The International Maritime Organization(IMO)has released and promoted the joint industry document, Industry Recommended Framework of Protocols for Ensuring Safe Ship Crew Changes and Travel During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic,encouraging both IMO Member States and all stakeholders to consider applying the protocols to the maximum extent possible.
The protocols take account of issues relevant to the global rollout of vaccines and the critical part they will play in facilitating ships’ crew changes and the promotionof world trade.
This framework of protocols sets out general measures and procedures that should, so far as practicable, be implemented by governments and all stakeholders concerned –although these can be modified as appropriate –to facilitate safe ship crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.These recommendations are addressed to maritime administrations and–as appropriate, in liaison with governments –relevant national authorities including, inter alia, health, customs, immigration, border control, seaport and civil aviation authorities. They also address the roles of shipping companies (their agents and representatives, including crew agencies) and the seafarers they employ as well as –in consultation with relevant authorities –seaports, airports and airlines involved in the process of facilitating travel for the purpose of crew changes.
The joint industry group included the International Chamber of Shipping, BIMCO, International Federation of Ship Masters, INTERTANKO, International Group of P&I Clubs, Cruise Lines International Association, INTERCARGO, International Parcel Tankers Association, INTERFERRY, Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents, International Transport Workers’ Federation, World Shipping Council with inputs from the International Maritime Employers’ Council, International Maritime Heath Association and International Air Transport Association.