Crew change (harbour craft)

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) recognises the critical role that harbour craft  crew play in supporting operations in the Port of Singapore. The harbour craft sector provides transport, towage and bunkering services, as well as transporting stores to ships in the port.

With that in mind, MPA has been facilitating crew change and disembarkation request for harbour craft work permit holders under various circumstances. The crew change regime has also been enhanced along the way to ensure the well-being of crew members and to enable crew to conduct their onboard duties in a safe manner.

Useful Links
Crew Change Application for Sign-On
Crew Change Application for Sign-Off (Click Here)   

Crew Disembarkation Request (Click Here)

Crew Disembarkation for Vaccination Request (Click Here)

Crew Transfer Request for Work Permit Holders (Click Here)

Vaccination Requirements for Harbour Craft Crew
The COVID-19 vaccination programme seeks to protect us against COVID-19, as well as to protect businesses and jobs through the progressive re-opening of Singapore. The vaccine is free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents. Companies are to ensure that their crew are fully vaccinated as soon as possible. To be considered as fully vaccinated, crew who have completed the primary vaccination series of COVID-19 vaccines (two doses of mRNA vaccine or three doses of non-mRNA vaccine) must receive their booster vaccination no more than 270 days after the last dose. 

Crew who are fully vaccinated in Singapore will have their vaccination records ingested into the National Immunisation Registry. For crew who are fully vaccinated overseas, please refer to Table 1 below for information on updating of vaccination records.  Crew may walk in to any vaccination centre for their COVID-19 vaccination without appointment. 

Table 1: Updating of vaccination records

Fully Vaccinated Overseas
  • Take a serology test at a Public Health Preparedness Clinic to confirm your vaccination status. Once positive (i.e. you have antibodies), your overseas vaccination records will be uploaded into HealthHub (HH) and TraceTogether app. Please ensure FIN number is used to update the records. 
  • If you took a Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine, this update will take about two days after your medical provider has submitted the details into the National Immunisation Registry.
  • If you took other WHO EUL vaccines (eg AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sinopharm, Sinovac), the records will be reflected on HH app for now.
  • On top of the primary series (2 doses/3 doses for Sinovac and Sinopharm crew), a Booster is required to be considered as fully vaccinated.  

Partially Vaccinated Overseas
  • If the crew is only vaccinated with one dose of Sinovac, company can arrange for crew to go to clinics that offer Sinovac for their second and third dose. Otherwise, the crew can go down to any vaccination centres and receive 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine. Crew who are partially vaccinated with other WHO-EUL vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Janssen will need to receive 1 more booster dose (for Janssen) or 2 more doses (for AstraZeneca) of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna to be considered fully vaccinated. Company can arrange for crew to go to vaccination centres offering Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine for their vaccination.                    
  • For existing work permit holders, the crew are eligible for walk-in vaccination, and there is no requirement to make an appointment.

As per the FAQs addressed by Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH), individuals who have had an earlier COVID-19 infection, and have recovered, are recommended to receive a single dose of vaccine no earlier than 3 months after the date of their diagnosis if they had not already completed vaccination previously.

Crew who have recovered from COVID-19 infection and completed the recommended COVID-19 vaccination may receive a booster vaccination. It is safe for them to receive the booster which may provide additional protection. They may receive the booster dose 28 days after infection, although they are recommended to do so three months from the infection and around five months after the last dose of their primary vaccination series (whichever is later) for better effectiveness.  

Crew Sign-On
Crew entering Singapore from 15 Nov 2021 onwards will no longer have to undergo a 14-day isolation at their home country before entering Singapore. Instead, crew will only be subjected to the prevailing SHN and testing requirements in Singapore based on the country/region category the crew comes from. Crew must be fully-vaccinated before entering Singapore and have a valid pre-departure test (PDT) with negative results.

Table 2: Revised Harbourcraft Crew Change Requirements from 15 Nov 2021

  • Crew must be fully vaccinated.

Application to MPA for crew sign-on
  • Company to submit crew change sign-on application to MPA at least 14 days before the planned entry date of the crew into Singapore  via the following link: Harbour Craft Crew Change Online Form.
  • MPA will issue a no-objection email within 7 days from receiving the sign-on application.
Requirements in country of domicile
  • No isolation at home country.
  • Crew to do a Pre-Departure Test (PDT) within 48 hours prior to departure from their country of domicile entering Singapore.
Prior to departure
  • Company can proceed to apply for the crew’s entry approval at the STO portal ( either under the Work Pass Holder Lane (for Cat II country) or using the waiver codes given by MPA (for Cat III countries) upon receiving the no-objection email from MPA. Application must be done at least 3 to days before the arrival date of the crew. Please refer to for further details.
  • Company to submit results of PDT and Safe Travel Office Approval for entry to MPA prior crew’s departure.
Transit to Singapore
(Specifically for Indonesia)
  • For crew entering Singapore from Indonesia, the crew is no longer required to take the dedicated ferry operated by Horizon Ferry from Batam to Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. While the dedicated ferry will remain in operations for the time being, the crew can choose to be transported by other ferry service provides for the trip from Batam to Singapore.
  • Crew can also enter Singapore via flights from Indonesia to Changi Airport. 
SHN and testing requirements in Singapore
  • With effect from 3 Dec onwards, all arriving crew have to undergo a mandatory on-arrival PCR test (OAT) either at the Ferry terminal/Changi airport (depending on crew’s arrangement). Companies must register and make payment for their crew on-arrival PCR tests prior to departing for Singapore. The relevant link are as follows:

  • SHN with prevailing testing regime/protocols based on the country/region category the crew comes from. 
  • The full set of prevailing border measures for different categories and changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website. Companies are advised to visit the website to check the latest border measures for their country/ region, and be prepared to be subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry into Singapore.
Crew entering from Category II country 
  • 7-day SHN at an SHN hotel
  • Day 7 SHN exit PCR test
Crew entering from Category III country
  • 10-day SHN at an SHN hotel
  • Day 10 SHN exit PCR test
Crew entering from Category IV country
  • 10-day SHN at dedicated SHN facility
  • Day 10 SHN exit PCR test

  • For crew entering from Category II & III countries, companies must make your own hotel booking and declare the place of accommodation for SHN in the STO application. The list of SHN hotels can be found on SHA’s website as follows: For exit PCR test, MOM will notify the crew on the regional screening centre to conduct the exit PCR test. Company shall make arrangement for dedicated transport for the point to point transfer of your crew from the SHN hotel to the screening centre and back to the hotel immediately after completion of the PCR test.
Transport to SHN hotel
  • Crew can commute from Changi Airport or Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to their declared place of accommodation using the company’s own private transport, take taxis (including street-hail taxi) or book a private-hire vehicle. For more information, please refer to
  • Crew are strictly prohibited from taking public transport, e.g. public bus/train.
Completion of SHN
  • Results of the exit PCR test to be provided to MPA once available.
  • Crew will only be allowed to start deployment onboard harbour craft after PCR test is negative.

Crew Sign-Off
For crew sign-off for harbour craft work permit holders, the submission of sign-off application is to be made via the above Crew Change Application form 14 days prior to the intended date of sign-off.

MPA will issue no-objection to companies upon receipt of successful sign-off application. Crew must bring with them MPA’s no-objection email together with supporting documents (ART or PCR test result (if applicable i.e Pre-Departure Test (PDT) required), ferry/flight ticket) to be verified by ICA officers at the checkpoints.

Crew Disembarkation Request
Crew disembarkation for harbour craft work permit holders is only allowed for essential reasons such as work permit renewal, vaccination and to seek medical care. Following your crew disembarkation request, you must forward the auto-approval email from your FormSG application to PHO ( and ICA ( to seek their consent for the disembarkation.

Photo evidence of crews’ completed ART test done within 24 hours prior to disembarkation and the Medical Declaration of Health will need to be submitted prior to disembarkation. Exceptions are granted in cases of crew requiring urgent medical attention but please continue to notify MPA of such crew disembarkation via and

Fast and Easy Testing Rostered Routine Testing
As we progressively transit into the endemic phase of Covid-19, we will move towards the Fast and Easy Testing (FET) Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) regime from 1 November 2021 onwards.

The FET RRT will replace the existing PCR RRT testing frequency and there will be no further need for maritime workers and port users to undergo regular Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing as Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) will be used instead. The testing cycles for the different categories of harbour craft crew are summarised in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Categories of Harbour Craft Crew (Singaporeans, PRs and Foreign Work Permit Holders) and Frequency of FET RRT

Category of Individuals Vaccination Status Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Previously on at least 7D PCR RRT] To be on 3D FET RRT [No more PCR]
  • Harbour craft crew who are Singaporeans/PRs that reside in the community
  • Harbour craft work permit holders with shore-based residential address
  • Harbour craft work permit holders who are frontline personnel (i.e. launch boat Captain/crew) and resides onboard the craft

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated


[Previously on 7D ART] To be on  (7D FET RRT) – same regime 

Harbour craft crew deployed on board harbour craft who are long term permit holders and whose registered residential address is a harbour craft

Vaccinated FET

Unvaccinated (3D FET RRT)
(Medically Ineligible)



Unvaccinated (3D FET RRT#)
(Medically Eligible)



#funded by individual or employer/company

Under the Employer-Supervised Self Swab (ESSS) programme, all ART kits will be provided and delivered to employers free of charge until 31 December 2021 except for unvaccinated medically eligible harbour crew deployed on board harbour craft who are long term work permit holders and whose residential address is a harbour craft. They will only be partially subsidised under ESSS until 31 December 2021 (i.e. of the two ART tests required per week under FET RRT, only one ART test will be subsidised and the other ART test will be self-funded or funded by the employer). Non-ESSS tests are to be borne by individual/company from 1 November 2021.

Requirements for Companies conducting Employer-Led Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS)
Companies are strongly encouraged to enrol into the ESSS at the Workplace Programme whereby employees will swab themselves under the supervision of a trained staff. This can be done on-site or virtually. To support companies that are conducting ESSS, the Government will be extending the subsidy for ESSS for training and ART test kits until 31 December 2021. Please refer to for details on the ESSS programme. Due to the strong demand for ESSS Training and ESSS ART Test Kits, you are strongly encouraged to apply for the training and ART kits as soon as possible, if you have not already done so.

Companies are required to upload the test results obtained by their employees from ESSS onto Swab Registration System (SRS) in accordance with the following:
  1. If the test result is positive i.e  “AG+”, companies are to upload the test result of that employee onto SRS no later than 30 minutes after the ESSS for that specific employee is completed.
  2. If the test result is negative i.e “AG-”, companies are to upload the test result of that employee onto SRS as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the ESSS for that specific employee is completed.
Where workers have obtained ‘AG+’ test results while conducting ESSS, companies are to abide by the prevailing AG+ management protocol for such cases that are set out on the MOH website. The follow-up ART test does not need to be carried out under supervision and the results do not need to be uploaded to SRS. Companies are to use self-funded ART test kits which are approved by MOH for the follow-up ART test and not those that have been supplied by the Government for the purpose of the ESSS. If an “AG+” result is submitted for an employee onto the SRS by mistake, companies must use this form to submit the details and updated result of the employee.

Companies using the ART test kits supplied by the Government for the purpose of ESSS are not allowed to distribute, supply or sell them to any third-party. These ART test kits must be properly accounted for and used only for the approved purpose. Companies need to ensure that employees use the test kits for RRT only, unless the test result is AG invalid and a re-test needs to be done.

Companies should be prepared to factor in all ESSS and testing costs into their normal business operations from 1 January 2022 onwards when the subsidy ends.

Please note that there will be no exemption or exception allowed from the testing regime. Failure to comply with the requirements may result in a breach of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (Harbour Craft) Regulations.

Please contact us at if you have further queries.

Useful documents