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Charterers under pressure as China bans Australian products

Charterers and shipowners are coming under renewed pressure to stump up cash to alleviate the anguish and monotony of the hundreds of crews caught up in China’s coal spat with Australia.

Beijing has banned a range of Australian products including coal after Canberra called for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. Many coal carriers have been left stranded at Chinese anchorages, some since June last year.

MSC has led the way by paying the necessary costs

“MSC has led the way by paying the necessary costs and penalties to charterers and cargo owners in order to rescue the crew of their ship, the Anastasia, and see them rescued from their six-month floating prison via a port in Japan” said ITF president Paddy Crumlin. Until China brought in regular crew changes, Crumlin said that shipping companies had a humanitarian duty to preserve the lives and welfare of seafarers employed on their ships by diverting ships to neighbouring countries.

MSC has proven it is possible

 “We call on the industry to step up where the governments have failed: show some leadership and get these desperate people off your ships. MSC has proven it is possible,” he said. MSC has led the way by paying the necessary costs

Speaking with Splash today, John-Kaare Aune, the interim CEO at Wallem Group, said, “The seafarers are innocent victims of this very unfortunate situation.” The Wallem boss said companies needed to hatch solutions together to resolve the humanitarian crisis.

It is time for the charterers and receivers to take immediate action Aune said

“Provided cargo receivers and charterers could agree to not penalising each other the vessels could immediately proceed to alternative ports for carrying out the necessary crew changes and restock the provisions onboard. It is a real humanitarian crisis that we are seeing and it is time for the charterers and receivers to take immediate action,” Aune said.
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