Hext hits out at two-faced charterers for including no-crew change clauses in contracts

The Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) held its 30th annual general meeting today in which strong words were levelled against many of the world’s top charterers for their stubborn stance on crew changes.

Speaking at the virtual gathering, Richard Hext, chairman of ASA’s ship insurance and liability committee, said, “It is especially disappointing to see cases of prominent ship charterers, including some who have publicly voiced support for seafarers, demanding the inclusion of no-crew change clauses in their charter parties or voyage instructions.”

Such clauses go against the human rights of seafarers

The former Pacific Basin boss added: “Such clauses go against the human rights of seafarers and are in clear contravention of owners’ responsibilities under MLC 2006.”

Charterers have been using no crew change clauses and other more sophisticated means to avoid performing crew changes in recent months, a move that has been attacked by trade unions. Moreover, charterers are also demanding for ships with all-vaccinated crews.

Shipping organisation BIMCO developed a deviation clause 11 months ago, which seeks to share some of the financial burden of getting crew repatriated during the coronavirus pandemic. Take up of the clause has been limited to date, Splash understands.

Also at the ASA gathering today, Tae Soon Chung, chairman of the Korea Shipowners’ Association, was appointed as the Asian shipowning body’s 31st chairman.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Ship owners must include a clause in the charterparty that says one or two persons from the charterer must sail on the vessel for the duration of the charter.

  2. Modern day version of having a “Shanghaied” crew onboard ships.

  3. It is very discouraging to hear such brazen action by charterer to have that no-crew change clause. Seafarers right has been breach and from MLC its a clear violation. Admittedly, charterer always protecting their profit and failt to protect the welfare of the crew working in the vessel. Seafarers are just expendable where it can be replace whichever they like to but thanks to shipowners asia for bringing up the issue and concern for crew.

    Seafarer alone couldn’t do nothing against giants, it’s shipowners who can stand it if they do so. Oustanding support from asia shipowners is one of the big step to ease pain of.seafarers from mighty charterer who are abusive and disregarding every right of seafarer onboard ship.

  4. All seafarers those who are suffering from overstay onboard should stop perform their daily duties in connection with cargo handling.

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