More than 700 companies and organizations -including Zeymarine- have signed the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change. Let’s take a closer look at the declaration and its goals.
The problems that seafarers face because of the pandemic are without a doubt a human rights issue. The travel bans and restrictions imposed by almost every country due to the pandemic have seriously affected them. Even in the summer, when travel bans were largely lifted, most countries still asked for a 14-day quarantine period which made it almost impossible to change crews.
The situation worsened again when the pandemic reached its second peak with autumn and winter. At one point, 400,000 seafarers were stranded on vessels, and a similar number were prevented from returning to ships, either to earn their living or to return home.
As we know, fatigue after long periods at sea has significantly damaged the physical and mental wellbeing of seafarers. It also increases the risk of maritime incidents and environmental disasters and poses a threat to the integrity of maritime supply chains, which carry 90% of global trade.
Many international organizations, unions, companies, and some governments have put serious efforts to resolve the crew change crisis. For example, the UN has declared the crew-change issue a humanitarian crisis. With a joint statement, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Global Compact, and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights called the seafarers as “collateral victims” of COVID-19-related measures imposed by governments. Moreover, International Maritime Organization (IMO) has established The Seafarer Crisis Action Team (SCAT) to help resolve individual cases, often working alongside other organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), so forth and so on.
However, despite these efforts, the situation has been getting worse as governments bring in more travel bans in response to the new strains of the Covid-19 virus. Several key issues leave this critical situation unresolved: national authorities around the world continue to see crew changes and international travel as a Covid-19 risk; high-quality health protocols are not being consistently implemented by ship operators, and the disruption of international air travel has reduced the number of flights between traditional crew change hubs and major seafaring nations.
4 main actions to facilitate crew changes
More than 700 companies and organizations recognize that they have a shared responsibility based on their roles across the entire maritime value chain, and beyond, to ensure that the crew change crisis is resolved as soon as possible. They have signed the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change that defines four main actions to facilitate crew changes and keep global supply chains functioning:
- Recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines
- Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice
- Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes
- Ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers
The Neptune Declaration has been developed by a task force of stakeholders from across the maritime value chain including A. M. Nomikos, Cargill, Dorian LPG, GasLog, Global Maritime Forum, International Chamber of Shipping, International Maritime Employers’ Council, International Transport Workers’ Federation, ONE, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Sustainable Shipping Initiative, Synergy Group, V. Group, and World Economic Forum.
The signatories to the declaration recognize that they have a shared responsibility to ensure that the current crew change crisis is resolved as soon as possible and to use the learnings from the crisis as an opportunity to build a more resilient maritime supply chain.
They also believe that the most effective way of addressing the crew change challenge and building a more resilient maritime logistics chain is by working together across the value chain with industry stakeholders, organizations, and with governments to implement solutions that work in practice.
Therefore, the signatories commit to take action to resolve the crew change crisis, based on their position and role in the value-chain, thereby ensuring the rights and wellbeing of the seafarers supporting global supply chains. They call on their peers and other stakeholders, in particular relevant government bodies, to join them in their efforts.
CEO Çınar: ‘Zeymarine is a proud signatory of the declaration’
Zeymarine Ship Agencies & Services has become one of the latest signatories of the declaration. After emphasizing that the wellbeing of the seafarers is a top priority for the company, CEO Umut Çınar continued:
“We are well aware of the humanitarian crisis that the seafarers face because of the pandemic. They don’t only play a key role in the global trade, they also have proved that the role of the seafarers in providing medical supplies for the different parts of the World during the pandemic was crucial. We sincerely believe that the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change will help to resolve this humanitarian crisis. As Zeymarine, we are proud to be a signatory. We are hopeful that the number of the signatories will continue to increase rapidly.”
About Zeymarine Ship Agencies & Services
Zeymarine Ship Agencies & Services provides all kinds of agency services including but not limited to protecting, technical, husbandry, cruise as well as survey and hold & tank cleaning services at all Turkish ports, shipyards, and straits. With a team of experience, dedication, and meticulousness, we are on a mission to serve our clients with a quality that goes beyond their expectations.
Zeymarine Ship Agencies & Services Co Inc.
Barbaros Mah. Sarkaç Sok. Agaoglu My Prestige No.1 D:135 Ataşehir/İSTANBUL 34750
Phone: +90 216 573 0799
Fax: +90 216 573 0799
Postane Mh. Akca Sk. Levent Deniz Sitesi
No: 4/1 34940 Tuzla / Istanbul
Hacı Feyzullah Mh.Buyral Sk. No:5 K.No: 302 Kuşadası / AYDIN
Mandenmakerstraat 84, 3194 DG Hoogvliet
Rotterdam / The Netherlands
Tel : +31 (0) 260 16 46
Zeymarine Ship Agencies Pte Ltd.
36 Toh Guan Road East #01-39 Enterprise Hub
Tel:+65 6264 5901