Gibraltar – a major crew changing hub, is following the recommendations proposed by BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and other industry partners, and facilitated by IMO in a circular letter, by easing restrictions to crew change as a result of COVID-19 challenges.
Seafarers unable to disembark and be repatriated is one of many unfortunate scenarios caused by the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by many port states. Recently, BIMCO, ICS and other industry partners teamed up and presented the IMO with a list of recommendations for governments and relevant national authorities to facilitate maritime trade during the pandemic.
Subsequently, the IMO issued circular letter no. 4204/Add. 6, which recommends a pragmatic approach to restrictions. With a reference to this circular, the Gibraltar Port Authority has eased its restrictions and now allows crew change within the port limits under certain conditions.
BIMCO welcomes this pragmatic approach and encourages other port state governments and relevant authorities to do the same.