More than 300 companies and organizations, led by European Community Shipowners Associations (ECSA), come together to sign the “Neptune Declaration” on Seafarers’ Well-being and Crew Change, with a global commitment to facilitate changes in crew and keep global supply chains running, to end the growing crew change crisis.
Approximately 80% of global trade is transported by ships and Covid-19 restrictions in many jurisdictions are affecting crew changes and supply chains.
Although high-quality health protocols have been adopted internationally, they have not been consistently applied in practice. This has led the authorities to perceive seafarers as a Covid-19 risk, which has limited the possibilities for crew changes.
In December, the UN General Assembly called on all countries to designate seafarers and other maritime personnel as key workers. The signatories will also increase collaboration between shipping operators and charterers to speed up crew changes while also applying for key worker status for boaters.
Finally, ensuring air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers.
“We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis at sea,” said Jeremy Nixon, executive director of shipping group ONE.
On January 21, ECSA sent an open letter to all EU member states, asking them to demonstrate leadership and international solidarity in addressing this stage of the global fight against the pandemic.
In the letter, ECSA highlighted the need to include seafarers in the vaccination priority list of Member States and to implement high-quality crew change protocols to maintain seafarers’ well-being and avoid further disruptions. in the supply chain.