The statement came from the USG when welcoming the joint declaration of 13 countries, including Greece, and 10 international organisations that “emphatically recognise the need for a substantial solution to the problem of crew changes”.
In a statement the UGS underlines that in order for shipping to fulfil its role, shipping companies must be able to safely and efficiently man their ships and make the necessary crew changes. “However, so far, despite the interventions of international shipping organisations and of many maritime countries, including the Greek government, the various current restrictions on travel around the world are preventing crew changes,” said the UGS.
From the very beginning, the UGS has stressed the need for those in charge internationally to facilitate the smooth movement of seafarers around the world, always guided by their safety and health, and called for seafarers to be designated “essential workers” in order to ensure their free movement.
UGS president, Theodore Veniamis, said: “Representing the Greek shipping community which controls 20% of the world’s tonnage, I feel morally obliged to once again address the competent authorities of all countries, which exclusively bear the responsibility, and ask them to facilitate, by adopting realistic and practical procedures, to enable shipping companies to make the necessary crew changes smoothly.
“Our seafarers, the soul of our ships, have stood as true heroes of the sea during this difficult and unprecedented time, at the forefront of the effort to ensure the smooth operation of the supply chain. Now is the time for governments to intervene, so that seafarers can return home safely, and others can assume their duties and continue their great work.”
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