The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have urged Governments to facilitate trade by ship and allow crew movements during the coronavirus pandemic, while protecting seafarers to ensure they can continue to deliver vital goods, including medical supplies and food.
The joint statement sets out requirements and recommendations, including provisions for medical care and extensions of medical certificates of seafarers, and exempting inspectors and key personnel responsible for ship inspections and issuing Ship Sanitation Certificates from national restrictions on movement.
The statement asks for
- exemption from national restriction of movements physicians responsible for medical examination of seafarers should be considered
- exempt from national restrictions of movement the inspectors and key personnel responsible for ship inspections and issuance of Ship Sanitation Certificates.
The statement notes that more than two-thirds of countries globally are implementing restrictions on international traffic, including flight suspensions and port closures.
“In this context, we strongly encourage Governments to facilitate ships’ movements, including docking, crew changes, ship inspection and issuance of ship sanitation certificates during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement says.
“We further call upon Governments to ensure that information regarding suspension of port services and other measures introduced in response to COVID-19 is quickly and effectively communicated to international shipping and all relevant stakeholders,” the three Organizations said.