ITF News Update: 13 – 19 May 2021

Netherlands Will Vaccinate Seafarers Working on Dutch Ships | Maritime Executive – 13th May

Seafaring organizations have been highlighting the challenge of vaccinating seafarers during the pandemic calling for special programs and considerations that recognize their role as key workers in the global supply chain. Responding to the need, the Netherlands announced that starting in mid-June all seafarers regardless of nationality who work on seagoing vessels under the Dutch flag or under Dutch management will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations under a program managed by the Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR).


Maritime Union Wins a Small Victory as Foreign Crews to Get Vaccinations | Handy Shipping Guide – 13th May

AUSTRALIA – In an Australian-first, NSW Health will provide Covid-19 vaccinations to a small number of foreign seafarers on board vessels that transport gas between Australian ports in an effort to reduce the risk of the virus entering the community. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) sees this initiative as a small win having campaigned relentlessly for increased Covid-19 measures, but finds that more needs to be done to protect seafarers in the ongoing pandemic.


Nations step up vaccinations to boost crew change programmes | Lloyd’s List – 14th May

InterManager needs a recognised governmental body to place and receive the $22m order under international law — hitting the same wall other industry groups have faced in recent months

Employers are planning virus testing hotels in India to restart crew changes. InterManager struggles to receive approval to buy 1m Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The International Chamber of Shipping unveils vaccines road map to hasten seafarer jabs. Netherlands and Belgium to vaccinate in ports


ITF stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine, calls on Israel to halt attacks  | ITF Seafarers – 17th May

Israel must immediately stop attacks on Palestinian territories which have already killed hundreds of innocent people, including children, said the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) today. The global union federation also reiterated its call for the immediate cessation of violence in Israel and Palestine.


SRI: UN Seafarers’ Rights Initiative Must be Backed up by Enforcement | Maritime Executive – 17th May

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), the maritime legal research organization based in London, is warning that unscrupulous vessel operators could avoid compliance and attempt to undercut the competition if maritime human rights standards are not properly enforced.


Philippines bans international crew change for vessels arriving from seven countries | Seatrade Maritime News – 18th May

The Philippines has joined a growing list of countries that is banning crew change for foreign seafarers vessels that have called at Indian sub-continent nations in the previous 14 days as well some Middle East countries.


Asian shipowners hit out at charterers over ‘no-crew change’ clauses | Seatrade Maritime News – 18th May

As the crew change crisis continues over a year after the Covid-19 pandemic first swept the globe some charterers have controversially taken to demanding no crew change clauses in contracts to avoid deviations and possible delays if a new joiner later tests positive.


IMO prepares for heavy lifting in finalising new emission measures | Lloyd’s List – 18th May

The finalisation of new operational and technical efficiency measures is a priority for the IMO, which is under increasing pressure to move faster on longer-term measures

The International Maritime Organization will want to wrap up new short-term emissions measures next month, but the volume and scope of proposals foreshadow a long and potentially tedious meeting for its environmental committee


Europe still open to seafarers | Splash 247 – 19th May

Seafarers around the world can still travel to Europe to join vessels – even from countries facing fresh Covid-19 outbreaks such as India, where daily cases hit more than 300,000 in mid-May.


Patent waivers will save millions of lives, governments must act now | ITF Seafarers – 20th May

The world’s transport unions today have demanded that governments across the world support waiving intellectual property rights at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to fight Covid-19.


Boxship with infected crew heads to South Korea | Lloyd’s List – 20th May

Crew on the 4,253 teu Singapore Bridge will receive swab tests after arriving in South Korea tomorrow. Shipmanager is also planning a full crew changeover there

While it is unknown where the crew members became infected, data shows the vessel called at Mundra and Jawaharlal Nehru in India, where the public health crisis has become critical in recent weeks


Seafarer crew crisis ‘only going to get worse’ | Freight Waves – 20th May

An International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) official warns American Shipper that the maritime industry’s ongoing crew change crisis is “only going to get worse.”