CEO Bulletin: UK to host crew change summit / Developments on travel advice.
Another busy week which saw the Chamber hosting its first online set of high level board meetings including the Supervisory Board. An impressive turnout of over 30 CEO’s, MD’s and other senior executives from across the shipping community. Discussions focussed on the Chamber’s response to the Covid-19 crisis over the past three months, and its approach to ‘restart and recovery’, the industry’s plans for tackling climate change, and the ongoing trade talks as the UK finds its place outside the EU. There was also widespread agreement that the Chamber had made the transition to the working arrangements seamlessly, providing excellent support to its members, enjoying unprecedented levels of engagement across all sectors, with government ministers and officials, and with other national and international bodies, achieving notable policy wins in a number of important areas.
The Supervisory Board also agreed to split and replace the Chamber’s current Bulk Carrier membership category into Bulk Carrier (Deep Sea) and Bulk Carrier (Short Sea). New Bulk Carrier (Deep Sea) members will be offered a more attractive, affordable and relevant membership package. This move will strengthen recruitment in this shipping sector, enhancing the Chamber’s representative voice.
The relaxation of UK Travel Advice and the UK’s Quarantine requirements has been eagerly awaited. The Chamber has been preparing for this moment and we look forward to the resumption of tourist traffic on international ferry services from next week. To coincide with this the Chamber has published ‘Information and Guidance for UK Ferry Operations during COVID-19’ which describes the Covid measures now in place on passenger ferries and quite rightly draws attention to our members’ services which provide a safe, attractive and enjoyable means of travel, as restrictions are relaxed.
Looking ahead, I was pleased to receive my invitation from Grant Shapps and Kelly Tolhurst to the virtual Maritime Summit on Crew Changes taking place on 9 July. Thousands of seafarers who have been due to be relieved from their ships over the last four months are still on board, waiting to get home, because of transport restrictions imposed by governments. Even as these begin to be eased, crew changes are being hampered by difficulties in obtaining visas and quarantining requirements. Breaking this logjam requires the co-operation of transport, home affairs and health departments in all countries where seafarers live and where they join and leave their ships. We warmly welcome this initiative from our Government, which committed itself back in March to facilitating crew changes and shore leave in the UK. The Chamber hopes that the summit will lead to many more countries following its excellent example.
Finally, next week is Maritime Safety Week that seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of our industry whilst also recognising and sharing the excellent safety work that already goes on across the sector. Next week is also Seafarers Awareness Week, recognising the importance of their roles and the need to keep them safe. In support of both these important initiatives the Chamber will next week be holding meetings of its Safety Culture Working Group, H&S sub committee and the National Maritime Occupational H&S Committee whilst also showcasing forthcoming events including a seafarers mental health webinar on 21 July and an on-line safety seminar in September.