18 seafarers will at long last get solid ground under their feet this week after spending close to six months on board an MSC ship. The shipping line has sent the ship to Japan after spending months off the coast of China.
IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim urges charterers to stop using "no crew change" clauses in freight documents, saying that the ten-month crisis with a lack of crew changes on the world's merchant vessels will otherwise continue.
MSC vessel Anastasia has since summer been idling off a Chinese port, where innumerable dry bulk ships are stranded with cargoes on board. MSC has requested numerous times that the vessel be allowed to change its crew, now appealing to the country's authorities.
Ten ports in China will open for foreign seafarers in relation to conducting crew changes, says Bimco. And the EU has reached an agreement on new joint travel rules, which makes shipowners hope for easier access for crew changes.
Anglo-Eastern's CEO, Bjørn Højgaard, is annoyed that a few rotten apples have led to stricter rules for crew changes being imposed in several places throughout Asia. He urges people to support the many stranded seafarers.