- The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a global public health crisis, the response to which by Governments requires the maintenance of global supply chains to ensure that the world's medical supplies, food, energy and raw materials, as well as manufactured goods and components vital to the preservation of employment, continue to reach their intended destinations.
- Maritime transport carries around 90% of world trade, so it is vital that Governments facilitate the continuing operation of shipping, and ports under their jurisdiction, to allow the transport of marine cargoes so that supply chains are not disrupted and to allow the global economy, and society as a whole, to continue to function throughout the pandemic.
- As Governments around the world are implementing policies and measures to protect public health and address COVID-19, it is important that these are developed without the introduction of obstacles to ship and port operations, including the movement of seafarers and marine personnel (as defined, inter alia, by relevant IMO instruments or the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006) for the purposes of crew change, as well as the wider functionality of port ecosystems (terminals, warehouses, rail and trucking, etc.).
- Ships and ports need to remain fully operational, in order to maintain complete functionality of supply chains. Governments and their relevant national authorities should therefore engage with appropriate stakeholders within their national shipping and ports sectors to discuss arrangements for the continued facilitation of international maritime trade, including port hinterland connections.
- In view of above, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) vide attached Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.6 has provided Preliminary list of recommendations for Governments and relevant national authorities on the facilitation of maritime trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The recommendations are proposed by a broad cross section of global industry associations with consultative status representing the maritime transportation sector: ICS, BIMCO, CLIA, FONASBA, IACS, IAPH, IMCA, IMEC, INTERCARGO, INTERFERRY, INTERMANAGER, INTERTANKO, IPTA, ITF, P&I Clubs and WSC, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
- The purpose of the document is to provide some preliminary recommendations that may assist Governments and their relevant national authorities to take a pragmatic and practical approach to the facilitation of shipping and port operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.