FURTHER efforts have been urged to recognise seafarers as ‘key workers’ and allow for crew exchanges at important international ports during the pandemic.

The Liberian Registry, working with the IMO, ICS, and ITF, has called for other major flag states to join efforts to push for a global plan allowing seafarers to safely embark and disembark from vessels.

Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry chief operating officer Alfonso Castillero said this was “a very important issue globally for the safety of seafarers, the vessels that are vital to the transport of key goods”.

“Seafarers should be allowed the opportunity to return home upon the completion of their sea service, which to date has been largely not possible,” Mr Castillero said.

“I have been very pleased with the cooperation and communication thus far in working closely with key bodies such as ITF, ICS, and the IMO.”

Mr Castillero said it was good to see the efforts of nations such as Singapore and others progressing to allow the continuous operation of ports, and the role of seafarers in supporting the global economy.

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“There is a lot of work being done globally to get this achieved.  I strongly feel that the major flag states must work together in unison to make this shared priority of ours a reality,” he said.

“I do sincerely hope that the other flag States will join us in this effort.” Liberia is understood to be the first flag state to implement various key measures allow for the safe continuance of operations, such as introducing remote ship closings, remote ship surveys, and remote annual safety inspections.

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