Calling on ports to promote crew change protocols
The crew change crisis brought about by coronavirus pandemic lockdowns is taking on dramatic proportions. According to the International Chamber of Shipping an estimated 400,000 seafarers are either stranded at sea after overrunning their contracts, or are waiting to start their tours of duty. Today, an international summit is held in London on initiative of the UK government, involving political and business leaders from across the globe to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on the global shipping industry, and what governments and industry must do to protect the welfare of crew workers around the world. Also happening today is the global summit of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which will address the impact of COVID-19 on the world of work. Ahead of both top events, the International Chamber of Shipping called on all ships to sounds their horns in port in an act of solidarity with stranded seafarers, which was well observed in ports all around the world.
IAPH supported the initiative and is also co-signatory of the 12-step crew change roadmap with protocols that was endorsed by the International Maritime Organization early May. Unfortunately, not many governments have adopted these protocols so far. A notable exception is the Republic of Panama, which was recently commended by the IMO Secretary General for its efforts to facilitate crew changes. We call upon all our members to bring these protocols to the attention of their governments and urge them to follow the example of Panama in implementing them. You can download the protocols from the WPSP COVID-19 Information Portal. By clicking on the image below you will see a video produced by CNN, which illustrates the plight of seafarers very well.