A new interactive tool launched by the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) can assist parties in identifying commercial risks and physical threats to global shipping caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Group’s new online COVID-19 tracker is a publicly accessible online digital tool (dashboard) that aims to assist shipowners, charterers, operators and other parties in the maritime sector to track country and port specific advice around the world. By providing live updates as to the number of confirmed cases of the virus and the countries at risk, and detailing measures being put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tool can assist parties to identify commercial risks and physical threats to shipping around the world.
The tool sources data from all 13 International Group Clubs, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Health Organization (WHO) and other leading sources, such as Wilhelmsen and our correspondent Gulf Agency Company Ltd. Access to the COVID-19 tracker is available via the International Group’s COVID-19 website: https://www.igpandi.org/covid-19.
At the time of writing, the WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. However, local restrictions on travel are in place and some of the measures implemented in order to minimise the risk of infection can have serious consequences for ships and crews, including delayed port clearance, obstruction of cargo operations, limited access to surveyors, service engineers and supplies, restrictions on shore leaves and crew changes, and, in the extreme case, imposition of quarantine or refusal of port entry.
As the situation evolves, so will recommendations and measures to prevent and reduce spread of the infection and we advises Members and clients to remain vigilant. In terms of concrete geographical advice for the maritime industry, the situation may change quickly and it can be difficult to maintain a full overview of areas affected by the outbreak as well as port and travel restrictions being enforced at any given time. We therefore reiterate our advice for ship operators and masters to, well in advance of arriving at any port, seek guidance from local port authorities and ships’ agents on restrictions and other preventive measures currently in effect.
See also our COVID-19 topic page for a compilation of links to other relevant websites and guidelines, and Gard material that may assist ship operators, masters and crews to stay alert and prepare and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.