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Ship Crew change over the Standard Operating Procedure in Pakistan and India

In Pakistan, Standard Operating Procedures now allow sign off of foreign crew, except Indian, Bangladeshi and Bamar seafarers.

Prior to beaching, a minimum 15 days of voyage is required OR the vessel will be kept on anchorage in Gadani for a period of 15 days starting from the time she departed from her last port.

After beaching, a PHO (General physician) will go on board to verify the medical fitness of crew members, if all found in good health a clearance for disembarkation will be issued and the crew will be put on the next available flight within two days.

If in case flights are unavailable, then the foreign crew can comfortably stay in a hotel room.

If PHO suspects a COVID 19 patient, then the whole crew will continue to remain on board for the next 14 days

If PHO suspects a COVID 19 patient, then the whole crew will continue to remain on board for the next 14 days. In this time all boarding, food, medical arrangements etc. needs to be provided.

In India, the SOP on sign on and sign off of Indian seafarers were issued from April 21st

In India, the Standard Operating Procedures on sign on and sign off of Indian seafarers were issued from April 21st strictly subject to vessel’s arrival at an Indian port carrying Indian crew.

After sign off, Indian crew members are guided either to a government safe-house or a hotel, from where they are released if tested Covid19 negative after 14 days of quarantine.

Interstate / domestic transport arrangement of the crew is possible with a transit pass, where in each car is only allowed to have 1 passenger with 1 driver.

Though cumbersome this is a very good way to make sure that the spread is controlled and seafarers can reach back to their house rather than being stranded on the vessels.

Cash buyers and Ship Recycling Associations in India are requesting the ministry of shipping to list standard operating procedures that supports sign off of foreign national crew stranded on board.

Recyclers in India are reluctant in purchasing vessels because of ambiguities such as:-

The duration until when this pandemic will stay, Major sense of fear that it may keep relapsing till a cure is found.

Nearly 70 per cent of the working hands have returned back to their villages and will only return until and unless the conditions improve or by end of monsoon.

We believe they will return only when the government will lift lockdown on interstate movement using public transport.

Goldman Sachs experts believe that India might witness a horrible recession having a 45 per cent slump in the second quarter of its economy igniting a fall of 5 per cent in the real GDP in financial year 2021, which would be deeper than any other recession that India has ever experienced.

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