News Update – 29th July to 5th August

Seafarers face trumped-up drug-trafficking charges | Freight News – 29th July

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has blamed local officials, keen to look effective against drug trafficking, of targeting seafarers on trumped-up trafficking charges.


Seafarer morale hits new lows | Splash 247 – 30th July

The Mission to Seafarers has published the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report for the second quarter of 2021, painting a grim picture of seafarer welfare with overall happiness dropping to an all-time low since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Trafficking is a global scandal – we need to address the issues that allow such cruelty to thrive | Yahoo News – 30th July

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has this week highlighted the extent of the problem in the shipping lines and road freight that we have increasingly relied on to get resources to our doorsteps during the pandemic; the disproportionate impact of the escalating crisis on women workers and migrant workers; and the limits in actions undertaken by governments. It comes as the World Travel and Tourism Council also produced work to tackle the blight of trafficking in travel and tourism.


Ports of Spain Soon To Be “Main Cruise Destination in Europe” | Cruise Industry News – 30th July

“The most important thing is that Merchant Marine, National Ports, Ministry of Health, Town Councils and autonomous communities have been able to coordinate to make Spanish ports safe places so that cruise passengers can visit Spain knowing that all the necessary health measures have been applied and have a safe experience,” Francisco Toledo, president of Puertos del Estado, told Cruise Industry News.


Israel accuses Iran over deadly oil tanker attack | BBC – 1st August
Israel has accused Iran of being behind an attack on an oil tanker in which two crew members – a British national and a Romanian citizen – were killed.


Knowledge is power and new ITF web tool aims to give seafarers that power | ITF Seafarers – 2nd August launches today to give those looking for work on cargo or cruise ships the kind of insight they need to negotiate sound contracts and avoid the perils of shady manning agents.


Vaccination programme opens for all international seafarers at Port of Rotterdam | Seatrade Maritime News – 2nd August

From today, 2 August, the vaccination programme, which is currently limited to seafarers on Dutch vessels, will be expanded to all international seafarers on ships calling at the Port of Rotterdam, according to Boers Crew Services.


USA: COVID-19 Vaccine Availability for Seafarers in US Ports | Maritime Cyprus – 2nd August

As a signatory to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing, NAMMA supports all efforts to “recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines.” At this time, local seafarers’ welfare organizations in ports around the United States and other countries are facilitating vaccines for foreign seafarers. Where it is possible, seafarers are being taken to local pharmacies and local health providers, and in other places, there is also the possibility of health officials coming to the ship to vaccinate crew.


Rising abandonment cases high on the agenda at the IMO | Lloyd’s List – 3rd August

The IMO is trying to tackle the issue of rising abandonment cases, which look to be heading for another record

The IMO’s legal committee, which took place last week, heard a proposal to potentially set up a mutual emergency fund for seafarers to support crews in cases of abandonment


Two More MSC Gayane Crew Members Sentenced to Prison for Role in Record-Setting Drug Bust | G Captain – 3rd August

Two former crew members of the MSC Gayane have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a plot to smuggle an estimated $1 billion worth of cocaine through the port of Philadelphia, the Department of Justice announced this week.


IMO extends fraudulent registry probe as falsely flagged ships named | Lloyd’s List – 3rd August

Legal committee agrees to establish working group in order to further debate what defines a fraudulent registry or a fraudulently registered ship

Some 66 vessels, mostly under 5,000 gross tonnes, identified as falsely flagged with 15 registries, IMO secretariat report shows


MEA intervenes for repatriation of Indian seafarers in Iran jail | The New Indian Express – 3rd August

Meanwhile, the Kerala government has also intervened in the matter and directed Norka to look into the issue and take immediate measures.


COVID-19 Vaccination Rates of Seafarers a Threat to Marine Insurers | Claims Journal – 4th August

COVID-19 once again poses an intensifying threat to supply chain resilience. Marine reinsurers and insurers, in particular, should stay vigilant as to the potential implications for the risk environment. Low rates of vaccination, the continued problem of crews stranded at sea past the ends of their assignments, and port accumulations due to pandemic-affected workforces are among the factors that could lead to changes in potential insured loss results from both manmade and natural events. Underlying the entire issue is the increased rate of COVID-19 infections in the countries that supply most of the world’s seafarers.


Armed hijackers abandon Asphalt Princess, crew ‘safe’ | Lloyd’s List – 4th August

A tanker seized by unidentified armed hijackers on Tuesday is now safe and headed towards the Oman coast, according to UK Maritime Trade Operations

Lloyd’s List Intelligence AIS tracking shows Asphalt Princess headed towards Oman after armed boarders who seized the Panama-flagged tanker on Tuesday evening left the vessel, which has been declared ‘safe’ by the UK military group


Ever Given Reaches UK 4 Months Late | Marine Insight – 4th August

The container ship that disrupted global trade by blocking the Suez Canal earlier this year has finally reached the UK four months after schedule. The Ever Given docked at Port Felixstowe on Tuesday. This was after the container ship had blocked one of the major shipping lanes for six days from March 23.


Cadet training proposal faces backlash | Lloyd’s List – 4th August

Capt Michael Lloyd reveals deep frustration within the seafarer community to a proposal to cut training. He accuses shipping organisations of being led by people with no sea experience

In a bid for the voice of nautical professionals to be heard, a Maritime Professional Council has been formed to offer professional advice and will be launched in London next month


China Typhoons Pose Latest Supply-Chain Threat as Ports Shut | Bloomberg – 4th August

Extreme weather in China is becoming the latest challenge to global supply chains, as a heavy typhoon season threatens to further delay goods stuck at some of the world’s busiest container ports.


Global trade – all at sea and badly disrupted! | TXF News – 4th August

Global seaborne container trade and related supply chains have been heavily disrupted through the course of the pandemic. Shipping costs have consequently increased dramatically, and shippers are seeing massively increased revenues. We explore some of the trends taking place.


Countries that take the money and run: new FOC countries listed | ITF Seafarers – 5th August

The ITF has added seven countries to its list of flags of convenience. These are countries which take registration fees but then typically avoid any of the responsibilities that go with being a flag state.


UAE strengthens maritime law to tackle abandonments | Lloyd’s List – 5th August

The United Arab Emirates, which has by far been the region with the greatest number of abandonments, has taken a step towards ameliorating the situation

Emirates’ director of maritime affairs tells Lloyd’s List that the measures, which have strict penalties, should result in a fall in abandonments


China’s rising infections put global supply chain at risk | Lloyd’s List – 5th August

Factories and ports are striving to shut out the spreading coronavirus to prevent closures that risk bringing global trade to a standstill. Logjams created by escalated preventive measures are already adding to the logistics woe

Vessels arriving in China in many cases are facing stricter restrictions, including being subject to 14-28 days of quarantine before being allowed to enter the port areas


Rotterdam starts vaccinating all seafarers | Hellenic Shipping News – 5th August

On Monday, 2 August, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the KVNR, Arbo Unie and VRC will start vaccinating all seafarers. For the time being, this is a trial in the Rotterdam region in which 10,000 Corona vaccines are available for all sea-going vessels over a period of 2 months.



Rebekah Attard | Maritime Assistant

Inspectorate Coordination

International Transport Workers’ Federation

ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London, SE1 1DR

Direct Line: 0207 940 9103 |



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