ITF, IMEC contribute $678.28k to SG-STAR fund

This brings the total fund to $1.68m.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) have jointly contributed (US$500k) to the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund to support countries that adopt best practices for crew change, according to an announcement.

This adds to the $1m SG-STAR Fund established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), Singapore Maritime Officers' Union (SMOU), and Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS), with the total fund amounting to around $1.68m (US$1.2m).

Besides ITF and IMEC, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will also lend support to the SG-STAR Fund including technical expertise in shipping. With the contribution and support by ITF, IMEC and ICS, the SG-STAR Fund is the first global tripartite initiative bringing together like-minded international partners from the industry, unions and government to facilitate safe crew changes.

The fund, based in Singapore, will be disbursed for use upstream in countries where seafarers come from.

ITF General Secretary Mr Stephen Cotton said the SG-STAR Fund has the potential to support practical solutions to reduce the severity of the crew change crisis for the world’s 1.4 million seafarers.

Following the signing of the letter of intent for the SG-STAR Fund on 28 August between MPA, SSA, SMOU and SOS, a task force has been formed to work with stakeholders on solutions for safe crew change.

Led by SSA Council Member and Chair of SSA Services Committee Nitin Mathur, with initial members from MPA, SMOU and SOS, the task force will first work with seafarer supplying countries such as the Philippines and India on key initiatives, which include the accreditation of quarantine and isolation facilities, COVID-19 PCR testing certification, “white-listing” of clinics for PCR testing, digital solutions for tracking crew change, and interactive training sessions for crew to help them understand crew change procedures and guidelines.

SSA President Ms Caroline Yang will chair the Governance Committee for the SG-STAR Fund, comprising MPA Chief Executive Quah Ley Hoon, SMOU General Secretary Mary Liew, SOS President Kam Soon Huat, ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton, and IMEC Chairman Capt. Belal Ahmed.

Meanwhile, Dr Lam Pin Min, Honorary Member of SSA, and CEO of Eagle Eye Centre, has been appointed as the senior advisor to the governance committee.

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