The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) encourages ships around the world to sound their horns when in port at 12.00 local time on 8th July. This is to remind Governments of the ongoing crew change crisis.
Guy Platten, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of shipping said, “Globally there are now 400,000 seafarers who are either stranded at sea and have overrun their contracts or are at the shore waiting to start their tours of duty.
The 8th July is a perfect moment to remind those politicians who are meeting to consider the impact of COVID-19 to classify these unsung heroes of global trade as key workers and to instigate seafarer air-bridges to enable safe travel.”
This has arranged as UK expect to hold the first summit to address the impact of coronavirus on shipping crew changes on 9th July 2020 and on the day leaders meet for the ILO Global Summit.
With the national travel restrictions in many countries, seafarers are unable to embark or disembark ships. There are 200,000 seafarers onboard who have overrun their contracts. Another 200,000 are at the shore, waiting to sign-in.
Ships facilitate 90% of global trade where seafarers play a crucial role in it. Inability to facilitate crew changes could cause a logjam to supply chains.
Speaking on the need to adopt the 12-step protocols Guy Platten stated, “The solutions do not need money or complicated negotiations. Governments must now implement these protocols. If bureaucracy continues to get in the way, what has already become a humanitarian crisis at sea, and what is fast becoming an economic one, will lead to severe consequences for an already overstretched global economy. The time for political leadership is now.”
Reflecting on the Heroes at Sea Shoutout campaign that took place on 1st May Guy Platten added:
“From today, we are encouraging ships across the world to replicate the Heroes at Sea Shoutout and sound their horns at 12 noon local time to ensure that governments cannot say they have not heard the calls to solve the crew change crisis.
“Seafarers have gone the extra mile, extending their tours of duty, and have kept working to keep us all supplied. The shipping industry has done its homework with things like the 12-step protocols.
“The fact we are over 4 months down the line, and we have 400,000 seafarers in need of crew change is completely unsustainable. We cannot take these heroes of global trade for granted anymore.”