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Crew Change Crisis

Singapore taskforce develops audit programme to facilitate crew change

Photo: Mohamed Aly - Pixabay Mohamed Aly - Pixabay.jpg
A Singapore-based taskforce has developed a CrewSafe audit programme based on Singapore’s crew change model, to establish safe and scalable ‘corridors’ for crew change amidst the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund Taskforce (SFTF) is led by the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), with members from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union, and Singapore Organisation of Seamen.

The SG-STAR Fund is recently joined with support from more international organisations such as Global Maritime Forum Maritime Industry Crew Change Taskforce, Intertanko, Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, and World Shipping Council, as well as seven port authorities from Abu Dhabi, Antwerp, Barcelona, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Sines, and Vancouver.

“Singapore takes our responsibility to facilitate safe crew change seriously. We are pleased to work with our global tripartite partners to accelerate the development of practical solutions for crew change amid the pandemic,” said Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA.

The SFTF has appointed auditors to conduct assessments at the recently inaugurated IMEC-ITF safe quarantine processes and facilities in Manila, Philippines, namely St. Giles Hotel and Marriot Hotel, as well as the safe quarantine processes by the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association at Marriot Hotel and the AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital Molecular & PCR Laboratory.

SFTF has expressed satisfaction that these facilities fulfil the CrewSafe criteria, and it is looking at further enhancements of the CrewSafe audit programme, which could include the use of electronic tamper-proof smart wearable devices while the crew are in quarantine, as well as secure document processing for onboarding crew.

“The SFTF aims to have a gradual global recognition of the CrewSafe process that identifies the safe and secure facilities. Such acknowledgements by national governments and international organisations will ensure greater participation and bring a long-term solution to crew movement across national borders,” said Nitin Mathur, SSA council member and chair of the SFTF.

The SG-STAR Fund is the first global ground-up tripartite initiative with international partners including the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), to work with stakeholders in seafaring nations on concrete solutions for safe crew changes, starting with the Philippines.

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