The Covid-19 pandemic is creating significant challenges for ship operators and seafarers, but new research from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has highlighted that, for users of its ISF Watchkeeper software, incidents of non-conformity with international regulations as required by their flag states and Port State Control have continued to drop to increasingly lower levels over the past year.
The ICS software, which tracks over 25 million hours of work undertaken each month by seafarers on board ships, has identified that the rate of non-conformity has reduced by 25% over the last 12 months. The trends are good news, demonstrating that seafarers are still managing shipboard working arrangements in accordance with IMO and ILO regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
ICS has regularly monitored global seafarer work and rest hour records through the software, which was first launched in 1997. It is used on over 8 000 ships to provide their operators with evidence of compliance with international regulations.
“Since the beginning of the year seafarers have been faced with significant challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the difficulty effecting crew changes only exacerbates this situation,” said ICS secretary general Guy Platten. “It is good to see that even with all the challenges, it appears that seafarers are still able to get the important rest that they need and the breaks they deserve to mitigate fatigue.
"These results confirm that the world’s shipping community continues to appreciate the importance of safe working practices and compliance during what have been extremely challenging operating conditions for all sectors and for very many individuals.
“ISF Watchkeeper helps seafarers manage their hours of work and rest on board to ensure that ships can keep delivering the vital supplies we all rely on, without adding further to their burdens. These statistics are drawn from the online version of the software and represent input from 4 000 ships operating across the world,” he said.