As crew changes have been at the centre of discussions lately, Spain legislated that seafarers are key workers in a move that aims to ensure their movement through Spanish ports.
Spain, along with many countries around the globe, has declared a state of emergency, which will remain in force until May 10. However, as many were the shipping stakeholders that called the industry to enable crew changes, the Spanish Transport Ministry approved the Order TMA/374/2020 on April 28.
The Order notes that
The purpose of this Order is to establish the documentation that the crew of the ships may provide to prove their condition and, in this way, facilitate the crossing of borders and their movement through Spanish territory, in order to ensure the provision of services of maritime transport.
Moreover, the order establishes the documentation needed to allow seafarers to crew change in Spain and return to their home countries or to embark a vessel calling to a Spanish port. Seafarers will need to provide:
- Certificate of competency or proficiency or Seafarers’ identity document or Discharge book;
- Employment agreement or Letter of appointment. This documentation will include, at least, the name of the vessel and her flag, port where the vessel is located and the estimated date of the embark / disembark.
The Spanish Ministry of Health reported on Saturday that the nation’s COVID-19 death toll has risen above 25,000. The total number of positive cases reported now exceeds 216,000; this the highest number of cases in a European country, but authorities are beginning to loosen lockdown restrictions as the number of cases has believed to have peaked.