at least three (3) working days prior to the intended date of arrival.

3. Upon arrival, the foreign seafarer must comply with the requirements for immigration and customs clearances, using the special lane for seafarers at the airport. For this purpose, the foreign seafarer must possess a valid 9(c) Philippine-issued visa and a medical certificate stating that said foreign seafarer has tested negative of COVID-19 within the last seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival at the airport. This is without prejudice to the right of the Philippine Government to the conduct of

(a) confirmatory and random testing;

(b) re-testing when the seafarer has undergone a lengthy stopover in another jurisdiction; or (c) re-testing when there are apparent symptoms or signs of possible infection upon arrival in the Philippines.

4. Should the foreign seafarer seek exemption from the visa requirements of the Philippines prior to arrival at the airport, the licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer should submit to the DFA a written request for exemption from the Temporary Suspension of Visa Issuance, pursuant to Foreign Service Circular No. 29-2020 dated 19 March 2020. Once the written request is approved by the DFA, the DFA shall authorize the concerned Foreign Service Post to issue the visa and the foreign seafarer, his/her authorized representative or licensed manning agency, may then apply for 9(c) visas at the Philippines’ various Foreign Service Posts. The DFA shall advise the BI upon issuance of the visa. Upon arrival, the foreign seafarer must comply with the requirements for immigration and customs clearances, using the special lane for seafarers at the airport. For this purpose, the foreign seafarer must possess a valid 9(c) Philippine-issued visa and a medical certificate stating that said foreign seafarer has tested negative of COVID-19 within the last seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival at the airport. This is without prejudice to the right of the Philippine Government to the conduct of

(a) confirmatory and random testing;

(b) re-testing when the seafarer has undergone a lengthy stopover in another jurisdiction; or

(c) re-testing when there are apparent symptoms or signs of possible infection upon arrival in the Philippines.

5. The licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer shall provide for the land transportation of the foreign seafarer to the destination airport and should directly transport him/her within six (6) hours from arrival.

6. In case the foreign seafarer has, for any other reason, not been able to pursue his/her flight within six (6) hours from arrival, he/she shall be subjected to the same health and quarantine protocols as with inbound Filipino seafarers, i.e. required to undergo RT-PCR testing and quarantine, the cost of which, including meals and accommodation in a DOH-accredited facility, to be borne by the licensed manning agencies.

7. Upon arrival at the airport, the foreign seafarer shall comply with the requirements for immigration and customs clearances, using the special lane for seafarers at the airport.

8. In case of emergencies, the licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents of the foreign seafarer or shipping principals or their agents should, in line with their obligations, find arrangements with Philippine ports to ensure the foreign seafarer’s access to adequate medical care, including emergency medical equipment, to prevent any outbreak while awaiting repatriation. For this purpose, the BOQ shall identify the appropriate isolation facility for the foreign seafarer.

 

Sources: Joint Task Force Circular 02 July 2020, Seatrade Maritime News