Foreign crew-members are now allowed to sign-on and sign-off on ships at Indian ports. The government has decided to follow through its decision in July and thus received representation from organisations like the International Civil Aviation Organisation, International Maritime Organisation, International Chamber of Shipping, and International Labour Organisation to continue an unobstructed supply chain, make way for a crew change at airports and seaports and keep away from any humanitarian crisis in the waters.
Amitabh Kumar, the director-general of shipping said on Saturday through a circular that the Indian standard operating procedure (SOP) for mariners issued in April will apply to foreign seafarers as well.
The industry has been gravely shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, this includes the crew changes, a very vital part of sea voyages. This has become a severe humanitarian concern for mariners, menacing the welfare of world trade and navigation.
According to the United Nations agency that’s tasked with regulating shipping- IMO, presently, millions of mariners are marooned on vessels, and their contract extended beyond the international treaty agreed on the maximum duration of service, which is less than 12 months. Moreover, an almost equal number of mariners are waiting to join ships.