Press Release: Crew Changes

Covid crew changes

Stuart Edmonston, Loss Prevention Director at UK P&I, discusses the issue of crew changes, mobility and repatriation, calling on governments to implement special exemptions to ease the burden on seafarers: 

“COVID-19 has paralysed supply chains and the movement of people, but nowhere has the disruption been starker than the issue of crew changes. Port restrictions and the global lockdown have stifled crew mobility and the repatriation of seafarers. Crew have had to remain on vessels well beyond their contracted period, while others have been unable to join their ships. We believe governments need to act decisively to ease the strain on global seafarers. 

“Governments and relevant national authorities have been asked to introduce special exemptions for seafarers in laws restricting the movement of people during the pandemic and to ensure that means of transport, especially between ports, airports and the homes of the seafarers are available to crew. Additionally, a relaxation of documentary requirements for seafarers is necessary during these extraordinary times. 

“A recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic have been drawn up by multiple global industry associations and endorsed by the IMO. However, it’s disappointing that few governments and national authorities have to date implemented this framework, as doing so would hugely assist in addressing the issues of safe conduct of crew changes and repatriation.

“At this time, UK P&I Club reiterates its support and solidarity with seafarers around the world and charities such as the Mission to Seafarers and the Sailors Society, who are working tirelessly on their behalf.” 

For the latest legal, operational, contractual and cover guidance related to crew changes, including an in-depth FAQ, visit the Club's dedicated Crew Changes page.


For further details, please contact:

Jonathan Atkins/ Alastair Doyle/ James Hoey 

Four Communications 

UKP& / +44 (0) 20 3697 4200

Notes to Editors

The UK P&I Club is a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community. Established in 1869 the UK P&I Club insures over 244 million tonnes of owned and chartered shipping through its international offices and claims network. ‘A (Stable)’ rated by Standard & Poor’s with free reserves of $505m, the UK P&I Club is renowned for its specialist skills and expertise which ensure ‘best in class’ underwriting, claims handling and loss prevention services.

The UK P&I Club is managed by Thomas Miller, an independent and international insurance, professional and investment services provider.

About Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller is an international provider of market leading insurance services.

Founded in 1885, Thomas Miller’s origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals. Increasingly Thomas Miller applies its knowledge and expertise to the development of specialist businesses.

Principal activities include:

  • Management services for transport and professional indemnity insurance mutuals
  • Managing general agency
  • Professional services including legal services, claims and captive management


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