TANZANIA Shipping Agency Cooperation (TASAC), has extended the renewal certificate of competency to three months to local and international Tanzanian seafarers due to Covid-19 outbreak.
The seafarers' put out a SoS (save our ship/souls), that lockdown to curb coronavirus pandemic by countries denies them chances of renew their certification.
TASAC's Executive Director, Emmanuel Ndomba said during commemoration of annual seafarers day in Dar es Salaam the country had over 5,300 registered seafarers who meets international standards.
"TASAC has extended certificate of competency renewal period for three month starting July [this month]. "[Thus] seafarers must therefore be left to work unhindered by expired documents as the renewal hardship were aggravated by travel ban which were part of efforts of curbing spread of Covid-19 virus," Mr Ndomba said recently.
Certificate of competency is a form of licence every mariner is granted to work on ships.
The certificate ensures that the concerned person has the sufficient knowledge and skills to sail on ocean going vessels.
It also complies with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Mr Ndomba said in some countries, seafarers were denied entry as they were suspected of being infected with the virus and some were put under mandatory quarantine.
"They had no time to be returned to their country of origin or work as airlines were grounded," he said.
Seafarers are on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic, playing an essential role in maintaining the flow of vital goods, such as food, medicines and medical supplies.
However, the crisis has led to difficult working conditions for seafarers, including uncertainties and difficulties about port access, re-supply, crew changeovers and repatriation.
This year, the Day of the Seafarer campaign calls on member states to recognize seafarers as key workers - and to provide them with the support, assistance and travel options open to all key workers during the pandemic.
The 2020 Day of the Seafarer campaign pays tribute to seafarers, acknowledging their sacrifice and the issues they face.
Many seafarers have been away from home for months and are unsure when they will be able to return home due to travel restrictions.