The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology China Coaltrans 2020Port of StocktonCoaltrans Virtual World Coal Leaders Network 2020Cleveland Cascades LtdTOC Events
  • Coaltrans Virtual World Coal Leaders Network 2020
  • Telestack
  • China Coaltrans 2020
  • Cleveland Cascades Ltd
  • Cimbria
  • Port of South Louisiana

Vital to exempt seafarers from travel bans

Vital to exempt seafarers from travel bans

(Posted on 20/03/20)

Joint open letter to United Nations agencies from the global maritime transport industry. To:

Director General, United Nations International Labour Organization

Secretary-General, United Nations International Maritime Organization

Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Director General, World Health Organization.

Facilitating Crew Changes to Keep World Trade Moving Throughout the Covid-19 Crisis

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.

We are writing on behalf of the International Chamber Shipping (ICS), which represents the world’s national shipowners’ associations and over 80% of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which speaks on behalf of approximately two million seafarers who operate the world’s internationally-trading commercial ships.

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold, it is important for the world’s governments to fully understand that around 90% of global trade is transported by commercial shipping, which moves the world’s food, energy and raw materials, as well as manufactured goods and components – including vital medical supplies and many products sold in supermarkets, items that are necessary (due to complex supply chains) for the preservation of many jobs in manufacturing – without which modern society simply cannot function.

In this time of global crisis, it is more important than ever to keep supply chains open and maritime trade and transport moving.

In particular, this means keeping the world’s ports open for calls by visiting commercial ships, and facilitating crew changes and the movement of ships’ crews with as few obstacles as possible.

Every month, around 100,000 seafarers need to be changed over from the ships which they operate in order to comply with relevant international maritime regulations, governing safe working hours and crew welfare, so that they can continue to transport global trade safely.

We therefore wish to emphasise the vital need for the world’s professional merchant seafarers to be granted appropriate exemptions from any national travel restrictions, when joining or leaving their ships, in order to keep the world’s maritime supply chains functioning.

In view of their vital role during the global pandemic, we suggest that professional seafarers, regardless of nationality, should be treated as any other international ‘key workers’, such as airline crew and medical personnel. As such, they should be afforded special consideration and, notwithstanding the need to comply with emergency health protocols, treated with pragmatism and understanding when seeking to travel to and from their ships.

We therefore call on your organisations to highlight the critical importance of this issue with the governments of your member states.

We request, as a matter of urgency, that this topic be added to the agenda of appropriate high level meetings, and that national authorities in your organisations’ member states should be encouraged to engage immediately with their national shipowners’ association and national seafarers’ union, in order to find rapid solutions to this serious problem which otherwise risks impeding global efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yours faithfully,

Guy Platten, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers Federation

Latest News

Intercargo: inclusion in ETS ignores collaboration calls

(Posted on 22/09/20)

INTERCARGO believes that the inclusion of shipping in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which European... Read more


ABB software for Ming Wah bulkers

(Posted on 21/09/20)

ABB is to install its state-of-the-art engine diagnostics software ABB Ability Tekomar XPERT on 12 bulk... Read more


KPI OceanConnect new Hamburg MD

(Posted on 21/09/20)

KPI OceanConnect has announced its appointment of industry expert Boris Gronenberg as Managing Director... Read more


Sailors’ Society: worst crisis for seafarers in 200 years

(Posted on 14/09/20)

The Sailors’ Society says coronavirus is the worst crisis seafarers have faced in its 200-year... Read more


SRI calls for investigation into perfect storm

(Posted on 13/09/20)

The recent spate of grim casualties cannot simply be written off as bad luck, says Seafarers’... Read more


Allow crew changes to resolve crisis insists IMO

(Posted on 13/09/20)

It is estimated that more than 300,000 seafarers and marine personnel are currently stranded at sea... Read more


EPS/BHP dual fuel charter

(Posted on 07/09/20)

Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has been awarded the world’s first LNG Dual Fuel Newcastlemax bulk... Read more


BAI SEA and ERSHIP create BESHIP brokers

(Posted on 07/09/20)

The merger of BAI SEA and ERSHIP is a result of both companies seeking to strengthen their position... Read more


Seaspan and Sailors’ Society partnership

(Posted on 07/09/20)

International maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society recently marked the fifth year of its... Read more


ClassNK takes part in “CC-Ocean” project

(Posted on 07/09/20)

Leading Classification Society ClassNK, in cooperation with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K&rdquo... Read more


Port of Vancouver USASailors SocietyTMS Awards 2020TBA GroupViganCimbria
  • TMS Awards 2020
  • Bühler GmbH
  • Sailors Society
  • TBA Group
  • Vigan

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping