At its’ 104th session in October 2021, IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) reviewed the text of a draft Assembly resolution on comprehensive action to address seafarersʹ challenges during the covid-19 pandemic. The resolution consolidates issues related to crew change, access to medical care, ʺkey workerʺ designation and vaccination to further highlight the relevance of these problems and has been tabled for adoption by the 32nd session of IMO’s Assembly (A 32) which is meeting this week.
In considering the draft Assembly resolution, the MSC Committee urged Member States to designate seafarers as “key workers”. IMCA had proposed that the text be expanded to include ʺother marine personnelʺ, such as Industrial Personnel and project crew who are essential for the completion of work in the offshore sector and who will fall within the scope of IMO’s new IP Code which will be finalised in January 2022. However, the MSC did not agree to IMCA’s proposed text owing to the lack of a clear definition for this term and the required documentation for these personnel.
IMCA has lobbied the Europan Commission to raise this at the IMO Assembly and are delighted that the Commission has agreed to suppport our proposal. The official position of the EU is to “actively support the adoption of the draft Assembly resolution on comprehensive action to address seafarersʹ challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and to underline the importance of extending the scope of the resolution by adding the “other maritime marine personnel” as proposed by IMCA.
An update on whether this is adopted by the Assembly will be provided in next month’s Making Waves.