Seafarers can now be issued with certificates confirming their keyworker status as transport workers and certifying they be allowed free passage to travel between their home and vessel during the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers' federation (ITF) have jointly produced the special 'facilitation certificate' templates and sent them to shipping HR managers, personnel manning and vessel masters.
The template and covering letter 'certifies that a seafarer should be allowed free passage to travel between their home and their vessel and has participated in a medical screening'.
The certificates will need to be on company letterhead with required details such as the seafarer's name, passport number, seafarer book number and identity document numbers, as well as employer and ship details.
In a joint letter to the shipping industry the ICS and ITF said: 'In these unprecedented circumstances, it is imperative to ensure that the flow of essential goods, energy, food, medicines and many other products is not disrupted by measures impeding the safe and efficient movement of ships and the seafarers who operate them.'
The certificate template was drawn up in response to calls by United Nations bodies the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), who along with the European Commission, have stated that seafarers should be officially recognised as key workers and granted exemptions from travel restrictions so they can join and leave their ships and return home without impediment, while complying with infection control.
'It is important for State representatives and relevant authorities to recognise the need of the highly globalised shipping industry, with its multinational workforce, to smoothly undertake crew changes around the world, to enable ships to continue to operate and to enable the swift embarkation, disembarkation and repatriation of crew members,' said the ICS and ITF.
- The templates are for shipping companies to fill in, but Nautilus members can log into My Nautilus and download the certificate template and cover letter from the Member resources Covid-19 section
- All new arrivals to the UK will also be required to fill out a mandatory 'passenger locator' form from 8 June including seafarers returning home or on shore leave
Nautilus FAQs on Covid-19 Coronavirus
New Covid test and quarantine exemption certificate for arrivals from Red List countries
Nautilus has updated its key worker exemption from mandatory quarantine and proof of negative Covid-19 test documentation, used by seafarers on arrival in the UK.
Seafarers must be a priority for Covid vaccine, say maritime organisations
Key maritime organisations have asked the UK government to treat seafarers as a priority group for vaccination against Covid-19.
Seafarer quarantine exemption 'certificate' released for UK arrivals
Nautilus International and the UK Chamber of Shipping jointly produced a special 'guidance letter' in 2020 for seafarers arriving at UK ports supporting their exemption from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in the UK. This was updated in January 2021.
New UK mandatory arrivals form rolled out
New UK mandatory arrivals form rolled out
Master Mariners speak out about Covid-19 concerns
Seafarers – our keyworker beacons in a global emergency
IMO agrees protection of seafarer rights on medical care, wages and sick pay
An extraordinary meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed special extra measures for the protection of seafarer rights during the coronavirus pandemic, including access to medical care, wages, sick pay and food.
Collective crew changes at designated ports needed to relieve 100,000 'fatigued' seafarers, says Union
Nautilus is supporting calls for collective crew changes at designated ports, which it says are urgently needed to relieve tired Merchant Navy seafarers enabling world trade during the coronavirus pandemic.
European Commission approves 'Green Lane' system for free movement of transport workers
In the face of declarations from several EU countries that they will be closing their borders during the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission is insisting that there must still be cross-border movement of freight on land and at sea to ensure the delivery of essential supplies.
Union shut out of job talks as carnage in North Sea continues
Borr Drilling has announced that a possible 248 employees would be among the latest to lose their jobs in the crisis-hit oil and gas industry.
Piracy and armed robbery a threat to ships' crews, warns IMB
Seafarers face continued threats from pirates and armed robbers on the world's seas as piracy incidents have increased in the first three months of 2020 compared with 2019, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
Shipping alliance supports global roll out of 'green lanes' for crew changes
A shipping alliance representing more than 1,500 vessels and 70,000 seafarers says a European Commission proposal for designated fast track ports for collective crew changes should be rolled out globally.
Severe drop in global trade predicted as crisis continues
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has predicted a global slump in trade ranging from 13 to 32 percent in 2020, due to the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Stella Maris reassures seafarers during pandemic
The maritime welfare charity Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) is has reassured seafarers that it will continue to support them with practical help and pastoral care during the coronavirus pandemic.