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Shipping companies in ‘impossible position’ as proof of seafarer vaccinations poses legal minefield

2021年3月22日
中国澳门,一名男子正在接种Covid-19疫苗

伦敦,2021年3月22日: The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has warned that lack of access to vaccinations for seafarers is placing shipping in a ‘legal minefield’, 同时让全球供应链变得脆弱.

A legal document due to be circulated to the global shipping community later this week by ICS highlights concerns that vaccinations could soon become a compulsory requirement for work at sea because of reports that some states are insisting all crew be vaccinated as a pre-condition of entering their ports.

然而, 报告估计 that developing nations will not achieve mass immunisation until 2024, with some 90%的人 in 67 low-income countries standing little chance of vaccination in 2021. ICS计算出900,000 of the world’s seafarers (well over half the global workforce) are from developing nations.

这给船东们带来了一场“完美风暴”, who may be forced to cancel voyages if crew members are not vaccinated. 他们冒着合法的风险, financial and reputational damage by sailing with unvaccinated crews, 谁会被拒绝入境.

Delays into ports caused by unvaccinated crew would open up legal liabilities and costs for owners, 哪些不能从租船人那里收回. 此外, while owners would be able to address the need for seafarer vaccines in new contracts, owners attempting to change existing contracts or asking crew to receive a specific vaccine requested by a port could open themselves up to legal liabilities.

The uncertainty comes at a crucial moment in the ongoing role of shipping in the global supply chain during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shipping is expected to overtake aviation in the race to deliver vaccines around the world in the second half of 2021, 在分销驱动中 估计 花了四年时间. Shipping is also a vital method of transportation for accompanying personal protective equipment (PPE), whose estimated total volume will be 6-7 times that of the vaccine and refrigeration systems.

Seafarers are among the most internationalised workers in the world, crossing international borders multiple times during a contracted period, 船上有多达30个国家的人. ICS’s legal document noted that it is likely that a Covid-19 vaccination: ‘Will be required by most if not all states and therefore [it] would reasonably be considered to be a “necessary” vaccination.’

ICS秘书长Guy Platten说:

“航运公司的处境令人难以接受. 他们被卡在岩石和坚硬的地方之间, 他们的劳动力很少或根本无法获得疫苗, 特别是发展中国家.

“We’re already seeing reports of states requiring proof of 新型冠状病毒肺炎 vaccination for seafarers. 如果我们的工人不能通过国际边界, this will undoubtedly cause delays and disruptions in the supply chain. For a sector expected to help drive the global vaccination effort, this is totally unacceptable.”

“This is a key issue for shipping but could also have a significant impact across many sectors as international business recovers.”

芽达尔 Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy and Government Affairs at MSC Group, added:

虽然我们还没有看到它, we’re definitely concerned that the lack of vaccinations will become an obstacle to the free movement of seafarers this year.

“海员们已经给了我们很多. 在检疫, the suspension of flights routes and health restrictions that have kept them away from their family and friends. 这一切都是为了给世界提供必需品.

“The shipping industry needs to find creative solutions to the problem. In the short term this means getting seafarers vaccinations in their countries where there are established programmes and sufficient supplies of vaccines. In the long term it’s about exploring the idea of public-private partnerships. 甚至还有机会, 当最初激增的需求得到国家分配时, for manufacturers to provide vaccinations directly to shipowners to allocate/administer to these key workers.”

The International Chamber of Shipping is currently exploring all avenues to find a solution. This includes the implementation of vaccinations hubs across key international ports, 根据塞浦路斯政府的建议. If a solution to provide direct access of vaccines to seafarers is not found, 船东们担心,2020年将再次出现船员更换危机 看到400,000 seafarers stranded on board ships across the world due to travel restrictions and international lockdowns.

家伙滑块的结论:

“许多人认为我们正处于接种疫苗的冲刺阶段. 现实是,我们正处于一场超级马拉松的开始, 而海员将是穿越终点线的关键.  We need to keep them safe and for governments to play their part by ensuring that vaccines for seafarers have been approved by WHO for emergency use.

There are currently more than 50 vaccines each at different stages of testing and approval and only some of these have been recognised by WHO as suitable for emergency use. Yet some states are imposing vaccines for seafarers that are not on the WHO list of vaccines for Emergency Use. If we’re to maintain internationalised workforces, this needs to change immediately.”