The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued guidance developed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and a coalition of industry associations to ensure a safe shipboard interface between ship and shore-based personnel.
IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.16 aims to address major concerns and expectations of ship’s crews and shore-based personnel through the implementation of practical, risk-based measures to address COVID-19 risks to all personnel involved in the ship/shore interface.
Jonathan Spremulli, Principal Director – Marine at the International Chamber of Shipping said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges for the maritime sector. To keep everybody safe in the sector, including ships’ crews and shore-based personnel visiting ships to do essential work, it is clear that we are all going to have to work together and cooperate to ensure that we all have a safe place to work.
“The message from this guidance is that clear communication is vital. We need to reduce the risk to all parties and communication is key.
“The maritime sector has to continue to operate so that countries can maintain essential supplies of food, fuel and other goods, including vital medical supplies, that we all need. But we must do this safely and in a way that eliminates the risk of infection for our seafarers and those coming aboard.”
The guidance has been produced by a coalition of industry bodies and international organisations to provide clear and consistent guidelines that can implemented across the world.
A version for shipping companies has also been produced by ICS and is available to download for free from https://www.ics-shipping.org/free-resources/covid-19