Sri Lanka: Bulk crew changes through Offshore Crew Transit Hub

This is according to UK Club, citing information by correspondent GAC Shipping Ltd.

It is reminded that the crew changes taken place through the OCTH should be only on the basis of direct bulk crew changes facilitated via chartered flights from/to Mattala International Airport (MRIA).

Please note the PPP require minimum 96 hours for processing the request and making arrangements for crew change, hence please make advance requests.


Disembarking crew:

  • Disembarkation of crew from a vessel and send them directly to the OCTH and once the charter flights are available they will be transferred directly to the airport for repatriation.
  • Seafarers requiring PCR tests to return to home country, PCR tests will be conducted on board the OCTH.
  • If any seafarer becomes positive for COVID-19 PCR test, provision for treatment should be done in the designated intermediate care facility.


Embarking crew:

  • The on signers who arrive to the country by charter flight will be directly sent to the OCTH from the airport and then embarked to the vessels as per the schedule.
  • PCR test should be done for every on-signer within 72 hours prior to boarding the flight and should be made available to respective Port Health Officer (PHO) prior to their landing in Sri Lanka.



  • Since the seafarers are directly transferred from airport to the OCTH and vice versa, they are exempted from PCR testing conducted at the Points of Entry (unless in any other conditions specified on the SOP).
  • Crew change to be done under the supervision of Sri Lanka Navy and they should escort the crew transport vehicle.


Flights available:

  • Scheduled charter flights available for seafarers between airports of Male & Dubai and MRIA.
  • Exclusive charter flights are  arranged by Agents as per requirement, however crew change needs to follow above procedure.
  • Foreign crew embarkation/ disembarkation via commercial flights are still not permitted in Sri Lanka.

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