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Chief of India’s MASSA calls for seafarer support to bolster trade


Crew forged on to sustain exports and imports, all stakeholders should also do their parts

The Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) is a non-profit making body based in Mumbai, India. Its Chief Executive Officer, Cpt S. M. Halbe reminded the industry to be grateful towards seafarers’ efforts in maintaining supply chains.

Variants should not hinder trade
Cpt Halbe contributed a piece to an Indian daily to appeal for gratitude towards seafarers’ hard work to make the holidays warm and meaningful for all. He recounted the time in 2019 when COVID-19 struck, it did not hit home till India imposed a nation-wide lockdown on 24 March 2020. That essentially spiralled the country into chaos.

He wrote, “After much aligning, changing and deviations of regulations, we believed we were on the right path and things seemed to be somewhat under control by the beginning of 2021. Subsequently, the so-called second wave struck and we witnessed unparalleled mayhem.” Recounting the mass of government measures, seafarers were under the mercy of border restrictions despite various bodies’ campaigning for fair treatment, including access to medical care. It was a tumultuous journey, aggravated by the latest variant Omicron’s entrance. Cpt Halbe was certain about the uncertainty in 2022 with new variants continuously appearing and impacting world trade.

Echoing the words of activists, Cpt Halbe did not mince his words about how much attention was truly given to the severity of seafarers’ plight while the globe enjoyed the fruits of their labour. He lamented, “The leading nations of the world could come together at short notice and literally bomb a country out of existence, but they do not seem to be able to come together to facilitate the movement of seafarers for joining and be repatriated from their ships! We want the EXIM trade to be unhindered, but who cares for the seafarers who move the goods?”

Export Import (EXIM) Policy is India’s set of guidelines and instructions related to the import and export of goods. Updated regularly as directed by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, the policy protects India’s trade interests.

Crewing Online News Team
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