BIMCO has joined the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Well-being and Crew Change, and was encouraged to see the first publication from the Together in Safety initiative. The initiatives signal the need for increased collaboration in the face of great challenges.

“Our industry is facing multiple crises: a crewing crisis and a piracy crisis – not to mention a long term climate crisis. The well-being of our seafarers is paramount to ensure safety. And only by working closely together and committing significant resources will we be able to overcome these challenges,” says BIMCO Secretary General David Loosley. 

As a large shipping organisation – whose membership includes both shipowners, ship managers, charterers, brokers and a range of other shipping organizations – BIMCO will focus particularly on getting more key stakeholders to take the coordinated actions required to address the crises. This includes the charterers, national governments and the EU.

The Neptune Declaration was an excellent step to further highlight the need for change, and it outlines four key areas of action that the shipping community needs: 

  • Recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 test and vaccines
  • Establish and implement common standard health protocols based on existing best practice
  • Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes
  • Ensure travel connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers

BIMCO is already engaged in these activities on multiple levels.

At the World Economic Forum Davos event on 28 February, BIMCO’s President Designate, Sabrina Chao, will represent the shipping industry in a high level discussion on vaccines, vaccine passes and cross border mobility. You can join the discussion at 12:00 CET. 

Working with CommonPass

One potential avenue to create a secure vaccine pass is the CommonPass platform.

“BIMCO is working with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Commons Project to see if we can use the CommonPass technology and platform to enable seafarers safe crew change,” Loosley says.

The CommonPass platform lets people collect their lab results and vaccination records from trusted data sources and demonstrate their compliance with the health entry requirements of their destination; if they meet the requirements, the platform generates a simple yes/no CommonPass certificate that they can use to demonstrate their compliance without revealing any personal health information.

More engagement

BIMCO’s overall intention is to engage more with stakeholders adjacent to the shipping industry.

Another example of this will be BIMCO President Sadan Kaptanoglus’s participation in a discussion at the World Ocean Summit on 2 March. The topic is collaborating across industry and supply chains to reduce emissions.

BIMCO has also been supporting the Together in Safety initiative, which released its first report on 22 January.

At BIMCO’s board meeting today (28 January), some of the top companies in the industry will debate how to support vaccines and cross border mobility for seafarers, how to combat piracy and how to create workable short term measures to curb emissions in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

Published by BIMCO