The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) has led renewed calls from maritime industry stakeholders urging the EU to take action to solve the crew changeover crisis.
In a statement, the ECSA said European leaders should do “everything in their power” to “promote the facilitation of crew changes by EU member states” without further delays.
In doing so, the ECSA, which has been joined by the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF), the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and others.
They called for seafarers to be designated key workers and subsequently exempt from travel restrictions, as we all provided with adequate medical care to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Approximately 250,000 seafarers are currently stuck on vessels at sea, with some being so for over 18 months as countries across the world have shut borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been vocal in its belief that national governments should do more to help seafarers. Earlier in July it issued guidance aimed at ensuring seafarers are not denied medical care whilst ashore.
The calls from the ECSA come as EU institutions and member states prepare for upcoming high level meetings in the European Parliament and Council.
Joint letters have been sent to the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen; President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli; President of the European Council, Charles Michel; and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel as current President of the Council of the European Union, and several European Members of Parliament and Member States.