The Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund now stands at S$1.68 million (US$1.2 million) with the latest joint contribution of US$500,000 from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC).
The SG-STAR Fund supports countries that adopt best practices for crew change. It is 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 an initial amount of S$1 million.
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.
The Fund’s 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 Caroline Yang, chair of the Governance Committee for the SG-STAR Fund, said: “The SG-STAR Fund initiated by the tripartite partners in Singapore aims to help support ship crew supplying nations enhance facilities and capabilities to establish safe and scalable “bubbles” or “corridors” to enable crew change – from the time to/from home country or country of origin, to the country where the crew joins the ship, as well as safe holding facilities at the home/origin country and the country where the crew change occurs.”