Maritime authorities in Murmansk do not allow changing the crew of NS Artic

Since March 15 Russian seafarers from the NS Artic owned by the Sovcomflot cannot leave the ship moored in the Murmansk seaport. After a long voyage they are unable to go home under the pretext of spreading a coronavirus infection. The Seafarers Union of Russia sent a request to the North-Western Prosecutor office with request to take measures and eliminate the offense.

As it was established by the crewing managers of Sovcomflot, the restrictive measures were caused by the decree of the Governor of the Murmansk region from 16.03.2020 ? 47-PG  "On measures to counteract the spread of a new coronavirus infection in the Murmansk region (2019-nCOV)". It stipulates that the Harbour Masters of seaports located in the region, from 17.03.2020 to the date of special instructions should not allow the shore leave of crewmembers of all ships arriving from foreign countries, if less than 14 calendar days have passed since the vessel arrived at the port after she called the port in the foreign country. 

-We consider its measure as discriminatory and encroaching on the labor rights of Russian seafarers in terms of work and rest, - says the Chairman of the  Seafarers Union of Russia, a member of the Maritime Board under the Government of the Russian Federation Yuriy Sukhorukov. We also find it clearly excessive and contrary to the order of the Government of the Russian Federation of 16.03.2020  635-p, according to which the restriction on entry into the Russian Federation does not apply to crewmembers of sea and river vessels.The SUR proposes to exclude from the above-mentioned decree of the regional Governor the ban on shore leave for Russian seafarers regardless of the jurisdiction of the vessels on which they are employed as crewmembers. This restriction has a negative impact on Maritime navigation.

 -We share the concern of local authorities regarding the spread of coronavirus in the region but we believe that it is possible to take preventive measures without infringing the rights of Russian crewmembers arriving from abroad, " says Yuriy Sukhorukov. - Seafarers can be examined and observed in the appropriate medical institutions of the region for 14 calendar days, as they do, for example, in Nakhodka. 

Information about the situation with the crew change is also sent to the Ministry of transport of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for sea and river transport, and the Russian chamber of shipping.