BIMCO has launched an initiative to raise awareness about the crucial role of shipping and its seafarers. Help raise awareness outside the shipping industry by sharing this video..
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has spoken out against “no crew change” clauses in charterparties, pointing out that such clauses exacerbate the dire situation of stranded seafarers and undermine the efforts undertaken to resolve the ongoing crew change crisis.
So-called “no crew change” clauses, which are demanded by certain charterers, state that no crew changes can occur whilst the charterer’s cargo is onboard – hence not allowing the ship to deviate to ports where crew changes could take place.
UN Human Rights Day puts the global spotlight on the importance of human rights in the post-COVID recovery.
IMO is highlighting the plight of the hundreds of thousands of seafarers who are still stranded at sea and has issued a strong call for their fundamental rights to be respected.
It is estimated that 400,000 seafarers are currently stranded on ships beyond the end of their original contracts and unable to be repatriated, due to COVID-related travel restrictions.
The United Nations General Assembly has called on UN Member States to designate seafarers and other marine personnel as key workers and to implement relevant measures to allow stranded seafarers to be repatriated and others to join ships, and to ensure access to medical care.
IMO has issued updated protocols to ensure safe crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Framework of Protocols was first issued on 5 May 2020 and has now been revised, with the principle purpose of emphasizing the need for compliance and strict adherence with COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements, reflecting that these are now a reality in many national jurisdictions.
Passenger and repatriation flights are essential to allow stranded seafarers to go home, and for their relief crews to be able to join ships. New guidance issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to facilitate those flights marks a further step to alleviate the ongoing crew change crisis.
Some 400,000 seafarers from across the globe are now stranded on ships, continuing to work but unable to be relieved, in a deepening crew change crisis which threatens trade and maritime safety.
During a high-level event on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (24 September), Captain Hedi Marzougui, who was in command of a vessel between December 2019 and May 2020, appealed to Governments to act to allow seafarers to come home.
Yet another appeal has been sent to Governments to recognize seafarers as keyworkers and address the humanitarian crisis faced by the shipping sector, ensure maritime safety and facilitate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic..
A humanitarian crisis is taking place at sea and urgent action is needed to protect seafarers’ health and ensure the safety of shipping, the IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has warned.
In a strong statement issued ahead of the General Assembly of the United Nations, he called on governments to take swift action to resolve the crew change crisis.
By now, everyone is aware of the plight of the thousands of seafarers around the world who are either stuck onboard ships even after their contract has expired or stuck in countries other than their own due to COVID-19 or in quarantine currently.. It has even resulted in several suicides among seafarers out of sheer desperation..
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it incredibly difficult to facilitate crew changes on ships and despite collaboration and cooperation with many stakeholders in the industry, this problem still remains unresolved and there are still around 200,000 odd seafarers estimated to be trapped on board..
While it is becoming a huge task for any shipowner/manager to get replacement crew, the International Medical Health Association have created an interim paper providing a best practice approach based on common sense to mitigate the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in seafarers joining the ship..
It is alarming when news of suicide attempts, violence and desperation becomes commonplace.
This is, unfortunately, the state of affairs today with seafarers who are tired, on the brink of mental breakdowns (some have already gone over) and very desperate – this desperation is manifesting through various incidents.
Priyanka Ann Saini covers some of these points in this article.