Impact Of COVID-19 And The Intensifying Crew Change Crisis – ICS 2020 Annual Review

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents the world’s national shipowners’ associations and more than 80% of the world merchant fleet, has published its Annual Review for 2020. The Review covers a broad cross-section of issues in which ICS is engaged on behalf of the global shipping industry.

The Review explores, in-depth, the significant issues faced by the industry in 2020, including:

  • The impact of COVID-19 and the intensifying crew change crisis – COVID-19 related restrictions on travel and the ability to rotate crew, leaving 400,000 seafarers stranded at sea.
  • Efforts to decarbonize shipping, including the ongoing negotiations at the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the radical industry proposal for a USD 5 billion fund to accelerate the R&D of zero-carbon technologies.
ICS Annual Review 2020 _
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This year’s Review offers a comprehensive analysis of ICS’s activities across a wide range of subjects. This includes: piracy in West Africa and the continuing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean; supporting the successful implementation of the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap and the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention; defending the global pollution liability regime; and pushing for a fundamental review of the STCW Convention on seafarers’ training standards.

The Review is of interest to anyone involved with international shipping, including shipping companies, maritime administrations and policymakers. A full copy of the Annual Review can be downloaded here.

Speaking on the publication of the Annual Review, Esben Poulsson, ICS Chairman said:

“For the global shipping industry, 2020 is a year that will be long remembered. As remarked in this year’s Annual Review, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant disruptions to the industry’s way of working. ICS continues to be at the forefront of addressing the ongoing crew change crisis, making every effort to persuade governments to facilitate the repatriation of 400,000 seafarers stranded at sea.”

“While much of this Review necessarily focuses on COVID-19, the vital work of ICS continues, representing the global industry with its global regulators.

“This includes critical work on the reduction of the industry’s CO2 emissions, to which ICS remains fully committed. Last December, ICS, along with industry partners, proposed the establishment of a USD 5 billion global R&D fund dedicated to zero-carbon technologies. Support from governments for this bold initiative will be critical if we are to deliver on the ambitious IMO objective to at least halve total emissions from shipping by 2050.”

“As we move into ICS’s centenary year, which will hopefully be far less challenging than 2020, there is still much work for ICS to do in helping to shape the future of shipping.”


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