Pandemic prevention measures are now more advanced and precise! The Central Epidemic Command Center has approved the proposal of the Maritime and Port Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), and will be allowing seafarers to leave the country by air after entering by port. Apart from the original option of undergoing a 14-day home quarantine, seafarers may now elect to undergo nucleic acid testing (PCR) at a medical institution designated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). If the test result is negative, the seafarer can board a departing flight immediately, which can shorten the seafarer's stay duration in Taiwan, help speed up the exchange of seafarers, and reduce the burden on operators.
The Maritime and Port Bureau pointed out that in order to meet the needs of both COVID-19 prevention and seafarer crew exchange, seafarers who are currently allowed to apply for entry are Taiwanese crew members as well as foreign crew members (excluding Chinese vessels and crew members) who are serving on Taiwanese vessels, foreign vessels belonging to Taiwanese shipping vessel carriage and chartering operators, or those coming to Taiwan for ship delivery. These eligible seafarers can apply to the National Immigration Agency for temporary entry after obtaining a certificate from the Maritime and Port Bureau proving commercial and contractual obligations.
From 12:00 noon on August 17, 2020, if seafarers wish to take a nucleic acid test and depart directly by air after receiving a negative test result, the shipping operator or shipping agent should offer assistance according to the following procedure: obtain the departure flight ticket, arrange for the crew member to complete the test at a designated medical institution on the day of disembarkation then proceed to the designated centralized quarantine site to undergo quarantine and wait for the test results. After receiving a negative result, the operator or agent should apply for a "Certificate for Obtaining Negative PCR Nucleic Acid Test Result" from the Maritime and Port Bureau, and a Revocation of Exit Control from the National Immigration Agency. The seafarer should then depart from Taiwan by air within three days of arrival.
The Maritime and Port Bureau stressed that in the period between waiting for the test results and departing by air, seafarers must comply with the relevant quarantine regulations and take a pandemic prevention vehicle to the airport to check in for their flight. As the pandemic continues, the Maritime and Port Bureau will continue to review relevant prevention measures on a rolling basis to protect the rights and interests of seafarers and alleviate the stress experienced by operators during the pandemic period. The Maritime and Port Bureau also calls on everyone to do their share in keeping the pandemic under control. During the pandemic prevention period, all shipping agents, shipping companies, and seafarers must comply with the relevant quarantine and pandemic prevention regulations promulgated by the Central Epidemic Command Center or the Maritime and Port Bureau to ensure that pandemic prevention frontlines remain unbreached and pandemic prevention loopholes are eliminated.
Contact person: Division Chief Cheng-Zhen Lin, Seafarers Division
Contact number: 02-8978-6288