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COVID-19: South Africa – Update on crew changes

11 September 2020
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Since our last update, the Minister of Transport made further amendments to the Air Services Directions on 9 September.

The amendments now allow for international flights in the following circumstances inter alia: humanitarian operations; and the repatriation of a foreign national to their country of nationality or permanent residence. Prior to these latest changes, the relevant provision read: ‘All international passenger flights are prohibited, except those flights authorised by the Minister of Transport‘.

Accordingly, these amendments assist to align the regulatory framework authorising crew repatriations. We are aware of several vessels for which foreign crew exchanges have been possible, as well as a number of scheduled repatriation flights to destinations such as Frankfurt, Washington, Paris, Doha and Dubai.

Requirements for foreign sea crew changes are detailed in the amended Sea Port Directions of 20 August and SAMSA Marine Notice No 43 of 2020. The latter notice stipulates the form which must be e-mailed to the Department of Transport requesting permission for the crew change. The correct e-mail addresses to which the forms should be sent are: [email protected] and [email protected].

“Update: On 21 September, South Africa moved to level one with fewer restrictions around international air travel. See our website here for links to the latest regulations, directions and notices.”