MB has got notification from Georgia Maritime Authority, presenting a project to make Georgia a “Safe Crew Change Hub”. Georgia isn’t exactly an oceans crossroads hub, but considering all the problems, headaches and costs involved, when changing crews in the majority of world ports, Black sea alternative may be worth it.
Georgia can now be considered as a “Safe Hub” for seafarers – crew change and rotation for seafarers is allowed by Georgia.
Georgia is one of the first countries in the region to have recognized and designated seafarers as “key workers” and to have allowed crew change and rotation on its territory.
Government officials note that “It’s been more than a month since Georgia has been actively cooperating with the maritime industry worldwide and is involved in the facilitation of crew change process and repatriation of Georgian seafarers. Therefore, the time has come to move to the next stage and become more efficient in the process of seafarers’ rotation.”
Georgia will use the best of its experience gained during the successful management of the spread of the coronavirus to facilitate the seafarers’ repatriation and rotation process.
The country step-by-step is achieving the status of a “safe hub”, whereas representatives of the maritime industry and shipowners will be offered the possibility to safely send seafarers to access and transit through Georgia to reach the final destination.
Taking into account Georgia’s favorable geographical location and the county’s stable successful response against the spread of COOVID-19 global pandemic, this decision may turn out to be the only viable opportunity for many shipowners to overcome the challenge.