IADC recently partnered with the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), International Support Vessel Owners Association (ISOA) and the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) on a document urging national authorities to recognize IMO’s Circular Letter calling for the designation of personnel in the offshore energy sector as “Key Personnel” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendations contained in Circular Letter No.4204/Add.13 issued by IMO, in consultation with the above associations, detail the necessary actions that IMO recommends for facilitating movement of “key workers” to and from their places of work on all vessels and installations engaged in offshore energy sector activities. It also addresses the needs of all offshore workers engaged in the broad spectrum of activities that comprise the offshore energy sector and recommends that such personnel be designated as key workers, noting that the need for efficient crew changes is vital to ensuring the safety of offshore workers and the environment.
The letter also asks that governments review IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add.14, which sets out a recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The protocols, developed by IADC, IAGC, IOGP, IMCA and IOSA, are supported by the IMO Secretary-General who has urged Member States to implement these critical measures. One of the key recommendations contained within these protocols requests that governments give serious consideration to exempting seafarers and offshore energy sector personnel from any isolation or quarantine measures that might be applicable to other passengers arriving by aircraft from other countries.
The full IMO Circular Letter is included as an addendum to the joint associations’ letter addressing national authorities and can be accessed via the IADC Website.