Industry and unions set out a 12- step solution to free seafarers

- By Chezhian Vaiz May 07, 2020
London

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To assist governments to put in place coordinated procedures to facilitate the safe movement of seafarers, the International maritime Organization (IMO) yesterday issued a 12- step plan to 174 member states, providing them with a roadmap to become free of their COVID-19 lockdown and allow appropriate exemptions for them to join or leave ships.

The 12 step solution provides governments with the global framework to facilitate changeovers of ships’ crew, including governments with global framework to facilitate changeovers of ship crews, including the lack of available flights.

Guy Platten, the Secretary General of the International Chamber of shipping (ICS) said “The problem is simplistic, but the solution is complex. So, we have stepped up and done the homework and developed the protocols. We are now working with governments to implement this roadmap.”

He further said that “Seafarers continue to work really hard, day-in, day-out and far away from loved ones, but if we do not free our seafarers from their COVID-19 lockdown we could start to see disruption to trade and more importantly we increase the risk of accidents and occurrences of mental health issues. Putting this off is no longer an option”.

“The protocols clearly set out the responsibility of governments, ship owners, transport providers and seafarers. The protocols also provide a framework to develop robust procedures that can be adopted worldwide to ensure that trade can keep flowing and seafarers can be relieved.” Guy said further.

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) said “The 12 – step solutions provides governments with the global framework to facilitate changeovers of ship crews, including the lack of available flights. In view of the importance of international maritime transport to the resilience of the global economy at this critical time, the recommendations have been produced in record time to enable governments to take the urgent action needed to address this issue.