Kattupalli port, run by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), said it will levy a facilitation charge of $50 per person for crew change after the port operator received government designation as an authorised immigration check port for entry into and exit from India of crew and passengers.
The levy will be collected from December 1.
Crew change facilitation includes clearance at port security and ensuring port gate charges, said Adani Kattupalli port in a trade notice. The facilitation charge of $50 per person excludes immigration and Customs charges.
Adani Ports & SEZ Q2 consolidated profit up 32% to Rs 1,394 cr
Ships calling at Kattupalli port near Chennai, with the sole intention of carrying out crew change at berth, will be allowed a free period of six hours stay at berth, after which berth hire charges will be levied for the entire period of stay as per applicable rates.
The new immigration check post at Kattupalli is fully equipped to facilitate sign on/sign off of crew from coastal and foreign vessels, it said.
The pandemic restrictions on travel and transit have severely impacted crew change on ships globally.
Seafarers stranded on ships
Some 400,000 seafarers from across the globe are now stranded on ships, continuing to work but unable to be relieved, in a deepening crew change crisis which threatens trade and maritime safety.
Some seafarers have now been at sea for 17 months without a break, well beyond the 11-month limit set out in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). Besides the 400,000 seafarers stuck at sea, another 400,000 are unable to join ships.
“Overly fatigued and mentally exhausted seafarers are being asked to continue to operate ships,” said Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“On more than 60,000 cargo ships which continue to deliver vital goods, foods and medicines, ship safety is hanging in the balance, just as seafarers’ lives are being made impossible. The safety of navigation is in peril,” Lim added.
The government has allowed sign on and sign off of Indian as well as foreign seafarers at Indian ports, based on a standard operating procedure/protocol framed by the director general of shipping.
Source: The Hindu Business Line