IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the commitment of 12 countries to facilitate crew changes and achieve key worker designation for seafarers, following a virtual ministerial summit hosted by the UK Government on 9 July.
This step represents significant progress to help resolve a growing crisis facing the maritime industry, and enable hundreds of thousands of stranded seafarers to go home or join ships.
The world’s reliance on maritime transport makes it more important than ever to keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing, and to support ship crew changeovers, the United Nations maritime and trade entities said in a joint statement.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), which regulates shipping, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which tracks world trade, reiterated calls for Governments to promote crew well-being by allowing crew changes and ensuring seafarers and other maritime personnel have access to documentation and travel options so that they can return home safely.
2019 was quite the year for maritime disasters with ships on fire, containers falling off ships etc.. 2020 seems to be hitting the industry in other ways which could also be considered a kind of maritime disaster..
But in what may be the first reported case of containers falling off ships in 2020, the APL England a 5,780 TEU capacity containership lost around 40 containers off the coast of New South Wales in Australia.. It has also been reported that around 74 containers are lying in a collapsed state within the stacks on board the ship..
Such incidents bring to the fore the question whether the ship register or ship registry is liable for containers falling off a ship and who is really responsible..
Ballast Water Treaty is an important international treaty which helps prevent the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species by ships.. This treaty got a major boost following China’s extension of the treaty to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Ships flagged to Hong Kong, China – the fourth largest flag Administration in the world by shipping tonnage – will now be required to apply the requirements of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM).. This mean that this treaty now covers more than 90% of shipping worldwide..
We have read many articles, extolling the virtues of Seafarers who are considered the backbone of the shipping industry and how they are important to the industry etc etc.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, these Seafarers are facing significant challenges with extended service on board, unable to go ashore for a bit of fresh air after many months at sea, unable to be relieved of their duties and go home to be with their loved ones etc.
This is despite international maritime compliance regulations which require Seafarers to be changed on a regular basis from ships they work in to ensure safety, crew health, welfare, and the prevention of fatigue.
There have been calls from many quarters for appropriate action to be taken to address these issues faced by Seafarers.
Trade by sea must continue to flow to maintain the continued provision of essential goods, including vital medical supplies, during the unprecedented global situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was the message of a joint statement from the heads of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), issued on Friday (17 April).
In a press release yesterday, IMO and PSC inspection authorities announced that they have set a pragmatic approach to support global supply chain..
The port State control (PSC) regimes which carry out inspections onboard ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations have highlighted their commitment to ensuring shipping continues to trade safely, securely and efficiently during the coronavirus pandemic, while respecting the important role of seafarers as key workers and protecting the environment.
IMO Secretary-General stresses the vital need to maintain commerce by sea and protect seafarers’ welfare in face of coronavirus shut down.
Stating that in these difficult times, the ability for shipping services and seafarers to deliver vital goods, including medical supplies and foodstuffs, will be central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this pandemic, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has issued a statement addressing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shipping industry and the global supply chain.
We previously reported that as part of MARPOL Annex VI regulation (IMO2020), the member states of the International Maritime Organisation adopted a complementary amendment which came into effect on the 1st of March 2020..
The “Carriage Ban” as it is called, prohibits the carriage of non-compliant HSFO (Heavy Sulphur Fuel Oil) for purposes of propulsion or operation on board a ship unless the ship has been fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system – EGCS commonly known as scrubber..
As from this date it will be considered an offense for any ship to be carrying fuel that contains sulphur content higher than 0.5% for purposes of propulsion or operation, unless the ship has a scrubber..
In the previous article, we raised a question “Will the IMO, which remained steadfast in its implementation of the IMO2020 regulation from 1st Jan 2020 also remain steadfast with the implementation of the “Carriage Ban” come 1st March 2020..??”..