ICS, ITF and IATA call for new measures to facilitate exchange of vessel crewsApr, 15, 2020 Posted by Sylvia Schandert
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Navigation Chamber (ICS) and the International Federation of Transport Workers (ITF) have demanded new and more stringent measures to facilitate the changing of crews on ships in order to guarantee that the supply chains keep functioning during the coronavirus pandemic.
Every month it is necessary to exchange around 100,000 ship crew to ensure compliance with international maritime standards that protect their safety, health and well-being. However, due to the restrictions imposed by the spread of Coivd-19, there are no flights available to repatriate or deploy maritime personnel, so they must extend their service on board after many months at sea.
ICS Secretary General Guy Platten said he is working with airlines to find solutions. “Now we need governments to support our seafarers and facilitate safe passage so they can return home and be replaced by crew members willing to keep supply chains running.”
IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac says that “airlines have been forced to cut passenger services in the fight to stop COVID-19. But if governments identify airports that seafarers can use to replace crews and make appropriate adjustments to current health and immigration protocols, airlines can help keep global logistics moving.”
ITF Secretary-General Stephen Cotton warns that the current stalemate not only threatens the health and personal well-being of seafarers, but also increases the risk of transport accidents and harms global supply chains, which are an integral part of the response in overcoming this pandemic. “We call for immediate, globally coordinated action to be taken to safely change crews and the repatriation of seafarers in a way that protects their health and safety and ultimately their lives,” he concluded.
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