Industry Group achieves breakthrough as Governments around the world pledge action to support crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic

12.07.2020 – London


The Industry Group comprising IADC, IAGC, IMCA, IOGP, ISOA and the Workboat Association (details below) applauds the breakthrough at an international maritime virtual summit hosted by the UK Government on 9 July where 12 other governments also pledged their support for actions needed to ensure the welfare of the world’s seafarers during the Covid-19 pandemic, including making sure that crew changes can take place in a safe and timely manner.

The government representatives at the summit expressed support for recommendations made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) developed in consultation with industry groups, which encourage all IMO Member States to support crew changes by implementing measures to facilitate movement of key personnel notwithstanding the tightened border restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

The Industry Group recognises the initiative the UK Government has shown and thanks the UK and the other 12 governments for the support demonstrated by their joint statement, and also recognises the support given by the international agencies involved.  The Group hopes that this will now encourage other governments to support this cause and help overcome the issues which continue to impact crew changes causing concern for all seafarers and offshore energy workers globally.

The Group expressly recognises the role of the UK Transport Minister and both the current and previous Shipping Ministers for their role in helping to raise the profile of this situation.

Supporting governments include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Indonesia
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America

The group looks forward to these commitments being translated into action where it is needed.

However, concern remains that there are continuing difficulties in other key countries which did not participate in the summit, and the group calls upon the international community to ensure that seafarers and offshore energy sector personnel receive proper and appropriate treatment as key workers, including access to medical treatment ashore where necessary, in all countries, as recommended by the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add.23.

The full International Maritime Summits statement can be read here

About the Industry Group

The Industry Group comprises international associations whose member companies are engaged in essential elements of the global offshore energy sector; whose personnel perform a wide variety of specialised roles which are all critical to the daily functioning of maintaining global energy supplies.

About IADC –The International Association of Drilling Contractors

Established in 1940, IADC operates on 6 continents, and its members are acknowledged leaders in onshore and offshore drilling operations around the world. IADC is globally recognized for its work in providing: accreditation programs for a competent global upstream energy workforce, technical publications serving industry and regulatory authorities, international conferences, and collaborative government-industry advocacy work. IADC’s collective efforts contribute to operational proficiencies that underpin the world’s upstream energy industry while sustaining high standards of safety, environmental stewardship and operational efficiency.

About IAGC – International Association of Geophysical Contractors

The IAGC is the global trade association for the geophysical and exploration industry, the cornerstone of the energy industry. Our membership includes onshore and offshore survey operators and acquisition companies, data and processing providers, exploration and production companies, equipment and software manufacturers, industry suppliers, and service providers. The IAGC supports and fosters science- and risk-based regulations consistent with existing practices that are proven to be environmentally responsible, effective and operationally feasible. ​

About IMCA – The International Marine Contractors Associations

IMCA represents the vast majority of offshore marine contractors and the associated supply chain in the world, with members from over 60 countries. It publishes an extensive technical library of guidance documents on operational good practice, safety promotional materials, timely information notes and safety flashes. Its members benefit from a technical structure comprising four main divisions covering Offshore Diving, Marine (including an Offshore Renewable Energy Committee), Remote Systems & ROVs, and Offshore Surveying.

About IOGP – The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) is the voice of the global upstream industry. Oil and gas continue to provide a significant proportion of the world’s energy to meet growing demands for heat, light and transport. Our Members produce 40% of the world’s oil and gas. They operate in all producing regions: the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Caspian, Asia and Australia. We serve industry regulators as a global partner for improving safety, environmental and social performance. We also act as a uniquely upstream forum in which our Members identify and share knowledge and good practices to achieve improvements in health, safety, the environment, security and social responsibility.

About ISOA – The international Support Vessel Owners’ Association

ISOA is the international trade association for owners/operators of support vessels in the offshore energy sector, including Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) and Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessels (AHTS), as well as other vessel types.

ISOA’s objective is to promote best practice within its sector of the industry, with particular focus on safety, application of consistent and practical standards – whether through regulation or industry promoted schemes, together with the welfare and training of seafarers who are employed in the sector. ISOA provides a forum where its members can discuss these common interests.

About the Workboat Association (WA)

The Workboat Association formed in 1994 to facilitate an industry input into the formulation of the UK ‘Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s’ Workboat Code of Practice. Today the WAprovides to a growing industry of workboat Owners, Operators, Stakeholders, and independent Professionals from within the UK and spread across the globe.

Remaining a not-for-profit, membership funded/ owned association, the WA’s scope offers towards those Operating or Supporting Workboats in the UK, to UK regulations, or those simply aiming to benchmark their own standards of practice against a well adopted, respected and understood standard – as the WA promote.

Industry Group achieves breakthrough as Governments around the world pledge action to support crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic