Indonesia's efforts to bring the Ship Crew Change Policy on international shipping to a higher level finally get results.
Through the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia (PTRI) in New York, USA, Indonesia succeeded in bringing the proposed resolution of cooperation policies between countries to protect seafarers during the pandemic to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
The proposal resulted in a UN Resolution which was adopted on December 1, 2020 at the UN General Assembly Session in New York. This proposal is sponsored by 71 UN member states and is the first UN General Assembly resolution related to seafarers and the management of the global flow of goods.
"I am happy to hear this news. This is a clear proof of Indonesia's commitment to support the crew change policy on international shipping in order to protect the safety of seaferers in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said, Tuesday (12/1).
In July 2020, Budi Karya represented the Government of Indonesia (GoI) along with 14 other IMO member countries attending the "Maritime Virtual Summit on Crew Changes" held by the British Government and attended by a number of IMO member countries as well as international organizations in the maritime sector. This meeting discussed the policy of crew changes on international shipping during a pandemic.
On this occasion, the Minister of Transportation (MoT) said that Indonesia is committed to ensuring that the crew change process can be carried out at the right time to prevent sailors from experiencing fatigue and being affected by the pandemic, which could endanger the safety of ship operations.
To that end, Indonesia has issued a regulation to facilitate foreign-flag cruise ships to dock and to make a change of crew by determining a number of ports that can be a place for the change of crew.
As a follow up, a resolution was issued at the level of the member countries of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regarding the rules and protocols regarding the Change of Crew on international shipping. This regulation encourages member countries to open access to Crew Change and seaferers' repratriations during the pandemic.
The IMO Resolution also states that seafarers are "key workers" and member countries are asked to establish a Crew Change procedure, facilitate access related to the administration and immigration of seafarers, provide medical personnel and equipment, and ask the state to submit a National Focal Point for Crew Change.
Furthermore, the GoI as the initiator proposed to raise the issue of Crew Change at the UN General Assembly, and invited other UN countries as co-sponsors to issue a UN Resolution on Crew Change.
These efforts paid off with the adoption of the UN Resolution at the UN General Assembly in New York on December 1, 2020.
During this pandemic, seafarers around the world face severe challenges in carrying out their work due to restrictions that make crew changes and the repatriation of seafarers extremely difficult.
By arranging the Crew Changes on international shipping, it is hoped that it can effectively facilitate the change of crew members and promote the welfare of seafarers in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Until November 2020, Indonesia has facilitated the repatriation of the repatriation of 63,598 Indonesian seafarers and facilitated the change of Indonesian and foreign crew members of 6.752 people in Indonesian ports.
Based on the Circular of the Director General of Sea Transportation Number SE 43 of 2020 concerning Instructions for Implementing the Change and Repatriation of Ship Crew and Port Services During the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, the MoT has designated 11 port points in Indonesia that can be used as places for replacement. Ship's crew.The ports are Belawan, Tanjung Balai Karimun, Batam, Merak, Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak, Makassar, Benoa, Sorong, Ambon, and Bitung. (hlz/hlz)