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Norway is classified as a RED country which in turn entails several restrictions that must be considered. The Norwegian Government update every Friday.

The expected approach to normal conditions seems to not happen, and the Norwegian Maritime Authority has released a new Covid -19 - Norwegian protocols with regards to crew change on ships and against NUMES recommendation Extends the validity of personal certificate, health declaration and CRA.

From 4th to 11th of November IMO Maritime Safety Committee 102 Meeting will be held, so let’s see if we can get a good outcome from this meeting, also according the remote inspections.

NUME’s policy is to ensure that all members have a safe and secure workplace, HSE in focus at all levels both nationally and internationally, where we demands that the internal environment, the human being - is put before the external environment and profit.

In a crisis, it is normal to increase safety - not reduce it for economic reasons, governments who confirm that seafarers are under the category Key Workers unfortunately only means that they are trapped on their own ship to ensure operation and shipping.

The problem is that the same world has not implemented a functioning set of rules for how these Key Workers should get to and from their ships.

This negative SAFETY consequence was communicated to the Norwegian authorities on 19th March in a statement of concern, answered with a meeting on 11th May, where NUME again demanded the introduction of ILO C185 - Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention.

Furthermore, Norway - as one of the 10 most powerful flag states' practice on the IMO's instructions on smooth operation, practical and pragmatic approach without adding the word SAFETY, make a precedent for the practice of safety regulations and promotes an extended right to govern.

Safety in general in the industry is demonstrably impaired when shipping companies are allowed to override IMO and ILO regulations, override ship management on board, determine safety manning, disregard our of rest, skills and certificates, and put more burden on the crews with Computer Based Training (CBT) and remote inspections - on top off their Watchkeeping duties they already perform in overtime. These measures, taken to save money, pulverize responsibilities and safety, which in turn lead to criminalization and loss of income - not for shipping companies, not for consumers, but again for the seafarers and their families.

There have been epidemics before and more will come, but the fact that so many petty dictators will be allowed to rule for so long can only testify that neither the shipping company nor the authorities have ever understood the provisions of the ISM Code.
"Everyone" wants to show how busy they are with getting sailors home, but that is often not the main problem, It is to get competent sailors on board, so that the ship can sail on with rested crew, deliver goods and make money for the shipping companies!

There have been many summits in the IMO, ILO and UN since March, in which the ITF and ICS as the only Non-governmental organization (NGO) have participated.
On an IMO multi-committee meeting from 16th until the evening of 21st September, ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton presented the MSC's safety contribution to the campaign. “Enough is Enough” and gave a clear message that now the government must act to avoid another crisis!

All the speeches supported, love the seafarers, prioritized and was willing to take care of “everything” even pay!, And whit that say in principle we could close down the ITF, - but when ask for signature , well - , so there is more than ever a need for the ITF's fight to win back the respect of seafarers entitled.

September 24th - maritime day UN meeting with IMO / ILO. Ministers of Transport, ITF and ICS, well and thoughtfully led by Sturla Henriksen Special Advisor on Oceans to the UN Global Compact former CEO in Norwegian Shipowners Association.

At this meeting, the word SAFETY had “crept” into the headline, but ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton repeated the message even more strongly – a safety crises! These superiors were promised to intervene in the governments and demand that seafarers be treated as Key Workers, something Prime Minister Erna Solberg also said a few days later in the UN General Assembly.

Then we still sit here, a beloved people that everyone wants home, but not pay for, so .. nothing new for us - SAFETY FIRST!

Regarding change of crew on Norwegian vessels
ITF map showing the effect of Covid-19 restrictions
COVID-19 Global Port Restrictions Map
Health and safety document
The maritime COVID-19 assessment tool
Information about covid-19 at sea
Coronavirus - How to beat it
Joint statement from The Norwegian government, and 12 other maritime nations

ITF message to seafarers: Enough is enough, crew change now
12-step solution for governments to free seafarers from COVID-19 lockdown
Message from ITF Seafarers' Section chair David Heindel
Extending the validity of personal certificates
COVID-19 - Extension of certificates and vessel instructions
Hours of rest and manning – NB- NUME has demanded the authority to revoke this!
Supervision of newbuildings, conversions and registrations
Allows for remote ISM audits
Paris MOU guidance regarding the impact of COVID-19
Treat seafarers with “dignity and respect” during COVID-19 crisis
Maritime unions and employers call on governments
Joint letter on free movement of fishermen
Seafarers must be exempt from travel bans, ICS and ITF
Treat seafarers with “dignity and respect”
Inland waterways - Recommendations for measures in the sector

Crews coming from abroad
10 days quarantine if you come from a "red area/country". Not be closer than 2 meters for more than 15 minutes, face mask must be used traveling on all public transport. Taxi trips must take place in maxi-taxi. 

ITF Crew Change timeline

  1. 3 March ICS issued guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers
  2. 18 March IMEC issued a statement on the suspension of crew change
  3. 19 March ICS/ITF joint open letter to UN agencies from the global maritime transport industry facilitating crew changes to keep world trade moving throughout the covid-19 crisis
    ITF - agrees crew contract extensions 
  4. 3 April IMO Guidance relating to the certification of seafarers and fishing vessel personnel
  5. 7 April Joint ITF/ICS statement: Message to G20 leaders and ministers on facilitating essential movement of seafarers and marine personnel
  6. 23 April Joint WHO, ILO and IMO statement on medical certificates, ship sanitation and medical care
  7. 24 April ICS and ITF press release calling on ships to sound horns to support “unsung heroes of global trade” for International Workers’ Day
  8. 5 May IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.14 Framework of protocols to ensure crew change 
  9. 13 May ITF E-Circular No. 166/D/F/IN/S/SS/2020 ITF JNG Joint Statement
  10. 19 May ITF E-Circular No. 171/D/F/IN/S/SS/2020 ITF work with industry on plan for seafarers to get home
  11. 9 June Roundtable Discussion on Crew Change with Flag States, hosted by ITF, attended by IMO and ILO.
  12. 15 June Enough is Enough
  13. 22 June ITF E-Circular No. 210/D/F/IN/S/SS/2020 ITF - JNG Joint Statement 
  14. 25 June Day of the Seafarer
  15. 29 June ITF E-Circular No. 223/S/SS/2020 Statement on crew changeover crisis for use by affiliates
  16. 9 July International Maritime Virtual Summit on Crew Changes, hosted by UK government
  17. 9 July Paris MOU on PSC, resuming inspections and temporary guidance
    aris-Mou on PSC resuming inspections
    Paris Mou on PSC temporary guidance
  18. 16 July ITF statement, one month on from “Enough is Enough”