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News: COVID-19 – IMO steps up to the crew change challenges, comes out with a 12-step framework

12 May 2020

With over 3.5 million confirmed cases and close to quarter of a million deaths as reported on the WHO dashboard the pandemic is not showing any significant signs of slowing down. From a maritime perspective, while it is essential to keep the trade moving, it is equally important to designate professional seafarers and marine personnel regardless of nationality as 'key workers' to make it safe and efficient to conduct ship crew changes and travel.

IMO has issued a new circular setting out a 12-step recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

ICS has issued the attached statement emphasizing the need for the industry and governments to follow the IMO guidelines on how to facilitate ship crew change during the pandemic as a failure to relieve crews will risk the wellbeing of seafarers, maritime safety, and the critical supply chains of the world.

The IMO circular and ICS statement are in the attachment box.

A new layer of information covering crew changes is now available on the International Group of P&I clubs COVID-19 dashboard. The new information is available under the label 'Are crew changes permitted? Provided by IG P&I Clubs'. It shows up for each country as a light sandy colour in contrast to the orange colour layer giving generic advice 'Coronavirus Information provided by IG P&I Clubs'. As such, users will have to select/deselect these layers to see the different information.

The IG COVID-19 dashboard is available here.