IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has urged further Member
States to sign up to pledges to ensure more than 200,000 seafarers can be
repatriated after months on board ship beyond their original contracts. A
similar number of seafarers are waiting to join ships. Mr. Lim made the call in
a circular letter issued to disseminate the pledges made by Governments in a
joint statement issued following a United Kingdom convened summit on crew
changes (read more here).
Pledges in the joint statement include: designating
seafarers as key workers; accepting seafarers’ ID documents as evidence of
their key worker status; implementing the industry approved protocols for
ensuring safe ship crew changeover; reviewing national quarantine restrictions;
and increasing access, as soon as possible, to commercial flights to and from
the principal countries of origin of seafarers.
Secretary-General Lim urged Member States to commit to the
principles in the joint statement and to disseminate it widely to all parties
concerned. He invited Member States wishing to sign the statement to contact
the Government of the United Kingdom.