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10 April 2020 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 21:28 GMT+2

March 19, 2020

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ICS and ITF call on the UN to make governments understand that shipping is crucial to dealing with the crisis Coronavirus

In particular, the need for maritime status is recognised as indispensable workers

Two other primary international organizations represent operators and workers in the transport sector highlighted the devastating impact that the spread of coronavirus is having on the compartment. I'm the shipping association International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the trade union International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) open to the signing of secretaries-general Guy Platten and Stephen Cotton sent to the relevant UNITED Nations agencies, i.e. International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) asked to bring to the attention of their Member States problems that the pandemic is creating for maritime transport encouraging national authorities to discuss possible solutions with their social partners.

"As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads -- they explained Platten and Cotton -- it is crucial that all governments keep trade operational continuing to allow worldwide access to ports to commercial vessels and facilitating the movement and rapid turnover of ship crews."

Platten and Cotton recalled that "every month, for comply with international working time regulations well-being of the crews, about 100,000 seafarers must be replaced by the ships on which they operate, so that they can continue to carry global trade safely. We would therefore like to emphasise the vital need - they specified -- that professional seafarers from all over the world appropriate exemptions from any national restriction to journeys when they have to board their ships or have to leave them, In order to keep the maritime chains running supply of the world."

"In view of their vital role during pandemic - wrote the secretaries-general of the ICS and ITF - we suggest that professional seafarers, regardless of nationality, they must be treated like any other "indispensable worker" international, as well as airline crews and healthcare professionals. As such, they should be given a attention and, except for the need to comply with emergency health protocols, treated with pragmatism and understanding when they try to travel from or directed to their ships. So we ask your organizations to highlight to the governments of your Member States the importance critical of this problem.'

"We urgently ask - concluded Platten and Cotton - this topic is added to the agenda of appropriate high-level meetings and that national Member States of your organisations are encouraged to immediately confront their national association of owners and with the National Maritime Union in order to find quick fixes to this serious problem that otherwise risks hampering global efforts to tackle the pandemic Covid-19."

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