Neptune Indicator suggests crew change situation remains stable

Well into 2023, the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator suggests that the crew change situation is slowly returning to the pre-covid normal. Across the industry, restrictions and protocols are being re-evaluated and toned down.

April 24 2023

The Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator that covers crew change developments in the first quarter of 2023 suggests that the situation remains stable. The number of seafarers vaccinated is at 96.3%, a slight increase of 0.7 percentage points from the previous quarter. Likewise, the number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract is down by 0.5 percentage points, now at 2.2%. The number of seafarers onboard vessels for more than 11 months remains at 0.2%.

Ship managers report that crew change operations of foreign crews at Chinese ports are relatively back to normal. Overall, there is a trend towards pre-covid conditions.

Ship managers are now reviewing their covid protocols. Some no longer test crew prior to departure from their home country, or prior to boarding a ship at the port of embarkation.

The efficiency of existing covid vaccines remains a concern, and some companies are no longer asking crews to renew or boost their vaccinations. However, ship managers still opt to replace unvaccinated crew members with vaccinated ones through normal crew changes. This allows unvaccinated crew members to get vaccines while on shore, though opportunities for carrying out vaccinations during port calls have decreased drastically.


The Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator for the first quarter of 2023 can be found here.

For further information: Project Director, Human Sustainability, Susanne Justesen at

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