As the coronavirus pandemic spreads its way rapidly around the world, many industries are being severely affected. Business closures, lockdowns and social distancing has crippled the economy here in the UK as well as in other parts of the world which is leading to distribution issues, shipping delays and order refusals at the ports.
With all of that happening, you might think that the COVID-19 crisis would have left the shipping industry in ruins. That assumption would be wrong. In fact, the maritime sector is showing resilience and, under the guidance of the IMO, ILO and other industry bodies, has assured the world that global trade, including the transportation of dangerous goods, will continue as usual, albeit with a wide range of new safety regulations designed to protect seafarers, ships and the environment.
ILO Information Note On Maritime Labour Issues
The ILO has issued an Information note on Maritime Labour issues and coronavirus (COVID-19). This ISO information note gives guidance on many important issues such including:
- The facilitation of seafarer transit and transfer.
- Seafarer employment contracts.
- minimum manning requirements.
- The expiry of certificates.
The ITF And The JNG Joint Statement
Both the ITF and the JNG have issued a joint statement on Crew changes which focus on contractual rights and obligations of seafarers. These, along with the ILO note, can be found online, or by contacting HCB Live. It is important to mention that the ICS has released a new ‘Guidance on Managing Ship & Seafarer Certificates During Coronavirus Pandemic’, which should clear up any concerns that shipping companies or seafarers might have.
Repatriating Cruise Ship Passengers And Protecting Ship Crew
One important topic of discussion has been the concerns raised by the cruise ship industry in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, specifically, the repatriation of cruise ship passengers and the protection of the ships’ crews going forward. To this, the European Commission has responded by issuing guidance on repatriating those cruise ship passengers who have been held on board cruise ships because of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as some new ways companies can protect the ships’ crews.
Contact HCB Live
To learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on the maritime sector, contact HCB Live and speak with a regulatory expert who can answer any questions you might have.
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