Spain has recognised seafarers as key workers thus facilitating crew change in the country, the European nation hardest hit by coronavirus so far.
Seafarers will need to show the correct documentation including an employment contract to board or leave ship.
New data compiled by the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Maritime Employers’ Council has found that 150,000 seafarers will need crew change by May 15. This number is up by 50% from 100,000 when ICS first highlighted the problem with national governments and the G20.
Kitack Lim, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, said last month that seafarers have been on the “front line’’ of the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Lim has written to all IMO member states, urging them to recognise all seafarers as key workers, remove any barriers to their documentation and lift national travel restrictions so that they can get home on conclusion of their contracts, and rejoin their families.