Crew Changes & COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia

  • calendar

    11 August 2020

  • location

    Saudi Arabia



Measures introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have brought widespread disruption to normal crew change operations, with many seafarers prevented from disembarking or joining their vessels.

Mustufa Mohammed, GAC Saudi Arabia’s Commercial Operation Manager Shipping, presents his guide to the current status of crew changes in the country.


What challenges and restrictions do shipowners/operators face when arranging crew changes in Saudi Arabia, and how have your local contacts helped to ease the situation?

Crew changes are presently suspended until further notice.


There is great uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic; how long it will last, and what its impact will be. How are you managing this from a crew change and lay-ups perspective? What are your expectations for the coming months?

It is difficult to speculate at this point in time, but it is possible that crew change operations may recommence once international flights resume.


Is there anything else you wish to add?

Crew change for foreign seafarers and international flights have been suspended by the Port Authority and the Government respectively until further notice. However, Saudi national crew onboard any vessel who wishes to disembark may do so with ease. The process happens as a regular crew disembarkation.


For the latest updates about COVID-19 status/measures and the impact on shipping, including crew changes, in countries around the world, go to www.gac.com/coronavirus.