In fact, International Transport Workers’ Federation welcomed AMSA’s announcement that puts an end to its temporary exemptions of having seafarers onboard for longer than the 11 months maximum.
To remind, under the Maritime Labour Convention the normal maximum period that a seafarer can serve onboard the ship without leave is 11 months.
Given the world had been dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for more than eight months, regulators and the industry needed to return to respecting the rights and welfare of seafarers. It is unacceptable to continue to ignore the crew change humanitarian crisis and refuse seafarers the right to return home, to proper medical attention, or to relieve tired crew on ships.
…as ITF Seafarers’ and Inland Navigation Section Coordinator, Fabrizio Barcellona, commented.
Following the situation, ITF urged that Port State Controls need to immediately act uphold seafarers’ rights.
We welcome the acknowledgement by Australia’s Port State Control that it is ‘not sustainable’ to persist with exemptions like this that harm the welfare of seafarers and infringe on their rights. But this is only the start of the action we need by port states to help resolve the crew change crisis and set clear expectations for the global shipping industry.
…Fabrizio Barcellona added.
With crew change crisis marking almost eight months, governments must address the fundamental problems that lead to ships having over-contract seafarers: border restrictions, impossible quarantine rules, and a lack of international flights, ITF added.
Overall, in light of the seafarers’ changeover matter, experts recently agreed that the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and rapid testing could be crucial to resolve the ongoing crew change crisis, but the main focus needs to be on developing a range of practical solutions.