Thailand crew change: open for off-sign, but not for on-sign

I’ve had a meeting today in Laem Chabang Port, Thailand, with Kerry Siam Seaport Regional Port Logistics Director, Director of an Offshore Marine Services Company, and ThaiOil Marine Ship Agent Manager. We’ve been discussing crew change situation in Thailand. As of now, it’s similar to that in India – off-sign is OK, for all nationalities, providing off-sign crew members are t-negative and leave country in 24 hours, no prolonged stay allowed. The problem is with on-signers, they aren’t allowed into the country. Off-signers can be replaced with Thai seamen only, just like in India.
I’ve been surprised to find out, that there are many vacant Thai maritime professionals, open for hire by foreign shipping companies. The crisis hits Thai sea labor as hard as any other nation. I’ll publish, soon, contacts of company or companies in Thailand, ready to provide interested parties with job seekers CVs and other details.
Ships may call Thai ports for crew change only, but bad news is, these ships will have to berth, with all expenses berthing implies.
There are some positive news of Thai Gov recent decisions, which may eventually, allow into the country on-signers. Thailand – so it is strongly rumored – is about to open for tourism, as early probably, as October. It will be, kind of, new type of tourism, a long-term one, for tourists who agree to stay for at least 90 days. Two extensions will be available for 90 days each; the lengthiest period for the new visa would be 270 days. Thai Gov is targeting millions of tourists during 4Q, mainly to support dying tourism sector, and re-create up to 2.5 mil jobs. Thailand, like nearly all countries in the world, is in bad need of restoring lost jobs, so there’s rather good chance, that on-sign will be allowed – it’s a good business for locals, creating new jobs and new opportunities.
Thailand also, is mulling over long-term smart visas massive criteria relaxation, which will allow skilled foreigners to get smart visa, on a much broader scale. The term “skilled labor” is entitled to skilled professionals in real sectors of real economy, not to humanitarians or artists, or NGOs staffers, with bunches of diplomas and no any real skill in anything.

Author

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.