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Kitack Lim speaks against "No Crew Change" clauses in charterparties

Kitack Lim speaks against "No Crew Change" clauses in charterparties

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim spoke out against charter group 'no crew change' clauses, pointing out that these clauses add to the continuing issue of seafarer crew change and weaken the efforts made to solve the problem

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“Such clauses exacerbate the mental and physical fatigue among exhausted seafarers, undermine compliance with the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, and further threaten the safety of navigation”, stated Mr Lim.

IMO said its Seafarer Crisis Action Team has become aware that some charterers are now demanding the implementation of a no crew change provision specifying that no crew changes will occur while the cargo of the charterer is on board, thereby not allowing the ship to deviate to ports where crew changes might occur.

Mr Lim, in a statement released via a circular letter and endorsed by the International Labour Organization, called on all charterers to refrain from demanding the inclusion of no crew change clauses in the chartering parties and further called on shipowners and operators to refuse them if demanded.

At the most recent meeting of the IMO's Legal Committee, LEG 107, international organizations made comments opposing the usage of no crew change clauses in charter groups. In its 108th session, scheduled to take place in July 2021, the Committee invited submissions on the subject.

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have either stayed stuck on board ships long past the expiration of their employment agreements or have remained unable to enter ships since the beginning of the repatriation crisis triggered by the global pandemic.

Mr. Lim said the situation remains a humanitarian catastrophe that threatens the health of seafarers, the safety of seafarers and the global supply chain.

Maritime Business World 

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