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INTERCARGO: Charterers preventing crew change must be held to account
(Posted on 02/11/20)
INTERCARGO, (The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners) the body representing the interests of dry bulk sector operators, has learned that in a number of instances, charterers in the dry bulk sector have been preventing much needed crew changes from taking place during the period of the charter, despite the ship owner agreeing to accept the associated costs.
In these instances, charterers have been seen to simply ignore relevant provisions and charter party
clauses that could be employed. Indeed, it has been reported that bulk carriers changing crews in certain
countries in SE Asia are being treated as ‘toxic’ by charterers for the 14 days following crew change.
In a statement INTERCARGO says: “INTERCARGO strongly condemns the non-compassionate practices of
some charterers of dry bulk carriers, in their rejection of crew change outright during the charter period.
This flies in the face of industry wide efforts to offer seafarers the essential rest that they have been so
long without during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which is essential to the safe operation of the shipping
“Ironically, this appalling practice has been reported primarily in the dry bulk sector, where the prevention
of seafarer fatigue is of special concern. Bulk carriers on tramp trading routes call at many more ports
than other shipping sectors, piling added strain on an already fatigued workforce with no hope of crew
change. A crew must be well rested to operate a ship in compliance with the voyage instructions from the
charterers: to load and discharge the cargo, ballast and de-ballast, wash, dry and present cargo holds,
open/close hatch covers and carry out the multitude of associated tasks to ensure safe operation of the
vessel. It is very disappointing that dry cargo charterers do not understand or wish to take responsibility
for the concept of the common venture which exists under a time-charter.
“INTERCARGO wishes to state unequivocally that this issue goes further than the charterer’s corporate
social responsibility (CSR) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities, and displays a
clear lack of appreciation of one of the greatest humanitarian crises to affect the maritime sector.”
INTERCARGO is representing the interests of quality dry
bulk shipowners, with close to 2,400 registered ships out of more than 11,000 ships in the global dry bulk fleet,
corresponding to over 25% of the global dry bulk fleet basis deadweight.
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