LONDON – IMO member states have endorsed a framework of protocols developed by the shipping industry to assist safe crew change and travel under current conditions.
The Offshore Industry Group, comprising the IADC, IAGC, IMCA, IOGP, ISOA and the Workboat Association, has welcomed the support for the protocols, which include:
- Practical steps for joining and leaving ships, in view of tightened border restrictions imposed due to the pandemic
- The need for compliance and strict adherence with COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements
- Measures to prevent infection onboard ships
- A need for governments to designate seafarers as ‘key workers’ that provide an essential service.
The Industry Group commented: “We remain concerned about the mental health, safety and efficiency impacts resulting from the inability for seafarers and key workers in the offshore energy sector to travel to/from their families. They remain critical to ensure the world has access to food, medicine, energy and other supplies at this challenging time for society…
“We are optimistic that this endorsement will now encourage governments to implement the protocols in their national territories, to overcome the issues which continue to impact crew changes causing concern for all seafarers and offshore energy workers globally.”