UN - Joint Statement regarding crew changes during Covid-19

On 11 September 2020, the IMO posted a Joint Statement by the United Nations Specialized Agencies calling on all Governments to immediately recognise seafarers as key workers and to take swift and effective action to eliminate obstacles to crew changes. Although the plight of the seafarers - with approximately 300,000 trapped onboard ships unable to be repatriated, and an equal number unable to board ships - has been highlighted in the maritime and other international press since the beginning of this crisis,  many governments are still not acting quickly enough to lift the various barriers they have put in place to limit or prevent crew changes and crew’s access to medical facilities.  Urgent action needs to be taken to avoid a humanitarian disaster that will have an effect on the safety of shipping, the protection of the marine environment, global trading and the recovery of the world economy.   

The Joint Statement by the UN Specialized Agencies may be read here.

Jacqueline Tan

Legal Services Manager