Panama and Liberia join their efforts in support of the protocol issues by the IMO on safe changes in crew due to COVID-19
MAY 11, 2020
The two (2) main flag registers of the world maritime industry, Panama and Liberia, joined together to issue a joint statement expressing their support for the “Recommended Framework of Protocols to Ensure Safe Changes in Crew of Ships and Safe Travel during the Pandemic COVID-19 ″, formulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), through IMO Circular Letter No. 4204 / Add.14.
Panama and Liberia agree to the urgent need for seafarers sailing around the world to make safe changes to the crew, in turn they call on other maritime administrations to join their voices to this important call and demonstrate your support to facilitate crew changes.
Seafarers have been working hard and uninterruptedly in the delivery of goods and supplies worldwide, well above their normal time at sea and away from their families, to achieve this, international standards, regulations and conventions have been expanded to meet the need for seafarers to continue on board as they have been prevented from disembarking due to quarantines, travel restrictions and the lack of ports willing to facilitate their rotations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unimaginable disorders worldwide and seafarers have been greatly affected. The challenges facing the shipping industry are numerous at this time, but the human factor is among the most urgent and needs an international solution, with this objective and through transcendental and historical action, Panama and Liberia join forces.
IMO Circular Letter No. 4204 / Add.14 contains the necessary protocols to guarantee the safety at sea of seafarers, the goods they transport and the environment in which they sail, where the Flag State It plays an important role and will continue to do so. For this reason, Panama and Liberia actively participate in this international initiative, ensuring the health and integrity of seafarers.
Both Administrations are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure that their seafarers have adequate documentation to board ships under their flag during crew change processes. They are also committed to avoiding delays in documenting these seafarers to help facilitate their smooth transition from coast to sea. These measures will help to ensure that this roadmap is feasible and successful.
They also thank the international community in their efforts to promote the causes facing the world’s seafarers, and in the work carried out by the IMO, the International Chamber of Shipping or the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Federation. Transportation Workers (ITF) and other Organizations.
Panama and Liberia are the two largest Flag States in the world and comprise a combined fleet of more than 12,000 vessels, which constitute almost 400 million gross tons, representing a large part of the more than 150,000 merchant seamen who need a change crew.