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IMO MSC RECOGNISES CREW CHANGE PROTOCOLS

Monday, November 16, 2020 

An important reference set of protocols to ensure safe ship crew changes and travel during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has been recognised by IMO's technical body, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).

The Committee, meeting virtually for its 102nd session (4 to 11 November) approved an MSC circular recognising the industry-developed protocols, which set out general measures and procedures designed to ensure that ship crew changes and travel can take place safely during the pandemic.

The protocols emphasise the need for Governments to designate seafarers as key workers, providing an essential service. The protocols include practical steps for joining and leaving ships, and measures to prevent infection on board.

The MSC agreed that IMO, working with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), develop a universal non-text logo or symbol that enables seafarers to identify, and consequently access, dedicated resources and processes on ship, in port and in transit to/from ships.

The MSC agreed a unified interpretation related to delays in delivery of ships, during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and has issued Circular Letter No.4204/Add.1 on Implementation and enforcement of relevant IMO instruments in light of the pandemic.

The Committee discussed a proposal to develop guidance on the implementation of remote surveys, which are expected to continue to increase, even after  the pandemic ends. Interested Member States and international organisations will submit a new output proposal. The Committee noted that developing such guidance would require detailed technical consideration.

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