IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has urged further Member States to sign up to pledges to ensure more than 200,000 seafarers can be repatriated after months on board ship beyond their original contracts. A similar number of seafarers are waiting to join ships. Mr. Lim made the call in a circular letter issued to disseminate the pledges made by Governments in a joint statement issued following a United Kingdom convened summit on crew changes (read more here).
Pledges in the joint statement include: designating seafarers as key workers; accepting seafarers’ ID documents as evidence of their key worker status; implementing the industry approved protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changeover; reviewing national quarantine restrictions; and increasing access, as soon as possible, to commercial flights to and from the principal countries of origin of seafarers.
Secretary-General Lim urged Member States to commit to the principles in the joint statement and to disseminate it widely to all parties concerned. He invited Member States wishing to sign the statement to contact the Government of the United Kingdom.