EU Ship Suppliers Must be Classed as Essential Workers

April 2, 2020

OCEAN requests EU to keep our ships stocked

Ship suppliers should be given ‘essential worker’ status to enable them to keep the EU’s ships stocked with vital supplies and spare parts during the global coronavirus pandemic, says the European Ship Suppliers Organization

Brussels, Belgium – Responding to complaints from ship supply companies that they are being prevented from delivering to ships in some ports, OCEAN is asking for ship suppliers in the EU to be given essential worker status.

This would enable ship suppliers to undertake their important supply tasks unhindered.

OCEAN Chair W. Sump acknowledges that the shipping industry was facing unprecedented pressures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and that the situation was unlikely to ease until the global health problem comes under control.

“While OCEAN members are mindful of the need to follow EU and WHO and individual national health guidelines when delivering supplies to ships (this can include leaving the supplies on the quayside for the ship to load onboard itself), they are finding it difficult to secure the correctly signed documentation etc from the ship’s bridge because of the distancing rules. These are issues that can be sorted out at a local level but port state control authorities must ensure that all steps are taken to enable EU’s ships to continue to be supplied.

OCEAN would like to ask the the EU Commission to request all Member States to classify ship supply and ship suppliers as essential services and essential workers so they can undertake their important tasks at the world’s ports. If this request could considered in the EU Guidance as soon as possible, I am sure this will go some way to rectifying the situation,” he said.

“OCEAN is speaking out on behalf of the EU’s ship supply community to ensure that ships and their crews can receive vital supplies.  We are an important part of the supply chain and it is essential that we are able to bring much-needed food, medical supplies and spare parts to ships in order for world trade to continue. With crew changes almost impossible throughout most of the world at this present time, some seafarers have been onboard for many months and potentially face many more months at sea before they can return to their loved ones. It is important that they receive the equipment and stores they need.” Vice-Chair D. Cupido noted

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