As many will know, the Dutch government has recently reintroduced a general lockdown in the Netherlands. All but essential shops and services are closed and all residents are asked to work from home as much as possible. We understand that many shipowners and charterers have questions regarding the potential impact on their operations which we hope to address in this circular.
In general terms the position for vessels entering the Netherlands remains unchanged namely that:
- Every seagoing vessel must submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDOH) regardless of the health situation on board. In the port of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the MDOH must be submitted via Portbase (the port community system) as of 1 September 2021. It is important to note that a vessel’s agent does have access to that system so these forms should be completed by the Master and submitted to the agent in due time.
- The master of any vessel must notify the port authorities if any crewmembers present with certain medical symptoms as identified by the World Health Organization (WHO), including persistent fatigue or decreased consciousness, glandular swelling, jaundice, persistent cough or shortness of breath, unusual bleeding, any skin rash or eruption, severe vomiting (other than sea sickness), severe diarrhoea or epileptic seizures.
- Any crewmembers travelling through the Netherlands will have to comply with the general requirements of the Dutch government including as to testing and quarantine.
We note however that as of 22 December 2021 new entry rules will apply to travellers from outside the EU/Schengen area. From that date travellers from outside the EU/Schengen area must always provide a negative test result to enter the Netherlands. Travellers from very high-risk areas must always self-quarantine. These rules also apply to travellers with proof of vaccination or proof of recovery, who were previously exempt from the mandatory quarantine.
For cruise vessels special measures may apply. The ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in consultation with local health authorities, have issued a document that contains the minimum requirements, roles and responsibilities of cruise ship operators and the relevant Regional Public Health Services (GGD’s) or the Regional Medical Emergency Preparedness and Planning Offices (GHOR offices) for preparedness and response to (probable) cases of COVID-19 on board a cruise vessel in the Netherlands .
The NNPC is available to assist with any COVID related issues or crew changes in the Netherlands and any European waterways.
22 December 2021