The COVID-19 pandemic has significant impacts on the shipping industry and on seafarers themselves, and IMO is working tirelessly at all levels to find solutions.
Travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world have created significant hurdles to crew changes and repatriation of seafarers, which has led to a growing humanitarian crisis as well as significant concerns for the safety of seafarers and shipping. IMO has intervened promptly by urging its Member States to designate seafarers as key workers, so they can travel between the ships that constitute their workplace, and their countries of residence.
Click to download the protocols, which set out general measures and procedures designed to ensure that ship crew changes can take place safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Circular Letter No.4204/Add.14 Recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Click here for a comprehensive FAQ about crew changes and repatriation of seafarers.
Seafarers have been collateral victims of the crisis, as travel restrictions have left tens of thousands of them stranded on ships, or unable to join ships. IMO has established a Seafarer Crisis Seafarer Crisis Action Team (SCAT) to help them out of a variety of critical situations.
Click here to find out more about the work achieved by the Organization to support seafarers around the globe.
IMO has published a number of press briefings on key issues related to the pandemic, including crew changes, repatriation of seafarers and meetings postponement: click here for the full list of press briefings.