IMO: Act On Seafarer Crew Changes To Avert Humanitarian Crisis

​Governments need to urgently act to ensure ships’ crew changeovers can take place to keep world trade flowing and avert a humanitarian and ship safety crisis, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has told Member State representatives. “We are on the verge of a humanitarian crisis and a real safety issue – we cannot expect seafarers currently on ships to stay at sea forever. It is the responsibility of Governments to allow shipping to continue moving, and for seafarers to return to their homes, or get to their ships to begin work,” Mr. Lim said during a virtual meeting organized by IMO (9 June) to brief permanent representatives and liaison officers from the IMO Member States.

Act on seafarer crew changes to avert humanitarian crisis
Image Credits:

It is estimated that some 150,000 seafarers are urgently waiting to leave their ships since their contracts, as well as any extensions, have expired and they need to be replaced by a similar number since travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have severely hampered crew changeovers.

Mr. Lim thanked countries that have made progress by designating seafarers as key workers, by facilitating crew changes through implementing crew change protocols that have been endorsed by IMO, by easing travel restrictions including facilitating the issuance of passports and visas, and by giving seafarers access to medical care. “But I remain very concerned about countries where restrictions are still in place for seafarers,” Mr. Lim said.

The meeting was updated on the ongoing work by the IMO Secretariat, in liaison with UN entities and international maritime industry bodies, to monitor how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting shipping, and to develop and issue guidance and recommendations on a wide variety of issues, disseminated by Circular Letter (No.4204 series) and published through the IMO COVID-19 web page.

The meeting was also briefed onthe status of IMO meetings and other work.


Disclaimer :
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

Do you have info to share with us ? Suggest a correction

Latest Shipping News You Would Like:

Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.


  1. IMO useless organization just suckling money from seafarers and ship owners by theme’s stupid regulations.
    If IMO would cear about seafarers. They must not subject,
    They have to request, as they are reverting to follow theme’s stupid regulations

  2. Request you to draw your Kind attention towards Dubai UAE ports.for repatriation.

  3. I think IMO if declares that companies need to pay DOUBLE WAGES for seafarers who is completed their contracts, then only they will try sincerely for crew changes now most of the companies looking for when things becomes normal they will make crew changes but things becoming worse day by day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *