Joint release by MPA, SSA, SMOU, SOS, ITF, IMEC and ICS: SG-STAR FUND: First Global Tripartite initiative to support Countries for Crew Change

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) have jointly contributed US$500,000 to the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund to support countries that adopt best practices for crew change.

This adds to the US$1 million SG-STAR Fund established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU), and Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS). The total fund now amounts to S$1.68 million (approximately US$1.2 million).

 ICS will also lend support to the SG-STAR Fund

Besides ITF and IMEC, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will also lend support to the SG-STAR Fund including technical expertise in shipping. With the contribution and support by ITF, IMEC and ICS, the SG-STAR Fund is the first global tripartite initiative bringing together like-minded international partners from the industry, unions and Government to facilitate safe crew changes. The fund, based in Singapore, will be disbursed for use upstream in countries where seafarers come from. We continue to welcome like-minded partners to join us in this global alliance.

 SG-STAR Fund has the potential to reduce the severity of the crew change crisis

ITF General Secretary Mr Stephen Cotton said the SG-STAR Fund has the potential to support practical solutions to reduce the severity of the crew change crisis for the world’s 1.4 million seafarers.

“For over six months, the crew change crisis has seen hundreds of thousands of seafarers either trapped on ships or unemployed at home, desperate to get to work. For the world’s seafarers, they need practical solutions now, not tomorrow, to end this humanitarian crisis and get seafarers to and from ships in a safe manner. This joint initiative, working with tripartite partners to promote practical solutions to the crew change crisis, will be key to breaking the current deadlock.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is unfairly trapping seafarers

Mr Guy Platten, Secretary General of the ICS, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is unfairly trapping seafarers. This initiative is exactly the type of project needed to resolve the crew change crisis.”

Mr Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of International Maritime Organization, said, “This is a commendable global initiative bringing together the collective efforts of governments, the shipping industry and maritime unions to take concrete steps to address the urgent issue of crew change.”

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