Marking the International Day of the Seafarer, the UK Government has announced it will host the first international summit on the impact of Covid-19 on crew changes next month, bringing together UN, political and business leaders from across the globe.
Unable to get off ships, the maximum sea time stipulated in international conventions is being ignored, with some seafarers marooned at sea for 15 months.
The world’s reliance on maritime transport makes it more important than ever to keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing, and to support ship crew changeovers, the United Nations maritime and trade entities said in a joint statement.
A ground-breaking Global Industry Alliance has been launched to tackle two of the most pressing environmental issues of our time – invasive species and GHG emissions.
The heads of the maritime, labor and aviation organizations of the United Nations have issued a plea for urgent action on crew changes and for keyworker designation so that sea and air workers can be relieved and repatriated in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put seafarers around the world in precarious situations. Travel restrictions mean some cannot leave their ships, be repatriated home, or even get urgent medical assistance.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has asked the United Nations system agencies to support IMO in its request to governments to declare seafarers, port personnel and other crucial maritime workers as key personnel.
In coordination with the government, the UN is mobilizing funds that will ensure adequate essential health equipment needed for testing, quarantine and CARE.
As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold it is vital that all governments keep maritime trade moving by continuing to allow commercial ships access to ports worldwide and by facilitating the movement and rapid changeover of ships’ crews.