Home News SPNL signs the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change

SPNL signs the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change

The SPNL joins over 600 shipping companies and maritime organisations to help resolve the ongoing humanitarian crisis on the world’s oceans.


Covid-19 has impacted the daily lives and wellbeing of seafarers in unprecedented ways, causing a humanitarian crisis at sea. Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been stranded working aboard ships beyond the expiry of their contracts. As the frontline workers of the maritime industry carrying 90% of global trade, seafarers play a vital role in ensuring the global flow of goods that the world depends on.

Seafarers play a significant role in the global race to halt the coronavirus pandemic by providing critical medical supplies to the world’s population, particularly in developing economies. They are crucial to millions of peoples’ wellbeing. We call on our peers, government bodies and other stakeholders to join us in our efforts to ensure that the rights and wellbeing of the frontline workers of global supply chains are respected.

Graham Westgarth, Chairman of V. Group

Despite significant efforts by international organizations, unions, companies and some governments to resolve this untenable crew change crisis, the situation is still getting worse as governments bring in more travel bans in response to the new strains of the Covid-19 virus.

A number of key issues leave this critical situation unresolved: national authorities around the world continue to see crew changes and international travel as a Covid-19 risk, high-quality health protocols are not being consistently implemented by ship operators and the disruption of international air travel has reduced the number of flights between traditional crew change hubs and major seafaring nations.

The Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Changdefines four main actions to facilitate crew changes and keep global supply chains functioning: