Jun 03 | 2020
(Global) IMO, ICAO, ILO Seek Exemption from Travel Restrictions
A coalition of industry organizations has issued a joint call for world governments to introduce "key worker" designations for skilled personnel in essential global breakbulk operations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The joint statement – issued by the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the International Labour Organization – calls for key worker designations for a wide range of transport workers.
“Our three organizations seek to ensure that seafarers, marine personnel, fishing vessel personnel, offshore energy sector personnel, aviation personnel, air cargo supply chain personnel, service provider personnel at airports and ports are designated as ‘key workers,’ regardless of nationality, to exempt them from travel restrictions, to ensure their access to emergency medical treatment and, if necessary, to facilitate emergency repatriation,” the organizations said in a joint statement.
As logistics supply chains have been disrupted by lockdowns, transport hubs are being impacted flight crew and aircraft frequently denied entry to countries and shutdown of airports leading to large delays.
“We are seeking the support of governments to facilitate crew changes, operations essential to maintain the global cargo supply chains and operations,” a spokesperson for the ICAO said.
The ICAO states that airfreight represents 35 percent of the value of goods shipped in all modes combined with 887,000 licensed aviation professionals in 2019.
The organizations note that more than 80 percent of global trade by volume is moved by maritime transport, with a global workforce of 2 million seafarers operating the world's merchant ships many of which require transfer.
“It is estimated that from the middle of June 2020 around 150,000 seafarers a month will require international flights in order to be changed over from the ships that they operate, about half traveling by aircraft for repatriation, the other half joining ships,” the organizations state.
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