Middle EastOperations

Oman makes crew change concessions

Oman is making crew change possible at its ports for seafarers whose contracts are up and have failed to get an extension granted by their flag state. Crew change can also happen at Omani ports on compassionate grounds or if crew are no longer medically fit.

The large caveat however is that vessel owners need to provide flights for the departing seafarers.

“As normal flights are not available out of Oman, special flights should be arranged by the vessel owner,” ship agent GAC stated in a note to clients.

In cases where crew do not fly out immediately, they will be kept under quarantine until they fly out of the country. All relevant expenses shall be borne by the company or ship agent.

Travel restrictions brought in across the world thanks to the spread of coronavirus have left tens of thousands of seafarers working at sea for far longer than their normal contracts stipulate. New data compiled by the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Maritime Employers’ Council has found that 150,000 seafarers will need crew changes by May 15. This number is up by 50% from 100,000 when ICS first highlighted the problem with national governments and the G20.

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.
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