July 16th, 2020

Philippines Signs International Crew Change Pact

Thirteen (13) countries , including the Philippines, agree to an international measure which opens up foreign borders and boost repatriation efforts of seafarers. The pact was signed after an international crew change summit was held at the United Kingdom last week.


“This summit is a welcome show of political leadership at a time when seafarers across the world need it most. Governments must now use this summit as a catalyst to implement with the solutions the shipping industry has provided, applying the political will needed to put them into practice. This issue doesn’t require money and did not need complicated negotiations. This summit is a catalyst for action,” said Secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping Guy Platten.

The 13 countries are Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The International Maritime Organization meanwhile has created a 12-step process for states to adopt to make crew changes safe and efficient.

Globally there are now over 200,000 seafarers who are stranded at sea and have overrun their contracts with another 200,000 waiting to start employment and get paid by working at sea.

In the Philippines, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has directed all manning agencies to comply with the “green lane” protocols that would facilitate the efficient and speedy travel of seafarers. The Green Lane is aimed at facilitating the creation of controlled travel corridor to open the Philippines for people-to-people and economic exchange, and stimulate the Philippine economy. This would also control the risk of spreading COVID-19 during crew change or repatriation by managing their movement whether they are traveling by ship or plane.