FONASBA has formally published “Keeping Agents Safe On Board”, its Infectious Diseases Protocols that guide ship agents in the continued provision of services and support to ships and their crews during COVID-19 and any future Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The Protocols are based on information on best practices provided by member associations. The methodology and format are however based on the “Hierarchy of controls as a guide to establishing effective safety control measures and reducing risk” as detailed in the International Chamber of Shipping’s publication “Guidance for Ensuring a Safe Shipboard Interface Between Ship and Shore-based Personnel”. FONASBA gratefully acknowledges the generaous support of the International Chamber in allowing use of their material.
Whilst we all hope that COVID-19 will continue to decline worldwide, there is always the possibility that another PHEIC will arise in the future. Should that be the case, the FONASBA Protocols will play a role in ensuring that ship agents are informed, prepared and ready to continue to provide agency services to their principals and the ships and maintain vital husbandry and pastoral support to the crews onboard.
FONASBA members are circulating this document to their companies, other industry organisations and national authorities for their information and guidance when drawing up appropriate responses to any future PHEIC.
The Protocols can be downloaded here.