IBIA joins over 500 signatories to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many crew change crises for our seafarers with many of their contracts being extended due to local lockdowns, travel and/or government restrictions and quarantine requirements. Despite significant efforts by international organisations, governments, industry associations, NGOs, labour unions and private companies, the challenges, whilst some improvements, remain an issue. Seafarers are the frontline workers of the maritime industry, carrying almost 90% of global trade and this is not an acceptable way to treat them.

The Global Maritime Forum established a taskforce of stakeholders to address the crew-change issues and the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew change was established. Outlined in the declaration, the following four principles are key, addressing the crisis and call for urgent action:

1. Recognise seafarers as key workers and treat them accordingly by giving them early access to COVID-19 vaccinations;

2. Implement high-quality health protocols;

3. Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes;

4. Ensure airline connectivity between key maritime hubs.

As a global maritime industry association and the voice of the bunkering industry, The International Bunker Industry Association acknowledges that we have a shared responsibility and has signed the Neptune Declaration, together with over 500 other companies and organisations, to show full support for the urgent action required on the above-mentioned core principles.

The Neptune Declaration and the official press release can be found on the Global Maritime Forum website

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