“Crew change: Drastic measures needed now”

0 comments

“Crew change: Drastic measures needed now”

in International Shipping News 28/07/2020

INTERCARGO cannot even begin to contemplate the impacts if terminal and cargo operations were halted and cargo vessels stopped operations and trading, as a result of crew remaining on board for 12 to 17 months. This compromises the safety of crew, ships, and cargoes, if worldwide progress is not made on crew change. About 300,000 seafarers remain trapped on board their ships and a similar number are awaiting re-employment with financial hardship. Despite a universal campaign from all sectors of the shipping industry, INTERCARGO says that hundreds of thousands of seafarers still continue serving after completing their Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA), and that many of them have now spent well over 12 months on board. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that bulk carriers on tramp trading call at many more ports than other shipping sectors do, piling added strain on an already fatigued workforce with no hope of crew change.

“Very soon the industry is going to have to say enough is enough,” says Dimitris Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO. “The situation is reaching farcical proportions. We have seen crew changesrefused because a COVID test could not be carried out within the prescribed 48-hour window before the crew’s arrival, despite the journey to the port taking three days. In some other countries which claim to allow crew change, in fact this happens only if crew can be replaced with the country’s nationals. These are just some examples.” The two key bottlenecks are the airlines unwillingness to make flights available between shipping destinations and crew source countries; and the lack of commitment from Health & Immigration Authorities to facilitate seafarers’ travelling and issuance of visas.

As per Jay K. Pillai, Vice-Chairman of INTERCARGO, “the situation is escalating from bad to worse as the United Nations IMO protocols for Key Workers are not being honoured by all Port States. About 35 to 40% of all seafarers on board cargo ships are serving well over their SEA and about 10% of all seafarers on board are serving between 12 to 17 months. This is inhumane and countriesshould bear full responsibility for it. Some Governments are not facilitating the crew change even for their own citizens. This includes imposing all possible restrictions on crew change in their home country, restricting flights and applying policies which do not allow seafarers to fly to foreign countries to join ships. It’s a sad story and it can’t continue like this unless Port States who export/import cargoes ensure that ships will not depart with seafarers serving over the MLC limit. More and more countries are prohibiting crew change, though they welcome the cargoes the ships bring to support the welfare of their society.”

INTERCARGO believes that the focus of attention should be on following measures: • INTERCARGO supports the cross-industry recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and places great emphasis on accurate testing procedures, especially for on-signing crew. Recent occurrences of Covid-19 positive crew being allowed to travel from their home countries cannot be condoned by INTERCARGO as it puts seafarers on board and civilians at risk. INTERCARGO calls for increased diligence by crewing agents arranging on-signing crew so that this does not happen again.

• Seafarers shall be tested prior to departure from their home country and tested again at arrival to port prior to going on board ship. Similarly, seafarers disembarking from ships shall be tested prior to coming ashore or flying out. If tests are negative, they shall be exonerated from quarantine.
• All seafarers shall be allowed to travel with visa exemptions for joining ships.
• Port States must allow seafarers to sign off without confirmed flight tickets and wait in isolation hotels while awaiting flights, which could be long, subject to availability of flights.

INTERCARGO fully supports the outcome of the International Maritime Summit on Crew Change earlier in July, where thirteen countries signed agreements to facilitate crew changes. INTERCARGO encourages all governments that are signatories to the IMO SOLAS convention to join and implement the above agreement and especially countries which benefit most from the import and export of dry bulk cargoes.

INTERCARGO would like to remind the airline industry of the great economic support provided through seafarer, superintendent, specialist technician and surveyor travel to and from ships before the Covid-19 crisis. Hundreds of thousands or even more than a million tickets annually provided a significant economic boost to airlines globally. INTERCARGO reminds airlines not to forget seafarers during these difficult times.

Spyros Tarasis, Vice-Chairman of INTERCARGO sums up, saying: “This has become a talking shop. Everybody knows where the problems lie – with the airlines, with visas and with health authorities not recognising seafarers as key workers. But nothing is being done, and very soon the shipping industry itself may well be obliged/forced to stop the trading of cargoes essential for welfare and sustaining the smooth running of societies worldwide.”
Source: INTERCARGO

Leave a Reply

SSCP   CAS-002   9L0-066   350-050   642-999   220-801   74-678   642-732   400-051   ICGB   c2010-652   70-413   101-400   220-902   350-080   210-260   70-246   1Z0-144   3002   AWS-SYSOPS   70-347   PEGACPBA71V1   220-901   70-534   LX0-104   070-461   HP0-S42   1Z0-061   000-105   70-486   70-177   N10-006   500-260   640-692   70-980   CISM   VCP550   70-532   200-101   000-080   PR000041   2V0-621   70-411   352-001   70-480   70-461   ICBB   000-089   70-410   350-029   1Z0-060   2V0-620   210-065   70-463   70-483   CRISC   MB6-703   1z0-808   220-802   ITILFND   1Z0-804   LX0-103   MB2-704   210-060   101   200-310   640-911   200-120   EX300   300-209   1Z0-803   350-001   400-201   9L0-012   70-488   JN0-102   640-916   70-270   100-101   MB5-705   JK0-022   350-060   300-320   1z0-434   350-018   400-101   350-030   000-106   ADM-201   300-135   300-208   EX200   PMP   NSE4   1Z0-051   c2010-657   C_TFIN52_66   300-115   70-417   9A0-385   70-243   300-075   70-487   NS0-157   MB2-707   70-533   CAP   OG0-093   M70-101   300-070   102-400   JN0-360   SY0-401   000-017   300-206   CCA-500   70-412   2V0-621D   70-178   810-403   70-462   OG0-091   1V0-601   200-355   000-104   700-501   70-346   CISSP   300-101   1Y0-201   200-125  , 200-125  , 100-105  , 100-105  , CISM   NS0-157   350-018  , NS0-157   ICBB  , N10-006 test  , 350-050   70-534   70-178   220-802   102-400   000-106   70-411  , 400-101   100-101  , NS0-157   1Z0-803   200-125  , 210-060   400-201   350-050   C_TFIN52_66  , JN0-102  , 200-355   JN0-360   70-411   350-018  , 70-412   350-030   640-916   000-105   100-105  , 70-270  , 70-462   300-070  , 300-070   642-999   101-400   PR000041   200-101  , 350-030   300-070  , 70-270  , 400-051   200-120   70-178   9L0-012   70-487   LX0-103   100-105  ,