Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said governments should facilitate the movement of international transport personnel who have been affected by travel restrictions due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: “Each month, about 100,000 merchant seafarers need to be changed over from the ships on which they operate to ensure compliance with international maritime regulations protecting safety, health and welfare,” IATA and ICS said in a joint statement on April 14. “As a result of government-imposed travel restrictions due to COVID-19, flights to repatriate or position marine personnel are unavailable. Immigration and health screening protocols are also hampering the ability of merchant ships to conduct vitally necessary crew changes,” they added.
IATA represents some 290 airlines, accounting for 82% of global air traffic, while ICS, an international trade association of merchant shipowners and operators, represents over 80% of the global merchant fleet.
IATA and ICS said that regulations intended for passengers and non-essential personnel unnecessarily jeopardize the ability of airlines and shipping companies to keep global supply chains operating when such restrictions are applied to transport personnel who do not engage with local communities.(READ MORE)