International summit on impact of COVID-19 on crew changes – 13 countries pledge action
The UK hosted an international maritime virtual summit on 9 July on the impact of COVID-19 on crew changes. 15 countries attended.
The IMO in its Briefing: 22 09/07/2020, welcomed the commitment of the 13 countries which pledged to facilitate crew changes, and to give seafarers key worker designation. Members may read the joint statement of the 13 countries on crew changes here. The commitment of these countries represents significant progress to help resolve the difficulties for the maritime industry to conduct crew changes since the beginning of this pandemic and will now enable hundreds of thousands of these stranded seafarers to go home or join ships.
BIMCO has however expressed concern at the low number of participants at the summit, and at the lack of timescales for concrete actions. BIMCO reminds governments that, “Now is not the time for inward looking nationalism – all governments need to step up to the mark and work together to provide a tangible international solution to a pressing international problem; robust, decisive and immediate action is needed to bring our seafarers home safely”. Members may read BIMCO’s article here.
Members are also reminded that BIMCO recently produced a COVID-19 Crew Change Clause for Time Charter Parties in response to the difficulties faced by many owners in conducting crew changes. The clause may be accessed here.
Additional information and guidance on issues relating to Covid-19 is available on the Club’s dedicated Covid-19 site.
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BIMCO publishes COVID-19 crew change clause
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In a press briefing dated 21 December 2020, the Secretary-General of the IMO spoke out against “no crew change” clauses in charterparties.
The Coronavirus pandemic has understandably generated a significant number of enquiries and questions from Members in recent weeks. In response to these enquiries, the UK P&I Club has sought to inform Members of the guidelines it will be working to and to answer some of the more common questions received regarding the impact of COVID-19 and the operation of Club cover. These FAQs have been placed on the Club’s website.