Euronav has become a signatory of the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change which will be launched at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda Week on 25 January 2021
Euronav has signed up to the Neptune Declaration, which is a global call to action to address the ongoing crew change crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on concrete actions that can facilitate crew changes and keep vital global supply chains functioning.
The maritime stakeholder initiative will be officially launched during the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda Week, beginning 25 January 2021.
Since the beginning of the crew change crisis, Euronav has stepped up as a leading voice in the maritime industry, with chief executive Hugo De Stoop publicly advocating for a solution.
Euronav itself has been doing many things, including deviating its ships to accommodate crew changes and has incurred extra costs to get its seafarers back home safely. At the peak in July, Euronav had 630 people overdue for rotation, out of a total ship workforce of a little over 3,000. This number has now been cut to 77.
Mr De Stoop said, “The crew change crisis is the largest ever humanitarian and logistical tragedy facing the maritime sector. It is our responsibility and duty towards the seafarers and their families to globally address this crisis as one voice. The maritime industry has stayed under the radar too long. Crew changes are critical for all shipping sectors and the movement of goods. Euronav will continue to work with all relevant authorities to highlight the immediate need to ease such restrictions on seafarers.”
The declaration was developed by the Maritime Industry Crew Change Taskforce created as an outcome of the Global Maritime Forum’s 2020 Virtual High-Level Meeting.
The taskforce is chaired by Ocean Networks Express chief executive, V. Group chairman Graham Westgarth, and brings together representatives from companies across the maritime value chain as well as organisations including ICS, ITF, International Maritime Employers’ Council, the Global Maritime Forum and the World Economic Forum.
To address the crisis, the declaration defines four main actions: Recognise seafarers as key workers and treat them accordingly by giving them early access to Covid-19 vaccinations, implement high-quality health protocols, increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes, and ensure airline connectivity between key maritime hubs.
The full Neptune declaration can be found here.
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